39th Istanbul Film Festival’s hybrid edition kicks off

The 39th Istanbul Film Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) with the support of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was postponed in March to a later date due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The largest, most established, and most influential film festival in Turkey, Istanbul Film Festival established a digital platform and held online screenings in May, June and July. Now, during October, the Festival will hold its International Competition and National Documentary Competition, taking place as a hybrid of online and physical event. Galas, one of the most popular sections of the Istanbul Film Festival, in an exceptional move, will unite with İKSV’s annual autumn festival Filmekimi this year. Along with the competition films, the festival will present Filmekimi Galas, sponsored by Paribu and consists of a selection of most recent films from international festivals.

>> Please click here for the festival programme.

The films of the National Documentary Competition and Filmekimi Galas will be screened at Cinemaximum Nişantaşı City's and Kadıköy movie theatre, as well as on the festival's online screening platform filmonline.iksv.org. International Competition films can only be watched on filmonline.iksv.org. All online screenings will be geo-blocked to Turkey.


The competition screenings of the 39th Istanbul Film Festival begins on 9 October. Award-winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony to be held at Salon İKSV on Tuesday, 20 October.


In the International Competition section of the Istanbul Film Festival, 12 films under the “New Perspectives in Cinema” theme will vie for the Golden Tulip.

The International Competition, presented in memory of Şakir Eczacıbaşı, co-founder of the festival, will be supported with monetary prizes bestowed by the Eczacıbaşı Group. The director of the Best Film will be awarded the Golden Tulip, the grand prize of the festival, and 10,000 Euros; the local distribution company of the film in Turkey will be awarded 50,000 TL; and the director of the film to receive the Special Jury Prize will be awarded 5,000 Euros.

The jury of the International Competition, presided by director Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, comprises actress Hazar Ergüçlü, director Burak Çevik, film historian and curator Jasmin Basic, and distributor Anthony Bobeau.

International Competition films:

  • Mickey ve Ayı / Mickey and the Bear / Annabelle Attanasio / USA
  • Um Animal Amarelo / A Yellow Animal / Felipe Bragança / Brazil, Portugal
  • Luxor / Zeina Durra / Egypt, UK, United Arab Emirates
  • Sanctorum / Joshua Gil / Mexico, Dominican Republic, Qatar
  • Kokon / Cocoon / Leonie Krippendorff / Germany
  • Pesar-Madar / Son-Mother / Mahnaz Mohammadi / Iran, Czech Republic
  • Exil / Exile / Visar Morina / Germany, Belgium, Kosovo
  • Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine / Alex Piperno / Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, The Netherlands, The Philippines
  • Bergmál / Echo / Rúnar Rúnarsson / Iceland, France, Switzerland
  • The Other Lamb / Malgorzata Szumowska / Ireland, Belgium, USA
  • Atlantis / Valentyn Vasyanovych / Ukraine
  • Mowa Ptaków / Bird Talk / Xawery Zulawski / Poland


The Istanbul Film Festival will be awarding a 10,000 TL-worth Best Documentary Award to the winner of the competition. The National Documentary Competition jury consists of director Rûken Tekeş, director-producer Yasin Ali Türkeri, and director-actress Ezgi Kılınçaslan.

National Documentary Competition films:

  • Ah Gözel İstanbul / Invisible to the Eye / Zeynep Dadak
  • Atık Sözlüğü: Tanımların ve İmajların Geri Dönüşümü / Dictionary of Waste: Recycling Definitions and Images / Alper Şen
  • Asfaltın Altında Dereler Var! / Under The Road, The River! / Yasin Semiz
  • Göbeklitepe Sakinleri / Residents of Göbeklitepe / Sedat Benek
  • Kadınlar Ülkesi / Women's Country / Şirin Bahar Demirel
  • Kuyudaki Taş / The Stone in the Well / Gökçin Dokumacı
  • Maddenin Halleri / Phases of Matter / Deniz Tortum
  • Mimaroğlu / Mimaroğlu: The Robinson of Manhattan Island / Serdar Kökçeoğlu
  • Miss Holokost Survivor / The Pageant / Eytan İpeker
  • Muhammed Ali / Nursen Çetin Köreken, Ümit Köreken
  • Tenere / Hasan Söylemez

Out of Competition:

  • Hayalimdeki Sahneler / Scenes I Imagine / Metin Akdemir
  • İyi ki Yapmışım / Glad I did it! / Selçuk Metin


Istanbul Film Festival’s popular section Galas will unite with Filmekimi this year. Filmekimi Galas, sponsored by Paribu, will include the Turkey premieres of 16 most anticipated films by celebrated directors and star actors. This year, the Filmekimi Galas section features a wide array of interesting, award-winning, and striking productions, including:

  • The Human Voice / Pedro Almodóvar / Spain, USA
  • Pinocchio / Matteo Garrone / Italy, France, UK
  • The Book of Vision / Carlo Hintermann / Italy, UK, Belgium
  • Surge / Aneil Karia / UK
  • Asa ga Kuru / True Mothers / Naomi Kawase / Japan
  • Rizi / Days/ Tsai Ming-liang / Taiwan
  • Eté 85 / Summer of 85 / François Ozon / France, Belgium
  • Nowhere Special / Uberto Pasolini / Italy, Romania, UK
  • Persian Lessons / Vadim Perelman / Russia, Germany
  • Undine / Christian Petzold / Germany, France
  • La bonne épouse / How To Be A Good Wife / Martin Provost / France
  • Enfant Terrible / Oskar Roehler / Germany
  • Domangchin yeoja / The Woman Who Ran / Hong Sang-soo / South Korea
  • Druk / Another Round / Thomas Vinterberg / Denmark
  • Sweat / Magnus von Horn / Poland, Sweden
  • Nomadland / Chloé Zhao / USA


Tickets for the screenings at the movie theatres are available for purchase only on biletix.com, and for online screenings only on filmonline.iksv.org. Online screenings will be geo-blocked to Turkey.

Important Notice about Covid-19 Measures

39th Istanbul Film Festival National Documentary Competition and Filmekimi Galas screenings, which will be held at Cinemaximum City’s Nişantaşı and Kadıköy movie theatres between 9-20 October 2020, will be carried out in accordance with the measures to be taken within the scope of the "Controlled Normalization Process in Culture and Art Facilities" dated 23 June 2020 of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Supporters of the 39th Istanbul Film Festival

The 39th Istanbul Film Festival is held with the support of more than 20 institutions. The festival is organised by the generous support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey General Directorate of Cinema. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Beşiktaş Municipality, Beyoğlu Municipality and Kadıköy Municipality continue their publicity support for the festival.

The National Competition and Cinema of Turkey section is supported with the highest contribution of Anadolu Efes. The theme sponsor of Filmekimi Galas is Paribu, and the theme sponsors of other sections are Zorlu Holding and Selpak. The European Union Delegation to Turkey is supporting the festival for the Human Rights section.

The Leading Sponsor of all İKSV festivals is Eczacıbaşı Group, the Hotel Sponsor is The Marmara Group. The Insurance Sponsor is Zurich Sigorta, Digital Content Security Service Sponsor Digiguardians, Recycle Sponsor Coca-Cola. The service sponsors are KOOP, Navitas, GFK, directComm and AGC Software.