Boston Turkish Film And Music Festival Leaves Behind Another Successful Year

  • 05-04-2018 07:05 AM

17th edition of the Boston Turkish Film & Music Festival opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the screening of "Sideway" by  acclaimed filmmaker Tayfun Pirselimoğlu.  Q&A with the director, festival opening reception and performance by music group Esthema followed the screening. 

The 2018 Boston Turkish Film Festival Excellence in Turkish Cinema Award was presented to prominent actor, author, screenplay writer and director Ercan Kesal with a ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Ercan Kesal also had a Q&A with the audience after the screening of his documentary film, Gone with the Hazelnuts. He also autographed his books for the audience.

Film program of the Festival continued with the screenings of  high-caliber films at MFA, most making their North America premieres and/or currently in competition in international film festivals.

The following feature films were in the festival program: “Sideway” (Yol Kenarı) by Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, “Yellow Heat” (Sarı Sıcak) by Fikret Reyhan, “Gone with the Hazelnuts” (Fındıktan Sonra) by Ercan Kesal,  “Rosso Istanbul” (İstanbul Kırmızısı) by Ferzan Özpetek,  “Big Big World” (Koca Dünya) by Reha Erdem, “The Guest (Aleppo-Istanbul)” (Misafir (Halep-Istanbul)) by Andaç Haznedaroğlu ,“Ayla – The Daughter of War” by Can Ulkay,“Murtaza” by Özgür Sevimli, “NUBLU: Music of Now” by Sercan Sezgin, “Sour Apples” (Ekşi Elmalar) by Yılmaz Erdoğan,  “The Smell of Money” (Paranın Kokusu) by Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts)  by Fatih Akın, “What a Crush” (Ailecek Şaşkınız) by Selçuk Aydemir, Dream (Rüya) by Derviş Zaim.

The award recipient films of the BTF Documentary & Short Film Competition were also screened at the festival. A panel discussion on Turkish cinema moderated by film critic Peter Keough followed the screenings. Winners of the Documentary Film Competition are “The Border” (Hudut) by Batuhan Kurt for Best Documentary and “Hermana” by Enver Arcak for Best Documentary Audience Awards. Winners of the Short Film Competition are “Scrabble” by Merve Gezen for Best Short Film and “The Well” (Kuyu) by Rıdvan Yavuz for Best Short Film Audience Awards. 

After the film screenings, the festival continued with a special music program, co-presented with the Boston University Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground.  Internationally acclaimed Turkish flutist and composer Burak Beşir and pianist Rina Kohmoto performed the first album releasing concert of the program, “Passion”. Burak Beşir’s album “Passion” received oustanding Acchievement Awards from Global Music Awards in November 2017.

In the next concert, Yarkın Duo (Nağme Yarkın, İstanbul kemençe, composer) and (Baturay Yarkın, piano, composer) brought together two instruments from differing traditions, the piano and the classical İstanbul kemençe, taking the audience away to a magical journey interpreting their repertoire which consists of Argentine tangos, Turkish folk music, their own compositions and improvisations.  They led also a workshop on "Makams, Scales and Rhythmic Patterns in Turkish Music"  at the Berklee College of Music which was co-presented with the Planet MicroJam Institute.

Festival program concluded with a recital by distinguished pianist Hande Dalkılıç on April 21st. One of the finest pianists of her generation, Hande Dalkılıç has attained a mature interpretation and a wide repertoire at a very young age. She pays special attention to feature works by Turkish composers especially at her concerts abroad, including composers such as Ahmed Adnan Saygun, Ulvi Cemal Erkin as well as Muammer Sun,  Çetin Işıközlü and Fazıl Say.

Since 2006 the Boston Turkish Film and Music Festival’s music program has been offering a comprehensive selection of the works of contemporary Turkish musicians in various forms and bringing Turkish musicians together with the music enthusiasts. The Festival’s film program continues to bring prominent examples of Turkish cinema to the cineastes, taking place annually at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston since 2001. 

For more information about the festival please visit