The first Irish film festival in Turkey will take place in the ancient theatre in Kas in from 11 – 13 November 2011. All screenings will be free and open to all ages.

The selection of films will reflect the best in Irish cinema over the last few decades and offer a Turkish and foreign audience the opportunity to become more deeply acquainted with various aspects of Irish history and culture through the big screen.

There is already a shared history between the two countries dating back to the 3rd century BC when the Celts (Gauls) settled in north Central Anatolia for more than five centuries. They had Ankyra (Ankara) as their capital and gave the name Galatia to the region. It is believed they were eventually absorbed into the local population.

It is exciting therefore to reignite a link between both countries which will hopefully blossom into more cultural exchanges in the future.

There will be two screenings per day over the three days, one at 5pm and one at 8pm.

The screenings will be preceded by a short talk giving some contextual background to the film.

So far the films confirmed are:

‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’, a multi-award winning film about Ireland’s struggle for freedom;

the contemporary love story ‘Once’ an Oscar-winning musical drama which offers a glance at modern Dublin;

‘In the Name of the Father’ about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, starring Daniel Day Lewis;

an Irish-language feature film, Poitín, (Potcheen) about small-time smugglers on the west coast of Ireland and a selection of the best Irish short films.

There will be Irish music played in various bars and restaurants in Kas throughout the weekend and anyone and everyone will be welcome to join in and contribute to the festive atmosphere.

The films will be screened in English with Turkish subtitles excepting Poitín, which will be subtitled in both English and Turkish.

The director of Poitín, Bob Quinn, will travel to Kas for the festival, as will award-winning short-film directors – and animator and actor repscectively – Rory Bresnihan and Hugh O’ Conor.

Bob Quinn will give a talk in Kas Culture House based on his research and discoveries documented in his series Atlantean and Hugh and Rory will give a film workshop to a young group of filmmakers in Kas.

All screenings will be free and open to all ages.

The festival is being organised by Kate Fennell, Kaş Municipality and Kaş Culture House.

Kate Fennell is a TV producer, arts events manager and some time journalist from Ireland.

She has been living in Kaş for the last year where she organized Irish dancing classes during the winter months.

Kate Fennell

She feels that Irish and Turkish people share many similarities and she hopes the cultural ties between both countries will be strengthened thanks to the festival.

The festival is being organized in association with Culture Ireland and IFI International 2011.