The Istanbul Film Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary

First presented as a film week in 1982 by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Turkey’s leading film event, and the largest, Istanbul Film Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary edition. Supported by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the festival will be held between 1 April and 29 June.

The festival’s broad programme comprising the highlights of world cinema, the most extensive showcase of recent Turkish productions, awarded films that premiered in recent international festivals, and classics and new discoveries, masterpieces by legendary directors and cult films will be on view during the three months ahead.

>> Click here to view the festival programme.

The screenings will begin on 1 April on the streaming platform of the festival at New titles will be open for streaming each Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through April and May, during which films included in the programme of National Competition, National Documentary Competition and National Short Film Competition will be screened in movie theatres and online depending on the changing conditions of the pandemic. In June, the festival audience will be able to watch the films featuring in International Competition and the Galas both at open-air venues, in movie theatres, and online.

To the extent that the restrictions and measures taken for the pandemic allow, guest directors and actors/actresses from Turkey or abroad will be invited to introduce the festival screenings.

Festival’s poster designed by collage artist Selman Hoşgör

Designed by internationally renowned collage artist based in London, Selman Hoşgör, the poster of the 40th edition is inspired by the festival’s 40-year-long effort to bring movie artists, directors and audience together. Designing collages for world famous brands and magazines, Selman Hoşgör builds a creative world through photography, typography, and vivid colours.

*The festival campaign is carried out with the support of the Design Advisory Board that comprises of Uğurcan Ataoğlu, Pemra Ataç, and Arkın Kahyaoğlu.

Cinema Honorary Awards

The Cinema Honorary Awards presented by Istanbul Film Festival to honour artists with committed contributions to Turkish cinema will be bewstowed this year to Çetin İnanç known as “the speedy director”; stage and film actress Suna Selen, stage and film actor Salih Güney, and singer, actress and dubbing artist Belkıs Özener. The awards will be granted to the recipients at the award ceremony to take place on 29 May.

Meetings on the Bridge

Organised within the frame of the Istanbul Film Festival for the 16th time, the co-production, training and networking platform Meetings on the Bridge, supported by Anadolu Efes, will be held online between 7 and 9 April. The platform will once again bring producers, directors and scriptwriters from Turkey and neighbouring countries together with international cinema professionals.

At the 16th edition of Meetings on the Bridge, a project from Turkey in Film Development Workshop will be granted the TRT Special Award of 50.000 TL as a continuation of the supports granted to filmmakers within the scope of workshops held with the support of TRT. The Short Film Workshop will be sponsored by Nespresso for the first time in October. A Nespresso Special Award will be given to a selected project.

Being the first platform initiated in Turkey in this field, Meetings on the Bridge provides an opportunity to filmmakers from Turkey and neighbouring countries to present their new feature film and documentary projects as well as their films in post-production stage for the first time, as well as aiming for creating a platform for artistic and financial collaborations, through the Film Development, Work in Progress, and Neighbours workshops. The recipients of Meetings on the Bridge Workshop Awards will be announced in the award ceremony to be held online on Friday, 9 April.

Competitions across the Festival

This year the national competitions will be held between 20 and 29 May, and International Competition between 18 and 28 June. The award-winning films of the National Competition, National Documentary Competition, and National Short Film Competition will be announced at the award ceremony to be held on 29 May.

>> Click here to see the jury.


At the International Competition section of the festival to be held between 18-28 June, films that open up “new perspectives on cinema” will compete for the grand prize of the festival, the Golden Tulip.

The International Golden Tulip Award given in memory of Şakir Eczacıbaşı, former chairman of İKSV for 16 years and co-founder of the Istanbul Film Festival, will be granted together with a cash award contributed by Eczacıbaşı Group.

The cash award will be shared among the director of the Golden Tulip-winner film (10.000 Euros), the distributing company of the film in Turkey (50.000 TL), and the director of the film receiving Jury Special Award (5.000 Euros).


Films produced within the 2020-21 season will compete for the Golden Tulip at the National Competition to be held between 20 and 29 May. The National Competition Jury will present prizes in 9 categories: Best Film, Best Director, Special Jury Prize, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Original Score.

Best Screenplay Award will be accompanied by a cash prize of 10.000 TL contributed by Alametholistic. İKSV will grant 150.000 TL to Best Film, and 50.000 TL to the winner-film of Special Jury Prize given in memory of Onat Kutlar. Best Director will be presented a cash award of 50.000 TL by Anadolu Efes.

Both Best Actress and Best Actor will be awarded 10.000 TL each, and Best Original Score will receive a cash award of 5.000 TL granted by LU Records.

National Competition Jury of the 40th edition of Istanbul Film Festival, headed by the director Tolga Karaçelik, comprises actress Ece Dizdar, art director and production designer Naz Erayda Kurdoğlu, producer Nadir Öperli, and writer Şebnem İşigüzel.


Best Documentary selected within the National Documentary Competition held to support documentary films and filmmakers, will be awarded 10.000 TL by İKSV. The jury members are directors Serdar Kökçeoğlu and Martina Priessner, and director and producer Hasan Söylemez.


National Short Film Competition is held by Istanbul Film Festival for promoting and developing short film production as well as presenting the audience qualified short films. Best Short Film will be awarded by Anadolu Efes with 5000 TL. The jury of the competition includes actress and producer Nazlı Bulum, director Engin Erden, and film critic Selin Gürel.


Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Prize, given in memory of director and producer Seyfi Teoman who passed away in 2012, will be given to the director of the selected film and includes 30.000 TL as an incentive for their subsequent film works. The Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Prize will be granted for the next five years by İKSV’s Tulip Card Membership Programme with the support of individual donors.

Only feature-length fiction debut films are eligible for the prize. The jury members of Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Prize are directors Zeynep Dadak, Leyla Yılmaz, and Orçun Behram.

FIPRESCI – International Federation of Associations of Film Critcs Prizes

The International Federation of Associations of Film Critics will grant three FIPRESCI prizes in International Competition, National Competition and National Short Film Competition sections.

Hitchcock in Colour

This year the focus of the special retrospective section of the film festival is sponsored by Nippon Paint and will feature Alfred Hitchcock. The 15 colour feature films of the genius director, which could not be screened last year due to the pandemic, will be shown in movie theatres in June from their restored copies:

Rope (1948)
Under Capricorn (1949)
Dial M for Murder (3D) (1954)
Rear Window (1954)
To Catch A Thief (1955)
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Vertigo (1958)
North by Northwest (1959)
The Birds (1963)
Marnie (1964)
Torn Curtain (1966)
Topaz (1969)
Frenzy (1972)
Family Plot (1976)