20-30 October 2016

Istanbul Modern Cinema presents a program which brings together the freshest examples of Balkan cinema and comprises of most-loved, award-winning and hit films in recent years’ festivals with the contributions of Türk Tuborg A.Ş. Reflecting the current socio-political process experienced in the Balkans, these stories also showcase the pursuit of a distinctive cinematic language. Leaving behind a successful year, Romanian cinema is among the most prominent in the selection: This year’s Palme d’Or competitor, Sieranevada is an intense family portrait by Cristi Puiu – an important director of the Romanian New Wave. Athina Rachel Tsangari, a witty representative of the Greek New Wave Cinema which has been on the rise in recent years, is included in the program with her new film, Chevalier which portrays the partly stupid and mostly sarcastic states of six men racing against each other’s manhood on a luxury yacht in the middle of the Aegean Sea.  Another prominent film in Balkanmania is Death in Sarajevo, a summary of the history of Bosnia-Herzegovina which has paralyzed the country for a century that starts at Hotel Europe with the 100th anniversary of the assassination that started World War I and continues with the Holocaust and the Bosnian massacre.



Romania | DCP, Color, 128’ | Romanian

Director:Christian Mungiu

Cast:Adrien Titieni, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Rares Andrici

Graduation, the latest film of Christian Mungiu who received the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, is a drama that has been masterfully finished with tension and subtle psychological dabs. Dr Romeo Aldea, who has a roller coaster relationship with his eighteen-year-old daughter Eliza, decides to stack the deck during her high-school graduation exams to prevent her from losing the scholarship she won from a UK university. Later, this decision begins to have implications for all areas of his life. One of the brightest productions of the year, the film presents universal subjects such as morals, ethical values and family relationships with an extraordinary script and acting.

With the Contributions of 



Romania | DCP, Color, 173’ | Romanian

Director:Cristi Puiu

Cast:Branescu Mimi, Dana Dogaru, Marian Ralea, Marin Grigore

Known for his film The Death of Mr Lăzărescu, director Cristi Puiu this time appears before us with Sieranevada, selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. Lary is forced to face his past and fears after a long and strange day with his extended family who gathered together to remember his late father. While there are certain high-strung moments at times, there is also some bonding between the relatives who are not used to spending time together at home, almost the only setting of the film. Meanwhile, the film’s successful cinematography allows the audience to feel themselves a part of the household. The fact that the guests, who somehow cannot lay their hands on the feast spread out on the table, drink wine on empty stomachs creates a recipe for disaster.

With the Contributions of 


DOGS (CÂİNİ), 2016

Romania, France, Bulgaria | DCP, Color, 104’ | Romanian

Director:Bogdan Miriča

Cast:Dragoş Bucur, Gheorghe Visu, Vlad Ivanov, Emilian Oprea

Roman, a young man from Bucharest, has his heart set on selling away the vast and deserted lands near the Romanian-Ukrainian border which he inherited from his grandfather. However, Hogas – an elderly, local police officer – warns Roman that his grandfather was a crime lord and that his local underlings won’t allow the sale of his grandfather’s property. But, the young man doesn’t give up and a brutal struggle between him and the underlings begins. Reminiscent of a western, Bogdan Miriča’s debut film noir feature premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival and received the FIPRESCI Award. 

With the Contributions of 



Greece | DCP, Color, 105’ |Greek

Director:Athina Rachel Tsangari

Cast: Vangelis Mourikis, Nikos Orphanos, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos

A group of men are out fishing on a luxury yacht in the middle of the Aegean Sea. They encounter a mechanical problem during their voyage and decide to play a game amongst themselves until the problem is fixed. Based on testing one another on any subject, the game soon turns into a merciless struggle which before long makes them question how perfect they really are. Athina Rachel Tsangari, a prominent director of the Greek New Wave cinema, succeeds in making one of the most entertaining films of the year by approaching the myth of manhood in her distinctive style. After its world premiere at the 68th Locarno Film Festival, the film was selected as the Greek entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.

With the Contributions of 

Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul



Greece, Ireland, Holland, France | DCP, Color, 120’ | English, French

Director:Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast:Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden

In a dystopian future, singles are arrested and accommodated in a place called, The Hotel. If they fail to commence a romantic relationship within forty-five days they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released at the nearby forest. Abandoned by his wife, David desperately tries to fit in and stay alive. Providing an eccentric outlook on human relationships in modern societies, the film carries the signature of talented Greek director, Yorgos Lanthimos, who previously drew attention with his film Dogtooth.

With the Contributions of 

Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul



Albania, Italy, Switzerland, Kosovo | DCP, Color, 84’ |Albanian

Director:Laura Bispuri

Cast:Alba Rohrwacher, Emily Ferratello, Lars Eidinger

In her debut feature film, director Laura Bispuri approaches the subject of social gender roles through sworn virgins, a Balkan tradition. Residing in a small mountain village in Albania, Hana rejects the second class role bestowed to women in her community and decides to live as a sworn virgin. Henceforth, her name becomes Mark and she has the right to consume alcohol, use guns and hunt, in short to live like a man on the condition that she remains a virgin for the rest of her life. After living as a man for many years, Mark can no longer take it. He pays a visit to his sister in Italy where his struggle to keep up with the modern world, and to once again become Hana begins. This impressive production gives weight to visual narrative more than dialogues, drawing the audience in with camera moves and angles which recall that of a documentary film. Sworn Virgin had its world premiere at Berlinale.



Bosnia Herzegovina | DCP, Color, 52’|Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

Director:Emir Kapetanović

Cast:Ivona Baković, Nataša Jasikovac, Nina Lončar

An intriguing documentary about the first generation born in post-war Bosnia Herzegovina. Despite the fact that the new generation raised in the twenty years in the aftermath of one of the most devastating wars in the region after World War II is now living in peace, they continue their lives in a highly alienated environment. The documentary reflects the thoughts and concerns of six youngsters, born in different cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, about their country and future; how they came to meet each other and put together a performance to express their ideas and views about the future of their country.



Bulgaria, Germany | DCP, Color, 92’ | Bulgarian

Director:Eliza Petkova

Cast:Anna Manolova, Snezhina Petrova, Mihail Stoyanov

Deemed worthy of Special Mention in the Generation section of Berlinale, Zhaleika is Eliza Petkova’s debut feature film based on the coming-of-age of Lora, a young girl who lives in a mountain village in Bulgaria. Lora cares for neither the criticisms of the village elders nor her parents who constantly scold her for one reason or another. Until, one day, when her father suddenly dies… It is no longer so easy for her to ignore the pressure of her family and the village elders. In the film that takes hold of the audience with its documentary-like visual expression, we witness Lora grow into a young woman through the eye-catching beauty of rural Bulgaria.



Bosnia Herzegovina, France | DCP, Color, 85’ | Bosnian, French, English

Director: Danis Tanović

Cast:Snežana Marković, Izudin Bajrović, Vedrana Seksan

Adapted from Bernard-Henri Lévy’s play Hotel Europe, the film is based on the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which directly led to World War I. While the host and guests of the television programme being filmed on the terrace of the hotel on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the assassination discuss whether Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Franz Ferdinand, is a murderer or a hero, preparations for a grand event continue at the hotel. Meanwhile, hotel employees who have not been paid for months are getting ready to strike by taking advantage of the forthcoming event. Danis Tanović, who previously received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for No Man’s Land, won the Jury Grand Prix at Berlinale as well as the FIPRESCI Award with Death in Sarajevo.



Kosovo, Macedonia, Germany, France | DCP, Color, 104’ |Albanian, German, Serbian

Director:Visar Morina

Cast:Val Maloku, Astrit Kabashi, Adriana Matoshi

Recipient of the Best Director Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Babai is the story of a father and son who try to survive by selling cigarettes on the street in the early 1990s, pre-war Kosovo.  Nori is left in the care of his uncle and family while his father tries to find a job in Germany. However, ten-year-old Nori is too attached to his father to accept the separation and decides to go after him.



Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia |DCP, Color, 89’| Bosnian

Director:Ines Tanović

Cast: Jasna Beri, Enis Bešlagić, Goran Bogdan

Our Everyday Life, Bosnia Herzegovina’s entry for the Oscar’s this year, is a successful character-based drama. It portrays the struggle of a middle-class Bosnian family against various ordinary problems such as unemployment, immigration and sickness. Despite the fact that he is unhappy with the way his children are leading their lives, Mohammed, a retired factory manager in his 60s, constantly rants at his friends about them instead of talking to his children. Meanwhile, Marija, the optimistic mother who believes everything will be fine, habitually acts as mediator between her husband and children. Ines Tanović’s finely finished scenario and montage shines a mirror to the generation who are in their 30s and 40s and who lost their youth to the war and their feeling of being stuck alongside the lost conscience of the country.



Macedonia |DCP, Color, 89’ | Macedonian

Director:Ivo Trajkov

Cast:Nikola Ristanovski, Verica Nedeska, Igor Angelov

Inspired by successful Czech screenwriter Jan Prochazka’s screenplay The Ear, Honey Night is based on the events that coincide with a national holiday and took place on the night of the 10th wedding anniversary of a politician and his wife. The story that portrays the events which happen between the official reception to celebrate the national holiday and their return home with skillful parallel editing is accompanied by corruption, frustration, disappointment, fear and lots of paranoia. What’s more is that Nicola and Ana are not alone at home on this exhausting night. Everything that happens is witnessed by bugs hidden in all corners of their home.



Moldova, Romania |DCP, Color, 80’ | Romanian

Director:Igor Cobileanski

Cast:Igor Babiac, Sergiu Voloc, Ela Ionescu

The Unsaved, which had its world premiere in the East of the West category of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, is the debut feature of Igor Cobileanski. Viorel is a nineteen-year-old misfit who lives with his mother and doesn’t have high expectations of life. He earns his pocket money by doing illegal business with his friend Goos and is subjected to his mother’s criticism for not finding a decent job. In time, Viorel begins to take the idea of giving direction to his life seriously. Prominent for its realist, documentary-like approach, this production also harbors deep traces of the Romanian New Wave.



Moldova, UK | DCP, Color, 100’ | English, Romanian

Director:Mikołaj Jaroszewicz, Tony Hawks

Cast:Stephen Frost, Tony Hawks, Anatol Durbala

A true story that is at first a bet which transforms into a novel that becomes an international best-seller, and last but not least, turns into a highly peculiar, funny and emotional film… Directed by writer and comedian Tony Hawks, this film masterfully brings together tennis, Moldovans, and British humor. Tony’s adventure begins while watching the football match between England and Moldova during the World Cup. He bets that he can play tennis against each and every one of the footballers in the Moldovan team and win. After finding himself in Moldova to meet the footballers in person, Tony sets out on a life-changing adventure in this lesser-known Eastern European country.