2nd Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival

BY Willard Manus

The recently concluded 2nd L.A. Turkish Film Festival--the first took place in 2012--spoke well for the future of the event. Four features and nine shorts were screened over a four-day period, with large audiences packing the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and creating a warm and exciting atmosphere.

The opening night presentation was THE BUTTERFLY'S DREAM, written and directed by Yilmaz Erdogan. Set in 1941, in a provincial Turkish town, the romantic drama centered on the struggles of two young poets, Muzaffer and Rustu, to make a place in the world for themselves. Poor, ill with tuberculosis, they battle hard to write and get published before death comes to claim them.

Muzaffer and Rustu also competed for the affections of Suzan, the beautiful daughter of one of the town's richest businessmen. The Jules et Jim-like triangle gave THE BUTTERFLY'S DREAM much of its charm, tension and freshness. Erdogan not only captured the intensity and passion of youthful, unrequited love, but the gritty class conflict taking place in the background, with slave laborers toiling away in primitive conditions in a local coal mine.

The other features shown at the Fest included Ali Aydin's MOLD, Emin Alper's BEYOND THE HILLS, and Zeki Demirkubuz's INSIDE.

Among the jury members were Rob Nilsson, Howard A. Rodman and Elvis Mitchell. (www.latff.org)