By Fatih Turkyilmaz
ISTANBUL (AA) – The 3rd International Amity Short Film Festival will be held online from Dec. 11-13, organizers have announced.
This year’s edition is dedicated to Turkish folk poet and thinker Yunus Emre.
The event is being organized with the assistance of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and with Anadolu Agency as a global communication partner.
Mehmet Lutfi Sen, the event’s coordinator, said the festival aims to highlight the enduring importance of friendship in an increasingly polarized world.
“The idea of friendship was always strong in Anatolia. Influences of the modern world and globalization did adversely affect it, but it can still be a force of good for the entire world,” he told Anadolu Agency.
“If we are not friendly towards nature, our world and climate will deteriorate, and our species and those around us will eventually disappear. This festival is a cry emerging from this point.”
This year, 51 films, including 48 shorts and three feature films, will be screened – the highest number for the festival to date.
“In these challenging times that our world is facing today, we aim to bring forward great films that help us understand the significance of kindness and brotherhood,” said Sen.
“Yunus Emre’s words from centuries ago are, perhaps, more relevant than ever today. Through his works, he tried to instill the importance of hope and friendship.”
According to Faysal Soysal, the festival’s director, said 301 films from 33 countries have been submitted this year and 16 short films from 10 countries will compete for the top awards.
He said all screenings will be online due to the COVID-19 safety measures, with details available on the event website – www.dostlukfilmfestivali.com.
“Everyone in Turkey will be able to watch the films online free of charge,” he said.
Animated and fiction films are also part of the festival, with five entries from Turkey, three from Iran, France, the US, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Croatia, Germany, Ghana, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The festival will feature screenings in four selections – Competition, 40 Years of Gratitude, Panorama, and Feature Length – and also offer various conferences, interviews, and workshops.
* Writing by Merve Berker