The Ankara Cinema Association was founded in 1998 by a group of film enthusiasts who were already running the Festival on Wheels since 1995. Alongside the Festival on Wheels, a modern-day cinema troupe hosted every year in four-six cities, the Association has organized film weeks presenting different national cinemas. In the process, audiences in Ankara and a number of other cities in Turkey have been introduced to the films of Finland, France, Britain, Israel, Iran, South Korea, Egypt, Greece and Canada.
Ankara Cinema Association also organized film weeks abroad such as
Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Macedonia,
the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain
and USA. Ankara Cinema Association gives great importance to Turkish
cinema. In 2003, following a poll of 324 film professionals, the
Association selected the Ten Best Turkish Films of all time and, with the
support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, KODAK and
Fono Film Studio, created new English subtitled prints of the films. The
Ten Best Turkish Films made their world premiere in July 2004 at the
39th Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
For all that, the Ankara Cinema Association sees more to cinema than
simply screening films and, as a mark of this, has published several
books, largely in tribute to prominent figures of Turkish Cinema. The
titles include: ‘Tuncel Kurtiz, the Actor’, Censorship in Turkish Cinema’,
‘His Name is Atıf Yılmaz’, The Director Ömer Kavur’, ‘A Star of the
Screen: Hülya Koçyiğit’, ‘An Attempt to Analyse the Cinema of Metin
Erksan’, ‘Laughter and Melancholy: Sadri Alışık’, ‘Destiny: Zeki
Demirkubuz’, ‘What’s An Actor Anyway: the Book of Münir Özkul’, A
Master of Simplicity: Lütfi Akad’, ‘From Freedom to Loss and Thereafter’,
‘The Cinema of Reha Erdem: Love and Rebellion’, ‘A Time in the
Country’ and ‘Class Relations: A Timeworn Representation?’.
The Association was also involved in the filmmaking process, firstly as
production coordinator on the Zeki Demirkubuz feature The Confession,
which was shot in Ankara (2001), and latterly as co-producer with state
broadcaster TRT on The Legend of Mount Ida, a documentary film by
Tuncel Kurtiz (2002).
In 2007, the Ankara Cinema Association organized a Short Film
Screenplay Competition as part of the Festival on Wheels, the aim being
to give young filmmakers the opportunity to make a film with a
professional crew. Five screenplays were subsequently made into films
and the omnibus version, titled Kars Stories (Tales from Kars), had its
world premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival.
The Ankara Cinema Association has also produced the last three films
made by director Zeki Demirkubuz, Inside (Yeraltı), Nausea (Bulantı)
and Ember (Kor) respectively.
In an altogether different capacity, the Ankara Cinema Association
represented Turkey on a number of international projects. These
include, amongst others, the Med-Screen Project, an initiative that
covered Middle Eastern and African countries bordering the
Mediterranean and aimed to promote the films of these countries in the
European market; and Greenhouse, a project devoted to the
development of documentaries across the Mediterranean region,
including Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The Ankara Cinema Association has been working with the Adana
Golden Boll Film Festival since 2008 as coordinator of the festival’s
In addition, the Ankara Cinema Association contributes to the promotion
of Turkish cinema overseas as coordinator of the Turkish stands at
Cannes and Berlin.
Similarly, the Ankara Cinema Association contributes to the promotion of
Turkish cinema overseas in its role at the Venice and Sarajevo Film
In recognition of its ventures in almost every area of the film industry, the Ankara Cinema Association won the İFSAK (Istanbul Association of Film
and Photography Amateurs) Cinema Award in 1999 and Labour Award
of the Eskişehir Film Festival in 2013.