EMPOWERMENT AWARDS PRESENTED AT THE INTERNATIONAL ADANA GOLDEN BOLL FILM FESTIVAL
President Zeydan Karalar: ‘We are proud to celebrate the 30th edition of our festival in the 100th year of our Republic.’
The ‘Orhan Kemal Empowerment Awards’ were presented at the opening night of the 30th International Adana Golden Boll Film Festival to Belkıs Özener, who has made significant contributions to Turkish cinema with her voice, and to screenwriter, author, and director Ahmet Soner.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, the Orhan Kemal Empowerment Awards were presented to their recipients during the opening night of the 30th International Adana Golden Boll Film Festival. These awards were given to Belkıs Özener, the unforgettable voice of Yeşilçam’s songs, who has made significant contributions to Turkish cinema with her voice, and to Ahmet Soner, a screenwriter, author, and director and one of the founders of the ‘Young Cinema’ movement.
The ceremony, hosted by Yetkin Dikinciler at the Merkez Park Amphitheatre, began with a welcoming speech by Zeydan Karalar, the Mayor of Adana Metropolitan Municipality.
Addressing the citizens of Adana, President Zeydan Karalar expressed his gratitude to the cinema artists who came to Adana. He said, ‘We are proud and delighted to celebrate the 30th edition of our festival in the 100th year of our Republic. Cinema is a unifying force, a universal language, and a very influential art form. Adana residents are passionate, discerning, and knowledgeable about cinema. Altın Koza’s respect for labor and its perspective are very important. This year, the Orhan Kemal Empowerment Awards were presented to two legendary figures like Belkıs Özener and Ahmet Soner, who have made significant contributions to Turkish cinema. I extend my respects to them. If the founder of the Republic and the savior of our country, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, did not value art, we would not be able to experience such beauty today. Farewell, stay with Atatürk.’
Belkıs Özener: ‘You are the ones who have polished me anew. Even if I die, I won’t be saddened.’
Binnur Kaya presented the award to Belkıs Özener. While receiving the award, Özener said, ‘I waited for a long time. I remained silent for 40 years. I didn’t say, “This voice is mine.” My name was not written. You knew my voice but didn’t know me. Now, I am in front of you. I love you very much. I feel indebted to you because you were curious about me. You are the ones who have polished me anew. I realized my own value with this consciousness. I received more than 130 honorary awards in a row. I understood my value then too. But now that I’ve seen you, I won’t be saddened even if I die. This is labor. It’s also a special joy that this award coincides with the 100th year of our Republic.’ Belkıs Özener, who received a standing ovation from the audience for minutes, thanked Adana Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Zeydan Karalar and all of Adana, and greeted the audience by singing the song ‘Sevemedim Karagözlüm.’
Another recipient of the Orhan Kemal Empowerment Award, director, screenwriter, and writer Ahmet Soner, who has made significant contributions to Turkish cinema, received his award from Adana Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Zeydan Karalar and Orhan Kemal’s son, Işık Öğütçü. Soner, while receiving the award, said, ‘Orhan Kemal was a very prolific and hardworking writer. I am very happy to receive this award in his name. Rest in peace, Orhan Kemal.’
Jury President Ömer Faruk Sorak: ‘If your film is watched in Adana, rest assured it will succeed.’
During the opening night, director Ömer Faruk Sorak, the President of the Jury for the ‘National Feature Film Competition,’ also gave a speech. Sorak said, ‘It is the 30th year of my profession, and I am very happy to be chosen as the president of the jury for such a festival in its 30th year. I thank the selection committee and my colleagues on the jury. When I started making films, they used to say in Istanbul, “If your film is watched in Adana, rest assured it will succeed.” And I have experienced this. I have personally experienced how much my films that were watched in Adana were seen. For this reason, I am infinitely grateful for your love and respect for art. I hope you have a wonderful festival.’
CANDAN ERÇETİN PERFORMED WITH A MASSIVE CHOIR
Following the award ceremony, Candan Erçetin took the stage and provided a delightful evening for the people of Adana who came to watch the opening ceremony with her repertoire of film music and beloved songs. Erçetin performed her songs with a massive choir comprising thousands of people. At the end of the concert, Adana Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Zeydan Karalar and his wife Nuray Karalar presented flowers to the artist.
TURKISH CINEMA IN 100 FRAMES
On the first day of the 30th International Adana Golden Boll Film Festival program, the opening of the “100 Frames of Turkish Cinema in the 100th Year of the Republic” photo exhibition prepared by Vadullah Taş was also held. The exhibition, which took place at Esas01 Burda Shopping Mall, will be open throughout the festival.