Film exodus at Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival amidst censorship controversy
The esteemed Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival is controversial after excluding the 'Kanun Hukmu' documentary. The film, highlighting the ordeal of two public employees ousted by the state of emergency decrees, was barred due to an ongoing judicial process against one of its featured subjects. This decision triggered a wave of withdrawals by directors and jury members alike, casting a shadow over one of Turkey's most anticipated cinematic events.
The film's exclusion was attributed to concerns about impacting the ongoing judicial process and ensuring impartiality, as the festival's director, Ahmet Boyacioglu, articulated. "We strongly believe in the independence of cinema and that artists should be able to reflect their ideas freely," Boyacioglu stated, assuring that 'Kanun Hükmü' would be screened in Antalya upon completing the judicial proceedings.
However, this assurance did little to quell the rising tide of discontent. Jury members were the first to voice their opposition, announcing their collective resignation. They asserted their return was conditional upon the film's reinstatement in the festival's lineup.
Echoing the jury's sentiment, directors and producers of films slated for the National Feature Film Competition, National Documentary Film Competition, and National Short Film Competition have also withdrawn their works from the festival. This collective action underscores the cinematic community's stance against the perceived infringement on creative and expressive freedom.
The exclusion of 'Kanun Hukmu' and the subsequent withdrawal of jury members and filmmakers spotlight the ongoing tension between artistic expression and legal considerations. As the festival grapples with this unprecedented exodus, cinephiles, artists, and legal observers await to see if a resolution that upholds the sanctity of judicial processes and the unbridled expression of art can be attained.