The Mountain Film Festival, or MFF, Turkey’s only mountain-themed festival, canceled its national and international competition, due to a lack of sponsors resulting from the economic crisis.
Aiming to present the world's best mountain and nature films, the festival’s coordinator Murat Yılmaz said they normally organized the festival in December but they couldn’t find any sponsors. He said they planned to organize the festival from March 2 to 7 this year.
"This is a better decision," Yılmaz said. "But we still can’t find sponsors even for March because companies cut their budgets due to the economic crisis." The festival is organized in collaboration with the Nature Activities Group and FILM-SAN.
Yılmaz said they had to find other ways to organize the festival or face canceling the national and international competitions. "We also prepared a project for financial support. We will ask people to reach in their pockets to support the festival. We will announce the plan in the coming weeks. We will ask viewers to support the festival individually," he said.
Yılmaz said last year’s MFF cost nearly 25,000 Turkish Liras and 17,500 liras of that came from sponsors. "This year’s budget is 30,000 liras," said Yılmaz. "But we are not able to meet this budget. This is why we have canceled some sections of the festival."
He said they would also not open one of the festival’s planned presentations. "We were thinking of opening an international competition section and inviting directors and producers. But it turned out to be impossible because of the crisis."
Yılmaz said the Ministry of Culture and Tourism should support projects during the times of crisis. "They don’t require huge budgets. Companies and the ministry are not overspending their budget," he said. "The festival will take place at the French Culture Center." Last year more than 50 films and documentaries were shown during the festival, which moved to Ankara, İzmir, Antalya and Bursa under the title "Mobile Festival" after its time as an Istanbul festival.