17 th London Turkish Film Festival – 24 November 2011

The London Turkish Film Festival (LTFF) was created by Vedide Kaymak in 1993 and has since then enjoyed great success. Vedide has worked in programming at Turkish MTV, co-produced short films and played a large role in promoting Turkish art and culture at a variety of cultural events in and around London. LTFF has screened almost three hundred feature and three hundred and fifty short and documentary films and continues to attract great attention. It was the second time I took the pleasure in attending the London Turkish Film Festival, and of course trying to get through Leicester Square was a complete nightmare and so was ever so slightly late. Nevertheless, when I arrived it was great to speak with Vedide Kaymak, who was, for obvious reasons, extremely excited and also dressed immaculately. One of the most thrilling moments of the evening had to be meeting the star from Being Italian with Signora Enrica – Claudia Cardinale. After watching Cardinale’s performance in the film, I truly understood why she had such an incredible reputation as an actress and her acting was a great finale to the celebration of Turkish Cinema. The highlight of my evening was the presentation of the Golden Wings Lifetime Achievement awarded to a dear friend and neighbour of mine, Hulya Kocyigit. Hulya is seen as the Angel in Turkish cinema and is the star of more than two hundred films, achieved over her fifty-year career. I arranged a photo-shoot for both Vedide and Hulya, and was in some photos myself. The shoot was a success and at one point I remember feeling a magical moment when realising that I was in the frame with two legends.