TRT’s ‘Humanitarian Film Festival’ opens in Istanbul

TRT’s ‘Humanitarian Film Festival’ opens in Istanbul

Highlighting global humanitarian issues, festival to hold many events, including film screenings and interviews

By Aise Humeyra Bulovali

ISTANBUL (AA) - The TRT World Citizen Humanitarian Film Festival opened Thursday in Istanbul, providing a platform for filmmakers to explore global humanitarian issues from a unique and creative perspective.

The festival is being organized by TRT World Citizen, the philanthropic arm of TRT.

Many events, including film screenings and interviews, will be held during the two-day festival, where the issue of being refugees, hunger, war and humanitarian issues will be discussed.

Photographer, writer, producer and director Rasit Algul, who participated in the festival with his short film Ronaldo, told Anadolu Agency that the film he shot in 2020 was shown at online festivals due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Featuring the story of a child refugee, Algul said "the movie is based on an incident which actually happened to me. I was in Bodrum in 2019 for a job, and there was an intense migration flow by sea. Everything was happening in front of our eyes. We couldn't do anything. We were just watching. I was very impressed by the news that came out there. I developed such a scenario."

"There were great tragedies then. We were losing a lot of people and it was very sad. I shot the movie to draw attention to this.”

He toured many festivals around the world.

“I hope my message has been delivered," he added.

Also, expressing his happiness, Algul said: "I will watch my film on the screen for the first time here because all previous festivals were held online. It is very nice to be here now."

- Festival dedicated to human rights

Participating in the festival from Canada with the film Air Show, director Maya Bastian said It is a drama showing how refugees are affected by an international air show.

"In Toronto, we have an annual air show. They fly bombers and planes over the city for fun. But we also have many, many refugees. And so how are they affected when they come from a country that has bombing? How are they affected by this fun air show that everybody goes to enjoy?" Bastian added.

Highlighting the importance of the Humanitarian Film Festival, she said: "I think this is a wonderful festival. It's very rare in the world that you see a festival dedicated to human rights.”

"So it has been amazing to meet all these filmmakers and directors and actors who are very invested in human rights, because it's so important for the world. And it's something that the entire world can understand and needs to think about," she said.

A total of 16 films from various parts of the world, including Turkiye, Iran, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, the US and Senegal, will be screened.

Also, interviews with the directors of the semi-final films will take place in the festival's workshops program.

At the end of the second day, the top three films will receive awards.

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