Cambridge to host new Turkish film festival Taste of Anatolia


Film charity Balik Arts is launching a brand-new film festival in the heart of historic university city Cambridge. Taste of Anatolia – Films from Turkey will run for three days on the first weekend of September 2018. Award-winning actor-turned-director Onur Saylak is among the special guests confirmed as attending.

Running from 31 August to 2 September, the festival encompasses screenings, Q&As, filmmaking workshops, and the opening and closing parties. Many of the festival’s activities will take place in the Main Lecture Theatre at the Old Divinity School, St John’s College, a beautifully renovated space in one of the University of Cambridge’s oldest and most prestigious buildings. The Cambridge Union will host the closing party.

The inaugural edition of the film festival focusses on “the bold side of the cinema of Turkey”, its ‘Young Blood’ theme centring on the experiences of young people and their vision of the world. The programme includes feature films and shorts made by young directors and actors that“give a new perspective on life and its meaning”by tackling issues around human rights, the role of the individual in humanity’s future, and our quest for understanding.

Turkish actor & director Onur Saylak

Onur Saylak, who won the Best Film Award at this year’s East End Film Festival with his directorial debut Daha/More, and talented young Turkish actress Sıtare Akbaş, who is famed as much for her roles in Turkish TV soaps as on the silver screen, will be discussing their careers in Q&As. This and other events are open to the public, with all tickets available on Eventbrite.

Taste of Anatolia is supported by Baroness Smith of Newnham, a strong patron of the arts. She is also the Director of the European Centre in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, and has a keen interest in Turkish affairs and culture. The three-day event is also partnered by the Film South East Hub, Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, the University of Cambridge (Film Dept.), Anglia Ruskin University (Film Dept.) and the University of East Anglia (Film Dept.).

The first of its kind in Cambridge, the new Turkish film festival will draw on the help of 60 young adults from Turkey and the UK through the Reel Skills project, financed by Erasmus+.  It builds on a transnational project initiated by Balik Arts in Bodrum, southern Turkey, in May 2018.

First formed in 1999, Cambridge-based film charity Balik Arts works tirelessly to connect young people and the arts across local and international borders. It has run multiple transnational film and music projects, as well as supporting numerous film festivals in Britain and around the world.

Follow events and news from the Taste of Anatolia – Films from Turkey via their Facebook page.