İpek Tugay • Head, Bosphorus Film Lab
“We can guide the professionals outside of Turkey to discover something new and exciting”
- We talked to İpek Tugay, head of the Bosphorus Film Lab, about this year's upcoming online edition
The 8th Bosphorus Film Festival is ready to unspool from 23 to 30 October in cinemas around Istanbul. At the same time, the Bosphorus Film Lab (BFL), it’s industry platform, is moving all of its programme online and unfolding from 24 to 29 October. We talked with İpek Tugay who, after working both in the production sector and for film markets and festivals, has recently been appointed as the director of the Bosphorus Film Lab.
Cineuropa: Could you offer us an overview of the BFL and tell us about your expectations for the upcoming edition?
İpek Tugay: Ever since its establishment, the Bosphorus Film Lab has been a strong platform in supporting creators from Turkey, as well as a networking hub for national and international industry professionals to meet. We maintain high artistic standards in our pitching and work-in-progress platforms, and our aim is to keep increasing our contributions to projects, both financially and incorporeally. Supporting projects and artists we believe in while witnessing the success of the projects we nurtured at the Bosphorus Film Lab is our primary motivation.
How hard is it to organise an online event? Do you think it has some advantages over a physical event?
It is a very different process for all of us indeed. Some of the main goals of project development markets are to bring people together, to start a discussion and to expand a network while giving projects an opportunity to be recognised. Organising an online event where one-on-one interactions are limited is certainly something we would not prefer doing, if we had a choice. However, I believe we found an efficient way to prepare the finalists for their presentations and their pitches to the jury, regardless of the physical conditions of the event. Of course, I would always prefer a physical event where everyone can get together to share their ideas and their passion for cinema.
Many projects are selected. What were the criteria and what do you expect of them?
Artistic approach, originality and creativity were among our primary criteria while selecting the projects. Some are coming from already internationally established directors, while others are by promising first-time filmmakers that we believe have a lot of potential. We tried to base our selection on the universality of the subjects, and on the contribution that our platform could provide to a project at the development stage. We want to see more projects developed at Bosphorus Film Lab completed and come out as strong films that are internationally recognised.
Are you looking to expand your collaborations with other initiatives, markets or events across Europe? Why should someone outside Turkey be interested in local projects?
Yes, we definitely want to expand more in the future. Next year will be Bosphorus Film Lab’s fifth edition and I believe we will keep expanding our collaborations and the support system we provide to the projects. I believe that universality would be a key factor for their further development. I also think that there is a lot of potential in Turkey still to be discovered. What we are trying to do is to discover this talent, while continuing to support already established and recognised creators on their journeys. With our international jury, mentors and tutors, we train and support projects in every aspect, to help them be strong players among international industry professionals. Starting to follow these projects at an early stage as well as catching a glimpse of them at Work in Progress can guide professionals outside of Turkey to discover something new and exciting.
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