Tuesday, August 21, 2007

altyazi in new york/ a zeki demirkubuz book is coming

Film Society Screens Seven Films by Breakthrough Turkish Director
Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz, Sept. 19–24

NEW YORK, August 17, 2007—Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz will be onstage throughout the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s new series devoted to his work, Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz, running Sept. 19–24 at the Walter Reade Theater. All seven of Demirkubuz’s fictional features will be screened in the series, including the New York premiere of his most recent film Destiny and all three films that make up the director’s acclaimed “Tales of Darkness” trilogy: Fate, The Confession, and The Waiting Room. On Saturday, Sept. 22, at 3:00 p.m., the Film Society will host a special panel discussion on Demirkubuz and the rise of Turkish cinema. The director will be in New York from Sept. 16 to Sept. 25.

“Together with Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Yesim Ustaoglu and a handful of others, Demirkubuz has been leading a revolution in Turkish cinema for the past decade,” says Richard Peña, program director at the Film Society. “This new cinema has offered us a far more complex, nuanced portrait of a society whose role as an arbiter of East-West cultural and political divisions grows each day.”

Demirkubuz was born in Isparta in 1964. Politically engaged at an early age—even spending a term in jail as a teenager—he graduated from Istanbul University’s Department of Communications and became an assistant to director Zeki Okten, who he has often credited as his mentor. Demirkubuz established a strong, personal style as a writer/director up front in his debut feature, Block-C (1994), a powerful exploration of a woman whose marriage is falling apart. His follow-up films, Innocence (1997) and The Third Page (1999), earned Demirkubuz his first notices among critics after screening at several international festivals.

A notably personal filmmaker, Demirkubuz has taken over nearly every major aspect of his productions, working at various times as the producer, actor, editor, cinematographer and set designer for his films. In 2002, he received the very rare distinction of having two films screened at the same Cannes Film Festival, Fate and The Confession, for which he also won a pair of FIPRESCI prizes at the 2002 Istanbul International Film Festival. He added The Waiting Room to that duo to create the “Tales of Darkness” trilogy, “each a completely separate film but also part of an overall portrait Demirkubuz offers of the concept of morality in the contemporary world,” says Peña.

Destiny is Demirkubuz’s newest film, a study in the parallel romantic obsessions of two characters––salesman Bekir for nightclub entertainer Ugur, Ugur for the disreputable Zagor. Demirkubuz won the 2006 Istanbul International Film Festival’s Best Turkish Director prize for the film. It will make its New York premiere in Mental Minefields, screening at the Walter Reade Theater on Friday, Sept. 21, at 6:15 p.m., with a second screening on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 8:15 p.m.

Additionally, a special panel discussion on director Zeki Demirkubuz and Turkish cinema will be held at the Walter Reade Theater on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 3:00 p.m. The discussion is free with the purchase of a ticket to any film in the Mental Minefields series.

Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, ArteEast and the Moon and Stars Project in collaboration with Altyazi.

The series has been made possible by generous grants from Turkish Cultural Foundation and the American Turkish Society. Additional support has been provided by Turkish Kitchen, FedEx Turkey, Ramerica International, Inc. and Turkish Culture and Tourism Office.

Single screening tickets for Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz are $11 for adults; $7 for Film Society members, ArteEast members, and students with a valid photo ID; and $7 for seniors at weekday screenings before 6 p.m. They are available at both the Walter Reade Theater box office and online at www.filmlinc.com.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, to recognize and support new directors, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility and understanding of film. Advancing this mandate today, the Film Society hosts two distinguished festivals: the New York Film Festival, which annually premieres the best films from around the world and has introduced likes of François Truffaut, R.W. Fassbinder, Jean-Luc Godard, Pedro Almodóvar, Martin Scorsese, and Wong Kar-Wai to the United States, and New Directors/New Films, co-presented by the Museum of Modern Art, which focuses on emerging film talents. Since 1972 when the Film Society honored Charles Chaplin, the annual Gala Tribute celebrates an actor, filmmaker or industry leader who has helped distinguish cinema as an art form. Additionally, the Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming at its Walter Reade Theater and offers insightful film writing to a worldwide audience through Film Comment magazine.

Please Note: Due to construction work taking place around Lincoln Center, access to the Walter Reade Theater is at 165 West 65th Street close to Amsterdam Avenue. Once there, take the escalator, elevator or stairs to the upper level.

Jeanne R. Berney, (212) 875-5416, jberney@filmlinc.com
Ines Aslan, (212) 875-5625, iaslan@filmlinc.com

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