Important notice about Istanbul Film Festival’s 39th edition

Important notice

Considering the measures taken in Turkey to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is diagnosed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the 39th Istanbul Film Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and scheduled to take place on 10-21 April, is postponed to a later date.

Keep an eye on our website and social media for tips, flash news, and other announcements.

The presentations of the projects and films from Turkey and its neighbouring countries participating in the Meetings on the Bridge will be held online on April 14-17.

The poster of the 39th Istanbul Film Festival designed by the Istanbul-based artist Cem Özüduru

History of cinema is full of iconic characters and unforgettable motifs. Thousands of these characters met with cinephiles in the history of the Istanbul Film Festival and now is the time to celebrate the infamous birds of Alfred Hitchcock.

The 39th Istanbul Film Festival, commemorating the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock by screening all his films in colour, will cover the streets of Istanbul with posters featuring a dream-like incarnation of the birds of the renowned director.

The poster was designed by Istanbul-based comics writer, scriptwriter and director Cem Özüduru, who was inspired by the breathtaking influence of cinema to combine his feelings and artistic aesthetic in his work. In the poster, Hitchcock-loving exotic birds circle around a sorcerer, who simultaneously curses and blesses us. The whole scene reminds us of a dream in a sleep fallen into, after seeing a film.

Cinema Awards

The Cinema Awards of the 39th Istanbul Film Festival will be presented to three revered figures of Turkish cinema, at the opening gala of the festival on Thursday, 9 April.

Festival’s Honorary Cinema Awards will be presented to musician, composer, songwriter and actress Hümeyra, a genuine and unique artist whose fan base ever expands, and to filmmaker Birsen Kaya, one of the first female directors and scriptwriters from Turkey who has worked with a variety of directors across genres during her carrier. Seher Karabol, who has always sided with labour and labourers and struggled for the improvement and international promotion of Turkish cinema, will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award.


The festival comprises five major competitions within its programme: International Competition, National Competition, Human Rights in Cinema Competition, National Documentary Competition and National Short Film Competition. The festival will once again present a selection of the bests of the fests to cult films, the foremost showcase of films from Turkey, along with retrospectives, new discoveries, and masterpieces.

The festival awards the Golden Tulip as its grand prize in the international competition which comprises films that open up “New Perspectives in Cinema,” giving 10,000€ to the winner and 5,000€ to the recipient of the Jury Special Prize.

Within the National Competition, nine prizes will be awarded, as well as the Best Debut Film Award given in memory of filmmaker Seyfi Teoman, supported by a 30,000TL reward given by CMLYLMZ Fikirsanat. This year, LU Records will be presenting 5,000TL to the winner of the Best Original Music Award within the National Competition. Click for the jury to assess the films in the competitions.

Hitchcock in Color

This year, the festival commemorates legendary director Alfred Hitchcock on the 40th anniversary of his death. One of the special sections of the 39th Istanbul Film Festival, Hitchcock in Color beckons the fans and younger generations who haven’t watched the films of this influential director to the movie theatre to the silver screen experience. Click for the titles of 15 color feature films.

Atıf Yılmaz’s “How to Save Asiye” to be restored by the festival

The Istanbul Film Festival has been running the project Turkish Classics Revisited with the support of Zurich Sigorta, restoring significant works of Turkish cinema and reintroducing them to contemporary viewers. This year, esteemed director Atıf Yılmaz’s 1987 masterpiece Asiye Nasıl Kurtulur / How to Save Asiye will be restored by Atlas Post Production to be screened during the festival. Click for the details.

About Istanbul Film Festival
Established in 1982, the Istanbul Film Festival has proudly grown from a six-film section incorporated in the all-encompassing Istanbul Festival to a stand-alone, FIAPF-accredited international event—the largest and most influential film festival in Turkey. The Festival each year features around 180 films in thematic or curated sections, and five competitions–International Competition, Human Rights in Cinema Competition, National Competition, National Short Film Competition, and National Documentary Competition. With 110,000 admissions (2019), it is considered the largest film festivals in Turkey.

Now open to projects from neighbouring countries as well, Meetings on the Bridge, the co-production market of the festival has proven to be the ideal platform for film professionals from Turkey and abroad. While giving filmmakers the chance to hold the first international presentation of their new film projects and films that are in post-production stage, it also aims to pave way for co-productions.

The entire programme of the 39th Istanbul Film Festival will be announced in March 2020.