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The 15th International 1001 Documentary Film Festival will be held between September 27 and October 2 , 2012.

15 years ago, the first Documentary Filmmakers' Conference was held to increase the number of documentaries produced and screened to audiences in Turkey and to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among documentary filmmakers. Two concrete outcomes emerged as a result of this Conference; the Association of Documentary Filmmakers in Turkey was founded and the International 1001 Documentary Film Festival was launched.

Since 1997, the 1001 Documentary Film Festival has screened hundreds of documentary films from Turkey and all around the world. It has enabled numerous documentary filmmakers and documentary theorists to meet with audiences. Deriving from the universality of the language of cinema, this festival of documentary film has paved a way for different societies to acknowledge and comprehend each other. As documentary filmmakers, we are excited now to be getting ready to share all our realities and dreams once more during the 15 th 1001 Festival.

Beyond possessing a universal cinematic language, the films shown at the 1001 Documentary Film Festival are chosen with regard to their advancement of humanist values, their advocacy of cultural pluralism, the diversity and depth of their perspectives, and their contribution to constructing the future of mankind.


“System Error” is the designated theme for the 15 th International 1001 Documentary Film Festival.

Politics, commerce, justice, nationality and religion have become tools in service of the “neo-hegemonic” mind that --slowly but surely-- has narrowed the scope of free choice available to societies and the individual alike. It is as if all river beds are being re-channeled towards the same old swamp. Primitive instincts and fear reflexes of humankind have been brought to predominance in all areas of life. Even awareness and consciousness cannot come to the rescue as they get stuck in channels clogged with overload.

The system is giving an “Error” message. This is the point where ubiquitous computer technology just “stops” and cannot recover itself without a reboot. The cause of “System Error” in technological gadgets is explained by a “conflict of hardware and software”, “insufficient memory”, “system overload”, or similar reasons. Often, the first method recommended to solve the problem is to reboot the system. The system is reconfigured in a way to accelerate the data transaction between memory and hard drive.

“The Association of Documentary Filmmakers sees its mission as filling the gaps in social history, implementing cultural perpetuity, and protecting the environment. The Association recognizes that bearing witness to the course of history, intervening in life with knowledge and creativity, and constructing the future will gain momentum as Documentary Cinema becomes a stronger institution…” (What's Left to Tomorrow? – 1997)

“The Association of Documentary Filmmakers seeks to define its identity using language, concepts, words and rules of its own choosing. It aims to create a realm of freedom and to maintain its independence while protecting the sacred ideals of freedom of thought, expression, creation and production. The Association recognizes that the world becomes a better place as the obstacles before these ideals are removed.” (What's Left to Tomorrow? – 1997)

Let's reboot the system together with documentary cinema. Let's meet at the International 1001 Documentary Film Festival that will reveal “System Error”s from all around the world, refreshing our memories and stimulating us with real stories.

Just like the great director Theo Angelopoulos whom we lost earlier this year, we want to believe that “cinema can save the world.”

The 1001 Documentary Film Festival takes place in Istanbul, one of the oldest metropolises in the world. It is the only documentary festival that is held on two continents at the same time, owing to the unique geography of the city. Istanbul is adjacent to the Middle East, the Caucasus, and the Balkans, surrounded by the most heated regions in the world of current affairs. For this reason, we believe that hosting international documentary filmmakers here with their films and their voices and displaying the power of documentary cinema on this outstanding platform is of utmost importance. For the 15 th time we are convoking documentary filmmakers of the world: We hope that you will bring your films and your stories and come be with us and the documentary film audiences in our renewed atmosphere. We look forward to meeting at the 15 th 1001 Festival and rebooting to resolve the “System Error” together.

Association of Documentary Filmmakers

International 1001 Documentary Film Festival

Main Program – 7 Colors of Reality

Istanbul International 1001 Documentary Film Festival is going to present documentary films for its main screening program under the following 7 themes named by 7 colors.

Black - Stories about true life war, violence, social depression and the people who experienced, suffered or resisted these times

Red - The conditions of work and labor, workers and laborers in the world order

Orange - Modern day stories from close or far geography

Yellow – The original approaches to history by cinema and documents

Blue - Ordinary stories about extraordinary people and extraordinary stories about ordinary people

Purple - Films on art, craft and culture

Green - Nature, human, cities... Films that struggle for a sustainable world

Middle East and Africa

International 1001 Documentary Film Festival, is a festival that is held in two continents as a result of the geographical location of the city Istanbul, has the aim to gather filmmakers from all around the world especially from Asia, Africa and Europe and be a mutual platform for expression. In this sense we open call for entries especially for the documentary filmmakers who has observed the social and political developments in the Middle East and Africa, the changes that has shaken the world and precisely our part of the world, “The Arab Spring” and all, to see the facts we come across nearly everyday in the mainstream and social media from the perspective of the documentary cinema.

The Association of Documentary Filmmakers in Turkey (BSB)
The official and legal mission of the Association is to defend the copyrights of its members. However, since its inception, the Association has additionally worked towards accomplishing several broadly defined aims...


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