Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The History of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (1963-2013)

The Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival is one of the deepest-rooted festivals in Europe and Asia, and one of the oldest and the longest running film festivals in our country.

The concerts and plays which started to be organized at the historical Aspendos Theatre in the mid-1950s constitute the keystone of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. The spectacles to which great attention were paid by the public, and which were held during the summer months every year became a tradition and continued in a festive atmosphere until the beginning of the 1960s. 

The festival turned into the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival by incorporating cinema when the late Dr. Avni Tolunay, who served as a “Municipality Doctor” for a long time, was elected as Mayor in 1963. Firstly, Dr. Avni Tolunay went in search of a logo for Antalya, and he unified the orange which was the symbol of the region with the sea, historical elements and the statue of Venus.  The orange was not only included in the content of the logo but also became the name of the film festival.

The Statue of Venus
There was indeed a great interest shown in the first festival which was held under difficult conditions in 1964. The core mission of the festival was determined as “to support the sector of Turkish cinema in material and moral terms, to pave the way for Turkish cinema to be opened to the international platform by encouraging Turkish film producers to produce qualified productions”. The Golden Orange Film Festival which maintained its standing between 1964 and 1973 was carried on by Selahattin Tonguç who was elected as a Mayor in 1973.

The festival which also incorporated plastic arts in 1978 was internationally held under this category.

The 16th and 17th Golden Orange Film Festivals which could not be held due to the censorship in 1979 and coup d’état in 1980 respectively are held in 2011 in the period when Prof. Dr. Mustafa Akaydın is the Mayor of Antalya and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Antalya Culture and Arts Foundation and “the Belated Awards” are presented to their winners 31-32 years later.
The festival which was held under the leadership of Antalya Municipality until 1985 started to be organized by the Antalya Culture Arts Tourism Foundation (Antalya Kültür Sanat Turizm Vakfı) established under the guidance of the mayor of that period, Yener Ulusoy. Having added a new dimension to the Festival by including International Music Contest titled Mediterranean in 1985, Yener Ulusoy held this contest which encompassed Mediterranean countries together with the Golden Orange Film Festival between 1985 and 1988.

The Festival was organised by the platform called Festival Executive Committee composed of Members of the Municipality Council, tourism organisations, representatives of Antalya Chamber of Commerce between 1989 and 1994. The organisation of the festival has been conducted by AKSAV (Antalya Culture and Arts Foundation), which was established under the name of “Golden Orange Culture and Arts Foundation” and has been serving under the name of Antalya Culture and Arts Foundation since September 2002, under the leadership of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality since 1995. The Founders’ Committee of the foundation consists of 109 people including many famous figures in the fields of business, politics, media and culture-arts.

While the International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, which has become a great cinematic activity by carrying the experience and success gained at home on to the international platform since 2005, embraces Antalya and Turkish cinema, it takes firm steps forward to become an assertive film festival in the platform of world cinema.

The National Documentary Film Contest and National Short Film Contest are also organised as well as National and International Contests within the scope of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. Also films of the prominent and reputable figures of world cinema, especially from Asian and European cinema meet cinema lovers at our festival.

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