In memory of Hrant Dink: ‘Turn your camera to your conscience’
Övgü Pinar - 06/08/2011
The voice of conscience has been sentenced to silence. Now, that conscience is searching for a way out. (Hrant Dink )
These words by Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist assassinated in 2007, inspired an international short film project based on conscience. International Hrant Dink Foundation, which organizes the project ‘Films about Conscience’ since 2009, invites everyone ‘who can get hold of a camera’ to take a look at the world through cameras and through the eyes of conscience.
Aiming to bring Hrant Dink’s statement to life with the slogan ‘Turn your camera to your conscience’, the project is open to applicants from all over the world. Both professional and amateur filmmakers are invited to submit their short movies until September 15 . Movies no
longer than 5 minutes will be uploaded to the website www.vicdanfilmleri.org and a jury consisting of Arsinée Khanjian, Costa Gavras, Cüneyt Cebenoyan, Ferzan Özpetek, Hale Soygazi, Nadje Al-Ali, Rakel Dink and Serge Avedikian will award 20 of the movies. The movies selected by the jury will be compiled in a DVD and will be shown in various platforms including festivals and public screenings. One director elected by the jury will also receive a scholarship. The results of the competition will be announced on December 10, 2011.
Project coordinator Dença Kartun says, ‘We believe that we can reach a world where there is more justice, more freedom and more peace only by raising the voice of our conscience and listening to the ‘other’s’ conscience; in other words by looking at the world with a third eye – the eye of the conscience. For this reason we say ‘Turn your camera to your conscience.’
Kartun also stresses that the jury, composed of prominent members of the international art and culture circles, is a perfect fit for the purpose of the project: ‘Those invited to join the jury are individuals who look at the world through the eyes of conscience, who can lead the voice of the conscience. The members of the jury are also very excited about the project.’
The first edition of the project, organized between August 2009 and March 2010, attracted a total of 107 short films from various countries including Britain, France, Germany and USA as well as Turkey and Armenia. After being screened at İstanbul, Dersim and Gaziantep film festivals, 19 of those movies elected by the jury met the audience in Yerevan, capital of Armenia. The short films were shown within the scope of Yerevan International Film Festival in July 2011.
Dença Kartun is content with the reaction the movies received in Armenia. ‘Films about conscience were greeted with great interest in Armenia, just as in other festivals. Festival audience was rather impressed by watching 19 movies of various genres and seeing both amateur and professional movies on screen at the same time. In this sense, we can say that the project achieved its purpose’ Kartun says.