This year has been an internationally successful and prolific year for Turkish film. As we celebrate the 100th year of Turkish Cinema, 2014 also constitutes another milestone, in the form of a Palme d’Or, for Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Winter Sleep” – the highest accolade awarded to a Turkish film director since Yılmaz Güney’s “Yol”, the Palme d’Or winner in 1982.

In this regard, the arrival of the 1st Annual Vancouver Turkish Film Festival coincided, one might say, with the reignited, golden era of Turkish Cinema. It is evident that the time is ripe, and the atmosphere conducive, to host a film event of this caliber in Vancouver – a city full of sophisticated cinephiles.

Henceforth, film loving Vancouverites will not only get a taste of internationally acclaimed Turkish films, but will also have the opportunity to meet with the producers, actors and filmmakers of select films throughout our inaugural film festival.

VTFF has deemed it a mission to introduce the best of Turkish Cinema to Vancouver – not only constituting an international platform for Turkish filmmakers to showcase their work, but also to bridge the cultural and artistic gap between Canada and Turkey by bringing together cineastes and cinephiles from both countries.


The ultimate collapse of Yeşilçam Cinema in the late 80s triggered a proliferation of independent filmmakers who started making films with very small crews and tight budgets. This transitional period in Turkish Cinema from the late 70s to the 90s gave many filmmakers the necessary freedom to pursue their own cinematic ambitions in the absence of a pre-tested mechanism for making independent films.

World renowned directors such as Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Zeki Demirkubuz and Derviş Zaim are notable examples of the “new wave” of Turkish Cinema, not only having gained critical international acclaim, but igniting another wave of equally talented auteurs such as Semih Kaplanoğlu and Reha Erdem.

These story-tellers have also had a tremendous impact on the production of more commercially popular, mainstream movies. Today almost 70% of films shown in Turkey are domestic productions. The cinematic landscape in Turkey has reached its most diverse point in history, with people enjoying movies of all genres – from horror to comedy.

These domestic box office figures coupled with the success of Turkish movies abroad – has led to an increase in the number of Turkish film festivals all over the world. As of 2013, Turkish films are being shown in over 25 countries at Turkish film festivals with thousands of attendees.

Vancouver is not only a mecca for film production – it is a young, vibrant and receptive city full of film lovers of all kinds. With an ever increasing Turkish presence and sold out film festivals year round – we feel now is a perfect time to unleash the best of Turkish Cinema to meet the growing demand for international cinema in this diverse city.

So please come join us this December 4 – 7, 2015 at the renowned Vancity Theatre in celebrating 100 years of Turkish Cinema!