Since the 1990s, Turkish cinema has seen a revival in both creativity and audience response. Short films are a flourishing branch of Turkish cinema oft underrepresented and Yunus Emre Institutes in London, Berlin and Washington have launched a joint annual short film festival to bring these shorts to your screens. The ‘Cut Short, Live Long’ short film festival took place between Monday 25th January and Saturday 30th January 2021 and tackled big issues in short spaces of time.
The first of many more iterations to come, the festival introduced fresh, innovative, and impactful shorts from the Turkish and international directors. In an effort to showcase talent, the films were specially selected and included world and UK premiers, as well as short films that had won awards or were from award-winning directors. Many of films appeared or won awards in festivals such as Istanbul Film Festival, Busan International Short Film Festival, Akbank Short Film Festival, London Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, Next Generation Short Tiger, Indy Shorts International Short Film Festival and Leeds International Film Festival. The festival garnered a lot of interest, including that of national and regional press.
Two to Three films were released each day of the festival to be viewed online. All the viewable all day at no cost, and included English subtitles, making the film festival accessible to all. With varying topics and lengths, a total of 13 films were shown, 10 Turkish and 3 internationals.
The programme included:
- Monday 25th January: “Tor” by Ragıp Türk and “Lekesiz” (Stainless) by Mehmet Oğuz Yıldırım
- Tuesday 26th January: “Avarya” by Gökalp Gönen and “Ikame” (Substitute) by Erkan Orasan
- Wednesday 27th January: “K” by İnan Erbil and “Interstate 8” by Anne Thieme
- Thursday 28th January: “Teselli” (Consolation) by Sercan Erdoğan and “Dede” (Grandfather) by Ahmet Keçili
- Friday 30th January: “Servis” (The School Bus) by Ramazan Kılıç, “Maradona’s Legs” by Firas Khoury, and “Racoon with Bitcoin” by Serdar Çotuk
- Saturday 31st January: “Bir Nehir Kıyısında” (At A Riverside) by M. Furkan Daşbilek and “Good Thanks, You?” by Molly Manning Walker.
Short films offer the opportunity for audiences to discover new filmmakers and explore new and interesting voices and ideas. It is largely through film festivals such as the “Cut Short, Live Long” short film festival that brilliant short films reach audiences. Due to the success of the first as well as the institutes’ firm belief in exposing the brilliance of Turkish cinema to all audiences, the Yunus Emre Institute in London is grateful to all the directors that volunteered their work and all those that worked to actualise this film festival. With more exciting short films to show and further opportunities for audiences to talk to the directors, the Institute is eagerly waiting for next year’s festival.