China celebrates the “Turkish Cultural Year” in 2013 with festivities set to begin with a screening of a Jackie Chan movie in Ankara, as the two countries aim to cooperate in the filmmaking industry.
Paralleling a Turkish film premier in China, Ankara will host a movie gala for the Jackie Chan film “Chinese Zodiac” in Ankara’s Kentpark shopping mall, as part of events ushering in 2013 as the “Turkish Cultural Year,” a reciprocal move after Turkey celebrated its “Chinese Cultural Year” in 2012. Both premiers will host a variety of film producers from both countries.
Speaking to Anatolia News Agency, Film Producers Association (FİYAB) Coordinator Ayşe Sönmez said Turkish producers aim to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts in the film industry. Chinese Government Radio and Television manager H.E Zhang has also said that important Chinese filmmakers and producers will come to Turkey to discuss new film initiatives together. Chinese representatives would like to sign coproduction agreements in Turkey and will meet with Turkish producers to further this process, Sönmez said.
The film industry is critical to China today, and the country has placed importance on its development, according to Sönmez, who added that China’s cinema industry has risen to the second largest in the world. “China has worked a lot not to lose this force,” she said.
Last year, a cinema event titled “Chinese Animation Film Days” took place in Eskişehir, attracting industry attention, according to Sönmez. Today, a Chinese film team is working to coproduce a movie with the Turkish cinema industry in cooperation with Eskişehir’s Anatolia University.
A documentary by Mustafa Altıoklar, “The Secret of the Trace,” was completed in 2012 as part of the “Chinese Cultural Year” events, and awaits screening, according to Sönmez. She also noted that China has opened its CCTV archives for the first time to documentary filmmakers in a sign of confidence and goodwill.
Turkish movies in China
In April, China will allocate an exclusive place for Turkish films and FİYAB in the Beijing Film Festival, according to Sönmez, who said Chinese audiences prefer action and comedy productions.
A total of 20 Turkish films will be shown in the festival, including “Aşk Tesadüfleri Sever” (Love likes Coincidences), “Behzat Ç: Seni Kalbime Gömdüm” (Behzat Ç: I lay you in my heart), “Adalet Oyunu” (Game of Justice), “Zenne” (Dancer), “Anadolu Kartalları” (Anatolian Eagles) and “Çanakkale 1915.”
FİYAB aims to branch out from Beijing and organize more film festivals across China, including in Gansu province and Shanghai.
Sponsored by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Istanbul’s TİM Maslak center hosted a Chinese dance and music performance titled “A new Message from the Silk Road” on Dec. 15, 2011, initiating the year of cultural exchange. Aiming to strengthen ties between Turkey and China, events across Turkey last year featured Chinese art, literature, cultural heritage displays, cinema, acrobatics and puppet shows in provinces including Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Antalya, Mersin and Trabzon. Chinese orchestra performances as well as a Chinese film week were featured as part of the festivities.
Turkey closed the 2012 “Chinese Cultural Year” with a celebratory concert in Ankaracalled “Tunes from the Silk Road.” The program included Chinese Opera and Dance Drama Theater, a folkloric instrument orchestra and Chinese opera artists. As part of the exchange, many Chinese artists and representatives visited different provinces in Turkey such as Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir, Bursa, Antalya and Samsun as part of the cultural events of 2012.
In 2013, Turkish artists will visit China as part of China’s “Turkish Cultural Year.” Both Chinese artists and the general public will have the chance to explore Turkish culture and follow developments in Turkish art.