Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform (ATCP) was born out of cooperation between cultural and cinema organizations in Armenia and Turkey with the aim of establishing a common network through which filmmakers from both countries are able to cooperate and produce films together. The initiators of ATCP are Anadolu Kültür NGO and the GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival.
With cinema as means of promoting social and cultural dialogue between Armenia and Turkey, ATCP serves as a common workplace for cinema practitioners from both countries to develop short and full length film projects jointly, exchange and screen each other’s films, and facilitate cooperation in all aspects of cinema. ATCP is a long-term initiative committed to developing and implementing programs and activities of diverse formats and scales in the coming years.
Everything started with films
Since 2005, many films from Turkey have been screened at the GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival. Many Film producers and directors from Turkey have also visited the Festival as guests and jury members in both the film competition and Directors Across Borders Regional Co-production Forum (DAB), a program of Golden Apricot IFF. In Parallel, in 2006 a special program of Armenian films was screened in Diarbakir and at Bogazici and Bilgi Universities in Istanbul.
In 2008, Anadolu Kultur (Turkey) and Directors Across Borders Regional Co-production Forum initiated more formal cooperation through two cinema workshops: How Cinema Deals With History, organized in April 2008 in Istanbul, Turkey and Cinema as Means of Cross-Border Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, organized in December 2008 in Yerevan, Armenia. The workshops focused on several common goals, including: to develop close cooperation and links between Armenia and Turkey in the field of culture, to establish a film and cultural network; to promote dialogue and exchange of information and cultural heritage; and to organize workshops. Through these two workshops, the Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform (ATCP) was created.
The formal establishment of ATCP was announced in April 2009 during the Meetings On The Bridge program at the 28th Istanbul International Film Festival. As the first practical step in promoting Armenian-Turkish film co-production, in July 2009 ATCP held a Documentary Development Workshop in Yerevan within the framework of the 3rd Directors Across Borders Regional Co-production Forum at the GOLDEN APRICOT International Film Festival. Six documentary film projects (three per country) were discussed during that initial workshop.
ATCP’s next initiative, Making Films Together! Short and Documentary Development Workshop, was held on April 8–10, 2010 at the Istanbul IFF. Five film projects amongst ten selected, were awarded grants for development and shooting. From Armenia, “Galata” by Diana Kardumyan and “Neighbours” by Gor Baghdasaryan received the full grant. The “Master of Doves” by Artur Sukiasyan received a partial grant. From Turkey, full grant was given to “Don’t Get Lost Children” by Gülengül Altintaş and partial grant to “Salute from Agop to Şukru” by Cem Öztüfekçi.
The next ATCP workshop was held at the 7th GOLDEN APRICOT International Film Festival on 12-14 July, 2010. Among the participant film projects the project “Family Tree” by Harut Kbeyan from Armenia was awarded a development grant of 3000 USD; “Puppet Theatre” by Canay Ozden from Turkey and the Armenian/Lebanese project “A Tour in the Streets of Istanbul” by Nigol Bezjian were granted 2000 USD each for development.
It’s noteworthy that the forum hosted almost 20 cinema experts to conduct guest lectures and private sessions such as Veronique Cayla (CNC, France), Ludmila Cvikova (Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Jay Jeon (Pusan Promotion Plan of Pusan International Film Festival, South Korea), Michael Wiedemann (Filmstiftung NRW, Germany), Ulf Sigvardson (Goteborg Film Festival Fund, Sweden), Alan Fountain (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, Luxembourg), Kirill Razlogov (Moscow Co-production forum, Russia), Graziella Bildesheim and Alessandra Pastore (MAIA Workshop, Italy).
Keeping up with the goal of building bridges between Armenia and Turkey on terms of Cinema, in 2011, Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival in cooperation with Anadolu Kültür organized a three-day workshop dedicated to documentaries, July 11-13, at Ani Plaza Hotel.
The film project “Wonderful. Very Nice – from Bitlis to America” (producer Soner Alper, scriptwriter and director Lusin Dink) was awarded the prize worth up to .000 USD afforded by the European Cultural Foundation. The other film project by Artur Bakhtamyan entitled “New Year’s Eve Journey” was awarded 00 USD and full technical support in addition, afforded by Anadolu Kültür.
During this workshop, in the spotlight was the world premiere of the very first ATCP films: Neighbors by Gor Baghdasaryan, Galata by Diana Kardumyan, Master of Doves by Artur Sukiasyan, Don’t get Lost Children by Gülengül Altintash, Puppet Theatre by Çanay Özden and Altan Bal.
The second workshop of 2011 took place in Yerevan, at the 8th edition of GOLDEN APRICOT Yerevan International Film Festival, in July. The film project “Back to Gurun” by Adrineh Grigorian and Vahe Ohanyan won the prize worth up to $ 6000 USD afforded by Eurasia Partnership Foundation.
The ATCP Yerevan Workshop hosted proficient trainers and jury members such as: Amanda Feldon from UK, Nurdan Arca from Turkey, Olena Fetisova from Ukraine, Timothy D. Straight from Norway, etc.
One more time, the very first ATCP films had their Yerevan premiere during GOLDEN APRICOT IFF.
With steadiness and solidity, ATCP pursues its objectives. It keeps up with the goal of realizing the past and opening bridges with Turkey on terms of cinema. Now ATCP is on the rise owing to our partners and our team’s determination.