Golden Island International Film Festival
Premier – “Fish” (Balik)
By Margaret Sheard….
The main sponsor of the Festival is Creditwest Bank and when we arrived there were many people in front of the building where there was a line-up of Creditwest personnel and a red carpet for the guests. Inside there were even more people, a huge gathering for this wonderful occasion for the TRNC with a cocktail reception in the foyer. It was difficult to recognise faces with the amount of people there but we did spot Sibel Siber who was there to represent the TRNC Government.
Eventually the crowd started to enter the auditorium and there were speeches and presentations made before the start of the film. The presenters were Didem Gűrűzűmcű and Melek Tezcan.
There were 3 Honorary Award presentations made to Actor – Erdel Özyağcılar, Actress – Demet Akbağ which was received on her behalf as she could not be present, and Director – Derviş Zaim. There was a speech by the CEO of Creditwest Bank – Dr Sűleyman Erol, and also another by Sibel Siber.
Festival director Yeşim Güzelpınar said she was, “delighted that an international film festival was taking place in North Cyprus” and thanked all who had supported the event. Along with bringing movies and movie lovers together, she spoke of how GIIFF will also help the country’s cinema sector to grow, which in turn will nurture future generations of talented filmmakers. She added it was for this reason that cash prizes were being offered in the Cypriot film strand only and that the winners from this year’s entries will be announced at the Closing Gala.
The film chosen for the premier was “Fish” – what a lovely film it was and although in Turkish (with English sub-titles) it was very enjoyable and it was not difficult to follow the sad but thought-provoking story of a man who paid dearly in trying to help his daughter to speak. The main characters, the father, a fisherman. (played by Bülent İnal) and his daughter Deniz (played by Sanem Çelik) were excellent. The story follows a fisherman, his wife and their young daughter who is unable to speak who live in a tranquil village on the shores of a lake. Their story starts with the mother relying on local superstition to seek a rare fish she believes can cure her daughter. She finds the fish, but little goes to plan, and their lives take a series of severe and unexpected turns when the father makes decisions that go against the grain of nature.
Let us hope this is the first of many more film festivals to be held in North Cyprus and that film makers worldwide will see the advantage of this beautiful area of Cyprus for locations for future movies.