Art and Experience: Trained in international trade and sociology at Bogazici University and anthropology at The New School for Social Reasearch, Enis Köstepen worked in various academic and NGO research projects. He has been a founding editorial board member of film monthly Altyazi since 2001. His producer credits include Dark Cloud (2009), Beyond the Hill (2012), Lifelong (2013, co-producer) and Frenzy (2015).
Please introduce yourself and tell us about the goals that you’re trying to achieve at the Fajr festival of this year.
My name is Enis Köstepen. I am one of the producers of Frenzy, the film which is in the competition section of this year Fajr festival. The movies I produced already participated in Fajr festival, but this time we got an invitation to come here and presenting the film by ourselves, so this is the first time I’m coming here.
Considering this fact that festival venue is at the center of the city, how do you see the quality and the atmosphere?
Today is the first day that I came to Cinema palace and I find it a very lively atmosphere here and you have a nice venue for screening and also an strong market specially for Iranian films. I watched a film here and the cinema hall were full of audiences, so I think it’s very wonderful that there are lots of Iranian audiences that are interested to participate in international section as well. But we as the international guests would like to have more opportunity to watch Iranian films and meet Iranian filmmakers.
So as you said you prefer to watch more Iranian films at Iranian festivals, right?
Yes, that’s what I prefer, but I think at the moment there are fewer options regarding Iranian films due to the festival screening schedule. I said I prefer watch Iranian films because we only have seen and known Iranian films and filmmakers that already participated in other festivals such as European festivals and we don’t know about other directors because there is no direct relationship between Iranian cinema and the Turkish audience. Their films also don’t get release theatrically and the Turkish festival programmers pick Iranian films up from the European festivals list.
By the things you said so far, I guess you know Iranian films and filmmakers very well. Is that right?
I’m familiar with that as much as a cinefile. As I said, we know Kiarostami, Majid Majidi, Asghar Farhadi and other famous directors . But these are all well-known Iranian filmmakers and we know them all because they are international directors. It goes the same for Iranian audiences towards Turkish cinema. Nuri Bilge Ceylan is famous among Iranians because he received international awards. So I think two countries should have more direct relationships regarding their cultural exchange. Iranian and Turkish cultures are similar and like brothers and sisters.