Five films to see at this year’s Vancouver Turkish Film Festival


Now in its sixth year, the Vancouver Turkish Film Festival presents award-winning feature films and documentaries from Turkey. The three-day festival takes place at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodward’s (149 W. Hastings St.) Nov. 15-17, 2019. This year’s selections include a political satire, a documentary about a legendary Turkish-Armenian photographer, and a biopic about a singer who faced more than his share of hardships.

Find out more below.

Some of the selections include:

A Tale of Three Sisters (Fri. Nov. 15  at 8:30 p.m., w/ cocktail reception at 630 p.m.)—The opening film is about three young girls who are taken from a poor village in central Anatolia and given to affluent foster families. The third feature from Turkish director Emin Alper is “stunningly lensed in widescreen amidst the rocky peaks” of Northeastern Turkey, says Variety.

Ece Yüksel and Müfit Kayacan star in A Tale of Three Sisters, which screens as part of this year’s Turkish Film Festival.

Saf (Sat. Nov 16 at 4:30 p.m.)—The economic realities of urban Istanbul force a Turkish man to take a job at a construction site even though it means taking the job from a Syrian refugee, and working for the company that’s destroying the area next door. When he goes missing, his wife investigates. “Bleak without falling into a pit of miserabilism, and meaningful without being preachy, Saf should be classified as a moral fable of our times and yet there’s nothing fablelike about it,” says


The Eye of Istanbul (Sun. Nov. 17 at 1:45 p.m.)—This documentary looks at the life and work of Armenian-Turkish photographer Ara Guler, who was 87 at the time (he died three years later), as he selects photographs for an upcoming exhibition. Guler’s career spanned over 60 years and generated more than one million photographs, including the black and white photographs of Istanbul that have led to international recognition.

Müslüm (Sun. Nov. 17 at 3:20 p.m.)—A biopic about Turkish arabesque singer Müslüm Gürses, who was born into a poor family. Besides family tragedies, he also overcame a car accident (he was pronounced dead) that left him deaf in one ear.

The Announcement (Sun. Nov. 17 at 8:35 p.m.)—Biting political satire meets subtle comedy in a film based on a series of true events. In 1963, a group of military officers, unhappy with the existing social and political situation in Turkey, planned a coup d’état to take down the government in Ankara. Meanwhile, in Istanbul, their co-conspirators have undertaken the vital mission of taking over the national radio station to make a formal announcement about the coup. But nothing goes to plan. “Many disparate elements impressively coalesce into a singular tale of bizarre goings-on that suggests something about the absurdity of power and how it is never absolute but always dependent on at least most of the little radars in the machine functioning together to create the illusion of authority and control,” writes the Hollywood Reporter.

For more info on these and other films visit

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