Antalya, Turkey: Outdoor Movies at the Golden Orange Film Festival

Outdoor Movies in Antalya, TurkeyThe stars, the sun and the city were all shining for the outdoor movies at the opening ceremonies of the Golden Orange Film Festival, which electrified Antalya on Saturday. The Divan Talya Hotel and Convention Center was the venue for the official opening of the 45th Golden Orange Film Festival, the oldest national film festival in Turkey. The "al fresco" element- the outdoor movies- added to the magic of the evening. Turkish guests, foreigners and the people of Antalya gathered on a terrace overlooking the Gulf of Antalya on Saturday. The invitation said "black tie" but, like most society events in Turkey, jeans and T-shirts were as prominent as graceful evening dresses. Dagger-heeled shoes, however, were the regulation. The climax was the parade of stars in convertibles that set out from the Divan Hotel and inched along the main thoroughfare of the city, past the iconic fluted minaret to Konyaaltı and the open-air theater at Beachpark. Antalyans responded magnificently, lining the streets, jostling, blowing kisses, shaking hands and applauding the stars in the 20 convertibles. Heavenly stars also appeared, and the moon came out for a sneak preview. Opposite Atatürk Park, a colorful "Dancing Waters" display featured fountains swaying in time to music. Breezes wafted mist and droplets over stars and spectators. There were perfect conditions for the outdoor movies. The open-air performance was hosted by Ceyda Düvenci and Levent Üzümcü and kicked off with a mini concert by Turkish singer Candan Erçetin. An honorary award was presented to Turkish actress/singer Hülya Avşar. Cult film director Yılmaz Atadeniz, Müşfik Kenter, a prominent stage, screen and voice artist, and legendary actress Filiz Akın also received awards. A gala on Sunday evening opened the fourth Eurasia International Film Festival at the Antalya Culture Center (AKM), an unforgettable evening of awards, suspense and the up-tempo spirit only a film festival can generate. Venerable composer Zbigniew Preisner was honored for the original scores he composed for Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors" trilogy. Michael York then accepted an honorary Golden Orange statuette, mentioning in his speech that this was a dream come true for him because he has wanted to come to Antalya all his life! Paul Verhoeven, Dutch-American director and head of the festival's grand jury, was also honored. In his speech afterwards, he said, "This is my third time in Turkey, and my second in Antalya." He also revealed that he will be in Antalya again. "We are making the sequel to the 'Thomas Crown Affair,' and it will be filmed almost entirely in Turkey. Presently, we are scouting for talent, crews and local extras in Antalya and in İstanbul. This is a country with so much to offer, especially the wonderful location of both cities," he added. The awards were presented by Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel and Engin Yiğitgil, the president of Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TÜRSAK), which organized the festival. The cast of "Un Giorno Perfetto" (A Perfect Day), the opening-night film, put the spotlight on Turkish director Ferzan Özpetek, who received an energetic ovation. Producer Domenico Procacci stated that it was the first time he had worked with Özpetek and that it would not be the last. Also present were actress Isabella Ferrari, who played the recklessly distressed Emma, and Valerio Mastandrea, who played her psychotic husband, Antonio. Ferrari has almost 50 films to her credit and has been directed by Özpetek in other films. "Ferzan Özpetek absolutely inspired me as an actress," she told a packed audience of 600. Child actor Gabriele Paolino, who played the cheeky Kevin, also worked with Özpetek in a previous film. The film is a chilling family drama, and only the plot could be considered perfect. But for those at the festival and its star-studded opening ceremonies, the whole weekend was perfetto.

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