The festival, which was enhanced by a hybrid screening model to reach an even broader audience both in-person and online, consisted of socially-conscious films from diverse storytellers. This year's festival theme "Bridges & Borders" was inspired by the urge to bridge the gap between cultures, identities and people in our polarized and divided world. Designer Berkcan Okar of Yer Creative created a design that reflected the theme successfully.
The film selection consisted of eleven unique and original stories that championed new voices in cinema and invited audiences of all backgrounds to join for a four-day celebration. The festival kicked off with Mimaroglu and screened 10 other award-winning films throughout the four days featuring Hey There, You Know Him, The Criminals, Commitment Hasan, Leylak, Brother's Keeper, Letters from Silivri, Not Knowing, Geranium and Love, Spells, & All That.
Post-screening Q&As were held after some of the screenings with filmmakers as well as leading industry professionals including Serdar Kokceoglu, Esin Uslu, Erdem Helvacioglu, Ezgi Mola, Selin Yeninci, Serkan Keskin, Scott Aharoni, Dennis Latos, Ahmet Kenan Bilgic, and Mustafa Kaymak.
Organized by POLTIO, the audience choice award was given to the feature film "Not Knowing" directed by Leyla Yilmaz.
The film festival welcomed support from a wide range of sponsors featuring platinum sponsor CHOBANI; gold sponsor CEMENTAC; silver sponsors EKOS, United Medical / Kemal Erkan, Cinegryphon Entertainment, Michael & Patti Roberts and Final Draft; Adopt a Film Sponsors Beba Foundation, Turkish Connexion, Dunning & Rievman LLP, AKDO, Ozan Eren Bilgen, and Young Society Leaders; supporter level sponsors Selin & Ali Gulcelik, Mavi, RPD Fund Management, Yer Creative, Cem Altuntas, ADA film, Kurt & Jessica Davis, LU Records, and Next Generation Council.
New York's leading Turkish restaurants such as Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, Leyla, Little Rascal, and Antique Garage Tribeca supported the festival's hospitality efforts by hosting brunch, lunch, and dinners for invited talent.
More than 100 people that consisted of invited talent, sponsors, ATS Board Members and film industry professionals were welcomed at a reception hosted by CEMENTAC at IRIS restaurant on the evening of December 11.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the 19th New York Turkish Film Festival! Till then, stay safe and healthy and have a wonderful new year!