By Shu’eib Hassen
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AA) – A Turkish film festival showcasing everything from comedies to documentaries opened in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday evening.
South African moviegoers were invited to the 4th Turkish Film Festival which is taking place in the city’s iconic Victoria and Alfred Waterfront venue.
Sharing different aspects of Turkey and its people, the annual festival “is interesting as it takes Turkish movie culture across South Africa,” Ambassador Kaan Esener said.
The festival began in 2012 to connect the two countries through cinema.
Kenan Ince, Turkish Airlines’ Cape Town general manager, told Anadolu Agency: “South Africans and Turkish people do not know each other very well. We are hoping that by sharing our culture we can increase visitors to Turkey from 48,000 last year to 70,000 within three years.”
Among this year’s offerings is 2012 movie Kurtulus Son Durak which brought laughs and heart-rending moments to the festival’s opening night.
South African attendee Riyad Groenewald said: “It showed me a world different from my own, but even though there are differences, there are also many similarities between Turkey and here.”
Those who came to celebrate the launch stood a chance to win return-flight tickets to Turkey, courtesy of Turkish Airlines.
“Each year Turkish Airlines sponsors a ticket as a warm gesture to further open the doors between our countries,” Ince said.
It was not only locals that came to the occasion. Turkish expats came to share in the memories of films watched back home.
“My family told me of the event. I came out of curiosity but it is really a great way of sharing our culture with South Africa,” said one emigre, Ali Turanli.
The festival closes on June 12 in Johannesburg, ending with the 2015 historical drama, Last Letter.