The International Istanbul Film Festival – first held in 1982 as a “film week” with the theme of “the arts and cinema” – is one of Istanbul’s longest running film festivals.
In 1989, the FIAPF (the International Federation of Film Producers Associations) recognized the event as a “special subject, competitive festival” and it took its current name “The International Istanbul Film Festival.” The festival takes place every year in April.
With both special and thematic programs along with world classics, retrospectives, silent films accompanied by live music, animated films and documentaries there are over 200 films in the program each year, making it the most comprehensive film festival in Turkey.
One of the big factors behind the development of Turkish cinema, the festival has the goal of introducing Turkish films to an international audience while attracting high quality production and promoting commercial viability. Among other important names in international cinema to have visited the festival are Gérard Depardieu, Harvey Keitel, John Malkovich,Sophia Loren, Bernardo Bertolucci, François Ozon, Emir Kusturica, Elia Kazan, Gus Van Sant, Tony Gatlif and Jane Birkin.