News ID: 116851
Published: 0709 GMT April 28, 2015

Critic underlines Iranian movies’ influence on Turkish cinema

Critic underlines Iranian movies’ influence on Turkish cinema

By Farzam Vanaki

Iranian and Turkish movies share a great deal of commonalities and Turkish film producers have been more influenced by Iranian cinema.

In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily on the sidelines of the 33rd Fajr International Film Festival, Ahmet Gurata, assistant professor/chair of the Department of Communication and Design of the Turkey's Bilkent University, said, "If you look at the history of the two countries' cinema, even before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there were lots of connections and cooperation between Iranian and Turkish cineastes."

He added Iranian actors and actresses, such as Jahangir Ghafari, used to perform roles in Turkish flicks.

"There were also a number of joint productions. However, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, a gap began to grow in cinema cooperation between the two sides. However, at present, thanks to Fajr film festival and other similar events, Tehran and Ankara are narrowing this gap."

Gurata, also a film critic and instructor at Bilkent University, said the success of Iranian movies in international festivals, especially Asghar Farhadi's 'A Separation' which won an Oscar in 2012, has become a model for Turkish movie producers and cinema.

Commenting on his own cinema career and activities, he said, "I am also a festival programmer. We have a small fest in Ankara titled 'Festival on Wheels' which is a traveling festival. I have written scripts mainly for documentaries but I have never produced any movies."

On Fajr festival, Gurata noted this is the first time he is visiting the event but he has heard a great deal about the festival.

"As you know Iranian cinema has been very successful in the past few years. I have always wanted to go to this gala because it is a fascinating showcase for Iranian and international cinema as well.

"I am very familiar with Iranian cinema. I have seen all of Kiarostami's works and a number of films directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Majid Majidi. I have even conducted an interview with Majidi."

He said international festivals are always looking for something new and like to spotlight a different country every time.

"Now that Iran and Turkey's cinema have achieved a degree of international success, I believe a bright future is awaiting the movie industry in both countries. We will hear more about the achievements of Iranian and Turkish films in international events."

To achieve this, he stressed, what is of utmost importance is that both countries' movie producers further publicize their works internationally.

He added, "The governments are also required to bring stability to the cinema industry and support it through careful planning."

The Turkish critic also said over 100 flicks were produced in Turkey in 2014 — the last of which was 'Winter Sleep', directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, which was a very good one. He added, "Still, if you look at it in terms of box office it is only popular films and comedies ranking among the top 10 in the box office."

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