Opposition held municipality announces cancellation of Golden Orange Film Festival

Opposition held municipality announces cancellation of Golden Orange Film Festival
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The festival has been cancelled for the first time since 1979, when it was cancelled after the withdrawal of film producers and directors in protest of a ban on three films.

Muhittin Bocek, the Mayor of Turkey's southern province of Antalya, on Friday announced that Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival was cancelled "due to circumstances outside their control."

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism yesterday announced withdrawal of support from the festival after the documentary film "Kanun Hukmu" was reinstated in the competition lineup.

The film, which tells about the struggle of two public employees who were dismissed over "terror" accusations, was earlier removed from the competition upon statements by Turkish authorities that it should be excluded from the festival because a legal case involving one of the individuals in the documentary has not yet been finalized.

The film's exclusion sparked wide protests and a boycott by many directors.

After the ministry's withdrawal of support, the film was once again removed from competition.

Demet Akdag, a prominent Turkish actress who was heading this year's festival jury, announced her resignation today.

Mayor Bocek later in the evening said in a statement:

"As Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, I regret to inform all movie lovers that we have cancelled the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, which we have restored to its essence, which has defied the years, which is one of the most important brands of Antalya and our country, and which we had planned to hold between 7-14 October, due to a process that was created outside our control. I return to their owners all accusations made against me and our municipality over a film."

Bocek earlier refrained from taking side in the discussions concerning the removal of "Kanun Hukmu" and yesterday said that they are merely "the host of the festival" and "will not interfere in the festival's content."

The festival was organized for the first time in 1964. The only time it was ever cancelled before was in 1979, when all film producers and directors participating in the festival reacted to a ban of three films and withdrew from the festival.