New Turkish films lift local box office

By Deniz Ziya Temeltas
    New Turkish films hitting the cinemas are expected to attract record numbers of viewers and drive local box office.

    Mustafa a 115 minute documentary written and directed by Can Dundar opened October 28 on more than 100 screens nationwide. With its topical subject matter and the current political climate in Turkey, it is anticipated that Mustafa might reach as many as a million viewers. The film is considered a well-researched documentary on the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    Nurin Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys sold 40,708 tickets on 104 screens in its first week, while the Nurgul Yesilcay starrer Conscience-Vicdan achieved 131,324 admissions in its second week. Other Turkish films in current release failed to perform as well as expected, and the industry is awaiting the release of Osmanli Cumhuriyeti-Ottoman Republic opens on November 21. Written and directed by famed comedy writer Gani Mujde, it may be the first local film to hit the 2 million mark in theatrical distribution. However, the most anticipated film is A.R.O.G. by Cem Yilmaz which is expected collect as much as $30 million in Turkey alone. In the same week, Turkey will also see how new version of Valley of the Wolf will open. It won't be sequel to the earlier anti-American fare, but a comedy within the same geography.