TODAYSZAMAN – Two Turkish directors vie for Golden Lion in Venice film fest

Two Turkish directors vie for Golden Lion in Venice film festFatih AkIn’s “The Cut” and Kaan Mujdeci’s “Sivas” are two of the films by Turkish directors which will be in the running at the main competition of this year’s Venice Film Festival, which will provide ample exposure for Turkish cinema this yearOrganizers on Thursday announced a 20-strong competition lineup that also includes Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani’s subprime-mortgage drama “99 Homes,” with Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, and New Zealand-born filmmaker Andrew Niccol’s “Good Kill,” starring Ethan Hawke as a dissatisfied drone operatorThe Hamburg-based AkIn’s drama, starring Tahar Rahim, will have its world premiere at the festival. The film, the last part of the director’s trilogy “Love, Death and Devil,” was withdrawn from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan was awarded with the Palme d’Or for his “Winter Sleep.

” AkIn joined forces with Mardik Martin, an American screenwriter of Armenian descent, in writing the film“Sivas,” on the other hand, is Mujdeci’s debut feature, following the story of an 11-year-old boy and his dog on the steppes. Both “The Cut” and “Sivas” will have their world premieres at the festival.

The last time a Turkish film vied for the Golden Lion was in 2008 when Semih Kaplan’s “Sut” (Milk), the second film of the “Trilogy of Yusuf” series, was included in the festival’s main competition lineup. But this year, Turkish cinema will be one of the focuses of the festival, as a Turkish pavilion will be featured in the cinematic gathering as part of the centennial celebrations of Turkish cinema A restored version of late Turkish director Lutfi Akad’s 1973 movie “Gelin” (The Bride), the first installment of his “Gelin-DuIun-Diyet” (Bride- Wedding- Sacrifice) trilogy, will be shown as part of the festival’s Venice Classics section.

The 71st Venice Film Festival will tackle topics from the financial crisis to drone warfare, featuring performances from Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino, Jennifer Aniston and Ethan Hawke.There is a strong American presence, both behind the camera and onscreen, among the films in the running for the Golden Lion.

They include David Gordon Green’s Texas drama “Manglehorn” starring Pacino and Holly Hunter Abel Ferrara’s “Pasolini,” featuring Dafoe as taboo-breaking Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini and Italian director Saverio Costanzo’s “Hungry Hearts,” a suspenseful drama set in New York starring Adam DriverThe festival, which mixes big-name directors and arty auteurs with the work of exciting newcomers, also will include Swedish director Roy Andersson’s “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” and “The Postman’s White Knights” by Russian Andrei Konchalovsky.Documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer will also be competing with “The Look of Silence,” a sequel to his powerful investigation of Indonesian political violence, “The Act of Killing.

”Pacino appears again at the festival, as an aging actor in Barry Levinson’s “The Humbling,” adapted from a Philip Roth novel. It is among the “out of competition” entries which are not contestants for the Golden Lion.

The eclectic out-of-competition roster also includes Peter Bogdanovich’s Broadway comedy “She’s Funny That Way,” starring Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson Lisa Cholodenko’s drama set in Maine, “Olive Kitteridge,” with Frances McDormand and Bill Murray actor-turned-director James Franco’s adaptation of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” and Danish provocateur Lars Von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac Volume II.”The 71st Venice Film Festival opens on Aug.

27 with the world premiere of Alejandro Inarritu’s “Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance,” starring former “Batman” Michael Keaton as an actor struggling to get beyond a famous superhero role.The festival runs until Sept.

6, when a jury led by composer Alexandre Desplat awards the Golden Lion for best film and seven other prizes.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman