11.02.2009 - Reha Erdem, Lloyd Phillips, Martina Priessner, Yeşim Ustaoglu
In cooperation with Alfred Herrhausen Society, Berlinale Competition and Berlinale Forum.
As the natural connecting point between the Orient and the Occident and situated at the easternmost point of the West and westernmost point of the East, Istanbul has inspired filmmakers for years. It is a city in which "the stones and earth are made of gold" as many immigrants say when referring to the site of their projected hopes.
Related directly to the myth and likewise the reality of this Turkish metropolis compelling stories have been told about cultural diversity, change of perspective, and of course love stories of 1001 nights. In an era where tensions between the East and the West, Islamic tradition and contemporary influences have intensified and where the main focus has gradually shifted from love stories to terrorist threats – a question pushes forth: Is Istanbul still a place where the East meets the West? How do filmmakers create and use the image of the city? How does Istanbul brand itself in times of political tension? A couple of recent films show Istanbul as a modern city, strongly linked to traditions.
These films are as far away as possible from tourist postcard movies, the filmmaker’s passion for the city and its population is clearly evident. The opening film of the Berlinale 2009, Tom Tykwer‘s The International, partly shot in Istanbul, is produced by Oscar-winning producer and photographer, Philip Lloyd. His unique series of photographs depicting the original locations of the film and the events behind the camera give an enthralling perspective to the process of filmmaking, as well as to the city of Istanbul. Filmmakers and artists coming from and working in one of the most alluring cities in the world tell its tales – about what‘s going on and how they see the future.