21st London Turkish Film Festival goes entirely digital, starts this week

In keeping with its innovative nature, this year’s London Turkish Film Festival (LTFF) is going entirely online, allowing people living across the length and breadth of Britain and abroad to enjoy its eclectic, high-quality selection of screenings.

Starting this Thursday, 23 November, and running until 6 December 2017, the 21st London Turkish Film Festival will take place entirely on the filmturkey.co.uk platform.

This year’s programme includes a mixture of full-length feature movies, documentaries and shorts. Tickets to view individual films are priced just £2.60 for live streaming, nightly at 8.30pm UK) or £3.50 (watch when you want), along with £30 festival passes enabling the streaming of all LTFF 2017 films. These are available for purchase online from the festival website at ltff.co.uk.

Each night, LTFF will stream selected movies live. Following these screenings, viewers will be able to chat with the directors of the movies they have just watched. The festival’s opening night film is Orhan Pamuk’a Söylemeyin Kars’ta Çektiğim Filmde Kar Romanı da Var (Don’t Tell Orhan Pamuk That His Novel Snow Is In the Film I Made About Kars), a Turkish comedy drama with English subtitles involving a blind singer, a barber obsessed with Orhan Pamuk’s novel Kar/Snow, three angels and a goose catcher boy. After Thursday evening’s live screening, viewers will be able to chat with its director Riza Sönmez.


LTFF 2017 opening night’s film: Don’t Tell Orhan Pamuk That His Novel Snow Is In the Film I Made About Kars, directed by Riza Sönmez


The decision to go entirely digital was taken by LTFF founder Vedide Kaymak and her team after struggling to raise sufficient sponsorship to run the festival in cinemas across the capital this year. With its traditional home Rio Cinema in Dalston under new management and less inclined to support LTFF, and ever-increasing London cinema hire fees, even with its summer crowdfunding campaign, LTFF was unable to cover all associated costs.

Instead, Kaymak has boldly taken the plunge to go online. It means Turkish communities and lovers of Turkish cinema across Britain and around the world will now be able to watch festival movies from the convenience of their home.

Movie makers, who normally give their films for free to festivals to help keep costs down, will also benefit from the new LTFF set-up. They will receive royalties from each online screening of their film, generating vital financial support for them at a time when independent cinema is increasingly under threat.

Since its inception in 1993, LTFF has been an important platform for films from Turkey, helping to showcase and promote established and emerging talent in Britain. For over 20 years, the festival organisers have brought thousands of movies and hundreds of guests to one of the movie capitals of the world, enabling Turkish directors, screenwriters, and actors to have a voice in the international arena through screenings, events and media coverage.


This was Hasankeyf – showing live on LTFF 2017 on 3 Dec, followed by a Q&A with director Tommaso Vitali


About Film Turkey – the ‘Netflix’ of Turkish cinema

For the past few years, the organisers behind LTFF have been developing their own digital platform Film Turkey, a video on demand (VOD) service, with the intention of promoting Turkish films to audiences worldwide all year round. The venture taps into the digital revolution that has allowed consumers to have access to a greater selection of movies at a time and place convenient to them.

Aiming to be the ‘Netflix’ of Turkish cinema, Film Turkey has been streaming movies since June this year. Its VOD platform also supports multiple subtitles to cater for its diverse audiences.

TFI and LTFF director Vedide Kaymak said: “We’ve embraced the digital transformation that has taken root across the world of film and cinema. It means London Turkish Film Festival can continue to exist and hopefully thrive, by giving easy access to many more viewers to be able to watch our festival movies whenever and wherever they wish”.

London Turkish Film Festival 2017 Programme

Feature Films: Don’t Tell Orhan Pamuk That His Novel Snow Is In the Film I Made About Kars, Ivy, The Visitor, Entanglement, For The Blinds, Wish to Wash With Rain, Motherland, Dust Cloth, Underground Arabesque, The Nurse, Step By Step, Cold of Kalandar

Documentaries: 650 Words, The Spirit Of Gezi, Mana Mou Istanbul, This Was Hasankeyf, Love Is Over, Polaris – One of the roots of the tree, Another Mountain

Short Films: Ouroboros, Can’t Go, Paracosm, Intent, Vacation, Then I Woke Up, Pinhole, Mara, The Yarn, Morning