The fifth edition of the International Red Crescent Amity Short Film Festival kicked off Thursday in Istanbul.
The opening program began with a documentary on the life of eminent Turkish folk artist Neset Ertas.
Speaking at the event, festival director Faysal Soysal said they were holding the festival in memory of Ertas this year.
“In our fifth year, we are excited to host very valuable films from different countries of the world and Türkiye as well as the artists who created them,” Soysal said.
He said the festival also creates a bridge of friendship that brings together foreign and Turkish directors as well as volunteers in Türkiye, adding this is the real purpose of the festival.
"As I am a director myself, I am well aware of the conditions of making a film in these economic circumstances and bringing them together with the audience. Thus, I would like to thank the artists and directors from all over the world who sent their films to our festival for us to evaluate," he added.
Later, a panel was held. Panelists including Huseyin Ertas, Neset Ertas’ son, spoke about his father’s music, sharing memories of him.
The four-day event is being organized by Balkon Film and sponsored by state lender Halkbank, with Anadolu Agency as its global communications partner.
A total of 48 short films and 16 documentaries from 27 countries will be screened at five venues in the Turkish metropolis, while several distinguished speakers will take part in various panel discussions.
The festival will conclude with an awards ceremony on Dec. 25.
Honorary awards will be presented to renowned Turkish actors Ayla Algan and Yusuf Sezgin.
Launched in 2018, the festival “aims to be a source of inspiration for the filmmakers and produce films that remind the audience of the importance of the concept of friendship,” according to the organizers.