FNE Turkish Week: Turkish Film Production Up more than 700% in Seven Years

By Anna Franklin
    ISTANBUL: Turkish feature film production has increased from 9 films released in 2002 to 69 in released in 2009 according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

    A government film subsidy programme introduced in 2005 together with a dramatic increase in the success of local films at the domestic box office is credited with being responsible for the production boom.

    Despite the global financial crisis there is no sign that the Turkish production boom is slowing as another 60 to 70 domestic films are expected to be released in 2010.

    The Turkish government gave around 3m USD for film funding in 2009. Average budgets have increased from around 100,000 USD ten years ago to 1.5m USD for a hit film like last year's box office champion Recep Ivedik 2 produced by Aksoy Film (www.aksoyfilm.com.tr) and Ozen Film (www.ozenfilm.com.tr).

    The second film in the successful Turkish comedy franchaise Recep Invedik 2 grossed more than 15m Euros domestically and Recep Ivedik 3 is already number the number one release of 2010.

    Coproductions do not play a major role in the Turkish film industry so far. Turkey is a member of Eurimages with an annual average of four majority coproductions and two minority coproductions. Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany and France are usually the countries that coproduce films in Turkey. In 2009 there were three European coproductions but all three films made their mark on the international festival circuit: Semik Kaplanoglu's Milk produced by Kaplan Film Production (www.kaplanfilm.com) , Yesim Ustaoglu's Pandora's Box produced by Ustaoglu Film (www.ustaoglufilm.com) and Pelin Esmer's 10 to 11 produced by Sinefilm (www.sinefilm.com).