Boston Turkish Film Festival


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BOSTON TURKISH FESTIVAL'S
16th ANNUAL DOCUMENTARY AND SHORT FILM COMPETITION

November 2021

Applications are closed. Finalists and screening schedule will be announced in October 2021.

TÜRKÇE İÇİN TIKLAYINIZ


AWARD WINNING FILMS OF 2020

BEST DOCUMENTARY

A FEW ORDINARY DAYS / Sıradan Birkaç Gün
by Pınar Okan

BEST SHORT FILM

HEAVY BURDEN / Barê Giran / Ağır Yük
by Yılmaz Özdil

BEST DOCUMENTARY AUDIENCE AWARD

FAR AWAY / Uzaklarda
by Arjin Civan Şahin

BEST SHORT FILM AUDIENCE AWARD

THE HURT / Yara
by Onur Güler

SPECIAL MENTIONS / Documentaries

ADA'M
by Turgay Kural

DO YOU THINK GOD LOVES IMMIGRANT KIDS, MOM? / Tanrı Göçmen Çoçukları Sever mi Anne?
by Rena Lusin Bitmez

THE STONE IN THE WELL / Kuyudaki Taş
by Gökçin Dokumacı

TRANSHUMANT / Memtevri/Yaylacı
by Fatih Ertekin

UNDER THE ROAD, THE RIVER! / Asfaltın Altında Dereler Var
by Yasin Semiz

SPECIAL MENTIONS / Short Films

8 POEMS OF EMIGRATION / Göçün 8 Şiiri
by Kurtuluş Özgen

I AM RAINING DOWN INTO THE CITY / Yağmur Olup Şehre Düşüyorum
by Kasım Ördek

I DON'T WANT TO DIE, TODAY / Bugün Ölmek İstemiyorum
by Onur Sefer

MY SISTER / Ablam
by Burcu Aykar

RONALDO
by Raşit Algül

TRUTH / Tanışma
by Öykü Aytulun

 

IN THE NEWS:

BOSTON TÜRK FESTİVALİ 25. YILINI GERİDE BIRAKTI
Amerika’nın Sesi | 22 Aralık 2020

BOSTON TÜRK KÜLTÜR VE SANAT FESTİVALİ SONA ERDİ
NTV | 22 Aralık 2020

ABD’DE TÜRK FİLM FESTİVALİ SANAL ORTAMDA BAŞLADI
Amerika’nın Sesi | 12 Kasım 2020

STRUGGLE, SURVIVAL AND CLASHES WITH THE NATURAL WORLD SCREEN
AT BOSTON TURKISH FILM COMPETITION

by Erin Trahan, WBUR, Nov. 11, 2020

FINDING A TURKEY THAT'S RURAL AND URBAN,
FAR AWAY AND CLOSE TO HOME

by Peter Keough, Boston Globe, Nov. 4, 2020

2020 FINALIST FILMS & SCREENINGS SCHEDULE

DOCUMENTARIES

SEARCHING FOR JUSTICE & TRUTH
(2 Films)

Ashes in My Heart | Icimdeki Kuller

ASHES IN MY HEART

İçimdeki Küller

Directed by Ayten Başer Yetimoğlu

Documentary, 2019, 45 min.

In 2008, an explosion in a fireworks factory in Istanbul killed 21 workers and injured more than one hundred others. The workers’ families refused to accept that the explosion was a tragic accident, instead insisting that the factory’s owners, who had been operating the facility illegally, were criminally liable. This stunning documentary follows the families’ eight-year battle for justice as they try to make their voices heard and heal their wounds.

The Stone in the Wall | Kuyudaki Tas

THE STONE IN THE WELL

Kuyudaki Taş

Directed by Gökçin Dokumacı

Documentary, 2019, 77 min.

Featuring Alican Yücesoy, Batuhan Aydar, Hatice Aslan, Tülin Özen

The ones who see all the colors that are refracted within the light, this is the effort to show the way for the ones who has lost their light. It’s the reflection of the truth of freed minds through reasoning. This is the helping voice for the ones who do not see the sun, do not hear the music, and who do not know how to swim or fly. Crowded minds behind the forty locked door... A delicate conversation in consciousness and below bridges. Either listen to these words or close your ears. Either believe the truth or shoot your mind. Sometimes the truth will show, sometimes it won’t.

DOCUMENTARY

COMMUNITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

Ovacik

OVACIK

Directed by Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent

Documentary, 2019, 92 min.

Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu is the first mayor ever in Turkey elected from the Turkish Communist Party. At the time of the filming of this documentary, he was the mayor of Ovacık, Tunceli, a small Kurdish-Alevi town in the heart of Eastern Turkey. (Currently he is the mayor of the city of Tunceli) Unknown to the rest of the world, it is an area where cultural and humanistic values, peace, love and community work are cherished, and where production and education are pursued with almost no budget. The film follows the daily life in Ovacık and Mr. Maçoğlu's efforts to strengthen a sustainable economy by promoting community-based agriculture. Both the mayor’s and the residents’ remarkable efforts set an example for agricultural towns around Turkey. The honest and heartfelt example of Ovacik starts building a very important communication bridge between the East and the West of the country.

DOCUMENTARIES

STORIES OF SEPARATION
(2 Films)

Children of the Same Home | Ayni Evin Cocuklari

CHILDREN OF THE SAME HOME

Aynı Evin Çocukları

Directed by Hasan Özgen and Kurtuluş Özgen

Documentary, 2019, 59 min.

“Children of the Same Home” documentary deals with the deep traumas of silent witnesses who suffered during Balkan exiles and Asia Minor catastrophe. If we have to (are forced to) leave a home and a language behind, what are we really leaving behind indeed? Is it just a physical space that we have to abandon? This phenomenon has deeply affected at least two generations of people who had to give up their identity, belonging and common culture. This documentary’s focus is to search for answers…

Sunflowers | Gunes Cicekleri

SUNFLOWERS

Güneş Çiçekleri

Directed by Ayla Torun

Documentary, 2018, 50 min.

In 1924 during the population exchange between Turkey and Greece, the population of Sinasos who had to abandon the towns they were settled in for years prepared a photo album to remember their homes they had left behind and to find them back when they would return. While the townspeople were preparing for the migration, the process of photography started with the idea of Serafim Rizos was going on. The houses of Sinasos should be photographed, because they were places of high culture artifacts that were quite resplendent for their period. Allocating a budget was not something easy at these times but Sinasos people managed to create a common budget for this job. To print the archive footage they obtained, they went to the port of İzmir where they submitted the file to a typographer. They were delivered archive images for duplicate and migrated to their new countries, Greece. A year later the album was published in Greece. Following the population exchange and after the Turks who emigrated from the Balkans left the estates of Sinasos where they were living for many years. Those estates have been renovated and made alive again.

DOCUMENTARIES

ENVIRONMENT AND THE CITIES
(3 Films)

Culture Park

CULTURE PARK: AN OASIS IN IZMIR

Kültürpark: İzmir’de Bir Vaha

Directed by Fatih Bilgin, Hande Zerkin

Documentary, 2020, 66 min.

Culture Park is the most important public green space in İzmir. It was founded on the wreckage of the Izmir fire, to be a ‘public university’ as a dream of the republic and is an ecologically sensitive region. Today, it attracts the attention of capital due to its central location. The number of plants is gradually decreasing due to concreting. Film tells the unknown story of Culture Park, it aims to raise awareness for its protection and development.

Only One World Left

ONLY ONE WORLD LEFT

Directed by Alican Abacı

Short Documentary, 2019, 3 min.

A social awareness underwater short film of single-use plastic effects to the oceans.

Under the Road, The River! | Asfaltin Altinda Dereler Var

UNDER THE ROAD, THE RIVER!

Asfaltın Altında Dereler Var

Directed by Yasin Semiz

Documentary, 2019, 52 min.

Kavaklıdere, Hoşdere, Bentderesi, Cevizlidere, İncesu Avenue... Ankara residents are not aware, but every day while walking on the streets and avenues of Ankara, they are actually passing over the underground streams. “Under the road, the river!” documentary traces the lost streams of Ankara and sheds light on the struggle to bring these streams back to the daylight. “dere” means “stream” in Turkish.

DOCUMENTARIES

LIFE CHANGES
(4 Films)

Far Away | Uzaklarda

FAR AWAY

Uzaklarda

Directed by Arjin Civan Şahin

Documentary, 2020, 17 min.

What is life like in the places “far away” from the lives that we know? Mehmet Günay Eser is a young music teacher who chose to live a life in far away town, focusing on music, nature and the people. He uses music as his instrument to unite people.

Butterfly Man | Kelebek Adam

BUTTERFLY MAN

Kelebek Adam

Directed by Enis Manaz

Documentary, 2019, 6 min.

Abdurrahim Korkmaz was born in Mardin in 1984. In his village water, and electricity arrived very late. The butterflies that he saw on the TV of his neighbor have changed his life.

Never Mind Diyarbakir | Bosver Diyarbakir

NEVER MIND DİYARBAKIR

Boşver Diyarbakır

Directed by Bekir Eta and Adnan Yaşar

Documentary, 2020, 25 min.

Since its history, Diyarbakır has a belief that ethnic music has been dominant. In the public, listening to some music styles such as Dengbej culture, arabesque, Kurdish music etc. intensely, has led to the prejudice of other music styles.

Group Kumlu is a rock music group that has been existed for more than ten years, created by five friends coming together in Diyarbakır. Group Kumlu destroyed the prejudice by creating an alternative style against to the dominant understanding of music.
Keepers of the Magical Lantern | Buyulu Fener Bekcileri

KEEPERS OF THE MAGICAL LANTERN

Büyülü Fener Bekçileri

Directed by Bahadır Kapır and Ferhat Zengin

Documentary, 2020, 48 min.

Yeşilçam is the name of passionate love, hopes, dreams, warm friendships, unity and solidarity. Yeşilçam is the name of the movies that we sometimes love and laugh…There are also people in Yeşilçam cinema whose names we do not know, we cannot remember their faces or even we do not know about them…  They are the secret heroes of our cinema, which energize the big screen with the light of the magic lantern in their dream castles. They were storytellers of Turkish movie theaters. But now neither the light of that magic lantern is left, nor the machinists who are the keepers of that magic lantern…

DOCUMENTARIES

HUMAN PORTRAITS
(5 Films)

Dede

DEDE

Directed by Ahmet Keçili

Documentary, 2019, 17 min.

Dede (name, mean also “Grandfather” in Turkish) Çolak is a shepherd in Aladağ district of Adana. Because of the high number of child deaths in the village, the families went to shrine and sought different names for he children. Dede, who takes the name of Koyun Dede Shrine, lives the name given to him as fate and continues his daily life by tearing the difficulties of shepherd. His family and villagers can not compromise with him about marriage, immigration to city and work. Dede’s only dream is to get married.

Woman's Hand | Kadin Eli

WOMAN’S HAND

Kadın Eli

Directed by Enes Yurtsever and Turgut Cığızoğlu

Documentary, 2020, 16 min.

Nurgül Özkan’s life struggle began with a marriage at a young age. After many years away, she returned back to her village and revived the village’s deserted stone mill.


There is Tea If You Drink | Cay Var Icersen

THERE IS TEA, IF YOU DRINK

Çay var, içersen

Directed by Cihan Zengin

Documentary, 2020, 18 min.

After years of abuse by her husband and many personal losses, Belgin hanged on to life with her favorite drink, Turkish tea. This is the story of a strong woman of labor, known by many in Kadıköy, Istanbul.

Ada'm

ADA'M

Directed by Turgay Kural

Documentary, 2020, 27 min.

ADA’M: A tale of “how one man alone can dramatically change his environment’s destiny”. It is  the story of Ziya Abay’s difficult life who lost his wife 14 years ago and decided to move to an island in Keban Dam, located in the Pertek county, Tunceli. He lived alone on the island for 14 years and had difficulties not just because he was all alone, but he also planted and took care of  3500 trees on the island and the other trees on the Pertek mountains.

Aunt Ummu | Ummu Teyze

AUNT ÜMMÜ

Ümmü Teyze

Directed by Orhan Çalışır

Documentary, 2020, 32 min.

Ümmü Yerlikaya came with her four children from Turkey in 1990. She joined her husband who had been living and working in Bremen for many years. Several years later the couple got divorced. Yerlikaya was left alone with the four children and had to provide for the whole family.

As the only thing she had learned was how to weave carpets, she found a job as a cleaning lady. At that time, at an adult age, she learned to ride a bike and started going everywhere by bicycle.
One source of income for Aunt Ümmü are the fruit and vegetables she grows in her allotment garden. Every Sunday she sells those at the flea market. Although she retired when she was 66, now at the age of 68 she is still working as a cleaning lady and in her garden because her pension barely covers her rent. Nevertheless, she refuses to apply for social assistance because as she says, ‘It is the right of the orphans, not mine’.

An archaic and poor life in Bremen, the centre of high technology industries like shipbuilding, automotive and aerospace industry. But a satisfying and happy one.

DOCUMENTARIES

FADING TRADITIONS
(4 Films)

Remaining in Derik | Derik'te Kalanlar

REMAINING IN DERIK

Derik'te Kalanlar

Directed by Onur Can Atlı

Documentary, 2020, 15 min.

In these lands, which have hosted many civilizations in history, Armenians are one of the  first  nations arriving in Derik. They live in friendship, peace and love with the people of the region without any language and race discrimination. Armenians migrated abroad and westwards over time. The last three Armenians staying in Derik district of Mardin; the life story of Zekeriya Sabuncu, Yurşalin and Naif Demirci.

Mastara

MASTARA

Directed by Fatih Coşgun

Documentary, 2020, 19 min.

Mastara documentary tells the life and culture of the Syriac people living in Mardin / Midyat Bethkustan Village and the story of Pastor Gabriel Aktaş, one of the last few people who can write Syriac handwriting.

Transhumant | Memtevri | Yaylaci

TRANSHUMANT

Memtevri/Yaylacı

Directed by Fatih Ertekin

Documentary, 2019, 22 min.

The documentary film about the highland culture of the Georgians, who have been living in Imerhev region of Şavşat for ages. It tells us about transhumant women’s lives through Heva’s story.

A Few Ordinary Days | Siradan Birkac Gun

A FEW ORDINARY DAYS

Sıradan Birkaç Gün

Directed by Pınar Okan

Documentary, 2020, 76 min.

Agricultural and rural production in Turkey is getting less; villages empty and get smaller. The last generation living in these villages grow up with small dreams. The future of these children are unknown. On the one hand, lives in the villages continuously become more difficult and poor; on the other hand, complex big cities... These cities are far and scary places for those children who never left their villages before.

“A Few Ordinary Days” shows us the daily lives of 4 children from different corners of Anatolia, with their worries for the future, their dreams and their questions...

DOCUMENTARY

CHILDREN AND IMMIGRATION

Do You Think God Loves Immigrant Kids, Mom? | Tanri Gocmen Cocuklari Sever mi Anne?

DO YOU THINK GOD LOVES IMMIGRANT KIDS, MOM?

Tanrı Göçmen Çoçukları Sever mi Anne?

Directed by Rena Lusin Bitmez

Documentary, 2019, 89 min.

This film tells the struggle of Armenian families migrated to Turkey/Istanbul who try to provide education for their children despite all the circumstances. In the core of this struggle, which started in 2003, there stands a dining hall centered school, located in a basement of a church where migrant children receive education from volunteer educators. During the film, the struggle of children living in a foreign land, their daily lives, their former habits and longings are told through the eyes of migrant children.

SHORT FILMS

NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM 1
(9 Films)

App

APP

Directed by Hatice Aşkın

Short, 2019, 17 min.

Cast: Janset, Tilbe Saran, Ekin Koç, Murat Kılıç, Doğu Demirkol, Tülin Özen, Gökmen Göçbeyli, Radio Voice: İpek Erdem

A software company develops a security app for the women who live alone to feel more secure. A shadow man who be reflected onto the walls and windows of a home makes that home like there is a real man wandering around the house talking and doing some errands. Mine is a 35-year-old young woman who is dependent on her mother.

My Sister | Ablam

MY SISTER

Ablam

Directed by Burcu Aykar

Short, 2019, 23 min.

Cast: Devrim Eylem Şeker, Defne Karagöz, Ayşe Ayça Yeniay, Çiğdem Aksüt, Gizem Taştan

Elif is 10 years old, her sister Ayşe is 13. It’s a sticky summer in 1980’s Istanbul. Elif freely plays on the street, finding still green areas left between construction sites. While trying to see her newly emerging breasts in the bathroom mirror, Ayşe falls, injures herself and spends the summer lying on the couch. Elif drives her sister mad, for reasons she can’t quite grasp. Irritated and depressed, Ayşe seems out of reach.

Sycamore | Cinar

SYCAMORE

Çınar

Directed by Mehmet Tığlı

Short, 2019, 14 min.

Cast: Mahmut Gökgöz, Barış Aksavaş, Sefa Turan, Nur Cansu Çolak

An old man spends the day wandering the streets of Istanbul. He communicates with the trees and seagulls rather than other people. All day, he checks the ATMs to find change like a child, even though he does not own an ATM card. He gets happy when he finds money and indignant when he doesn’t. For the old man, life is like a game that has remained from his childhood. And the sycamore leaves are a part of this innocent game.

Imperfect | Kusurlu

IMPERFECT

Kusurlu

Directed by Bilen Sevda Könen

Short, 2019, 17 min.

Cast: Dilara Topuklular, Kübra Balcan, Arzu Okay, Ege Kökenli, Begüm Akkaya, Nurseli İdiz, Banu Fotocan, Asiye Dinçsoy

Dilara decides to go out that night. Altough not having any issues with her existence till the day, Dilara starts finding flaws in herself after she was faced with a barrage of criticism from her friend Kübra about her apparel as she was getting ready to go out. Questioning and comparing herself with any woman she comes across or any woman embedded in her mind for any reason, continuously  drives Dilara towards a damaged self esteem. A surprise ending awaits Dilara who gets back home late at night, exhausted with all these thoughts.

I am raining down into the city | Yagmur olup sehre dusuyorum

I AM RAINING DOWN INTO THE CITY

Yağmur Olup Şehre Düşüyorum

Directed by Kasım Ördek

Short, 2019, 15 min.

Cast: Ramazan Ergin, Asuman Durmaz, Fatoş Yıldız, Eyüp Kan

Sait, while trying to get his old casette player fixed, going from store to store in the streets of Diyarbakır, comes across some of his old decisions. He can’t escape the same destiny as his old casette player.

I Don't Want To Die Today | Bugun Olmek Istemiyorum

I DON'T WANT TO DIE, TODAY

Bugün Ölmek İstemiyorum

Directed by Onur Sefer

Short, 2019, 12 min.

Cast: Evren Duyal, Beyti Engin, Mustafa Dincir, Şafak Topal, Metin Demirci, Elif Sıla Kaymak

S. who is a young man in mid-twenties thinks he has a heart attack and will die. His mother and father take him to the hospital. However, they do not think that S. has a heart attack and they do not care about his condition. In the hospital, S. will try to explain to his parents and doctors how his condition is serious.

 

The Wasted Effort | Bir Liralik Emek

THE WASTED EFFORT

Bir Liralık Emek

Directed by Muhammed Bozbey

Short, 2019, 5 min.

Cast: Ali Akar, Erdal Tekin, Muhammed Bozbey, İrfan Saygılı, Emrah Ercicek, Onur Yıldırım

Attila lives alone in a small town and finds a lira while walking on the road. Attila then uses a lira to buy a loaf of bread from the oven and returns to his home. At his house, he starts to prepare lunch. He sits down with the lunch he made and the bread he got from the bakery.
Stainless | Lekesiz

STAINLESS

Lekesiz

Directed by Mehmet Oğuz Yıldırım

Short, 2019, 13 min.

Cast: Aysan Sümercan, Özlem Durmaz

Mrs. Selma decides to give one of her deceased husband's suits to the apartment’s janitor who needs it for her son’s marriage. Noticing a spot on the jacket, Selma Hanım tries to keep her memory "spotless" while struggling with her loneliness among the memories of her husband.

Stainless | Lekesiz

THE HURT

Yara

Directed by Onur Güler

Short, 2020, 16 min.

Cast: Tülin Özen, Nihal Yalçın, Yıldız Nurhan Özenen, Fesih Özalhas, Emre Rüzgar Atuğ

MD Bahar receives a phone call to issue a death certificate on the day of her son Mert’s birthday celebration. At first it seems like a routine duty for Bahar, but it takes an unexpected turn which forces her to make a choice with her conscious or as a professional.

SHORT FILMS

NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM 2
(8 Films)

8 Poems of Emigration

8 POEMS OF EMIGRATION

Göçün 8 Şiiri

Directed by Kurtuluş Özgen

Short Documentary, 2019, 11 min.

"8 Poems of Emigration" is a found footage film that focuses on the migration crisis. The film, while focusing on the immigration and immigration issue caused by the wild global capitalism, consists of the images and the found footage from the recording of the work named "8 Poetry of Immigration" that John Berger read to the audience in 2007 at the Fine Arts Center in Madrid. The narrative of the movie is revealed by the conflict between image and sound order. With the out-of-context (misuse) use of commercial images and music, the film creates a critical structure that opposes capitalism.

Ronaldo

RONALDO

Directed by Raşit Algül

Short, 2020, 14 min.

Cast: Baran Yağmur, Miray Beşli Çapa, Yusuf Akgün, Can Köker

Azad is a child nobody notices, to be more precise, everyone ignores him. His father had died during an air raid at the beginning of the war. The only thing left from his father is a football which Azad kept close.They settled next to a shipyard with his mother. Their aim is to move to another country through the sea.

Dragon | Ejderha

DRAGON

Ejderha

Directed by Can Paçacıoğlu

Short, 2019, 11 min.

Cast: Hüseyin Urçuk

The tale of the call of the wild soul is explored in this story of a mountain climber’s venture to ascend a challenging summit.

After numerous unsuccessful attempts to scale a snowy peak, a frustrated mountaineer is plagued by nightmares. Recognizing his discomfort as the call to continue his pursuit of the summit, he determines to make one more attempt.

Dragon | Ejderha

BEST ACTRESS

En İyi Kadın Oyuncu

Directed by Umut Alaz Kökçü

Short, 2020, 30 min.

Cast: Eylül Su Sapan, Suna Yıldızoğlu, Umut Orkun Eskibatman, Turhan Kaya

Melis, a PhD students meets with a 70's erotic movie star, Alev Hanzade, to write a thesis on her career and about the period. As Melis keeps interviewing her, she realizes this former star has a blurry past and dark secrets.

Da Capo

DA CAPO

Directed by İpek Efe

Short, 2019, 14 min.

Cast: Roza Erdem, Deniz Onur

Years later, Zeynep goes to the summer house where she spent her childhood in search of something she has lost, and meets a little girl on the beach. Zeynep snaps at the child’s every attempt to play with her, unaware that she is the only person who can help her find what she is looking for...

Truth | Tanisma

TRUTH

Tanışma

Directed by Öykü Aytulun

Short, 2019, 13 min.

Cast: Zuhal Gencer Erkaya, Çağdaş Ekin Şişman, Semra Morgil, Eren Yağcıoğlu, Ceren Ülgen

Derya has to face and come to terms with her daughter’s way of life.

The Sugar Grocer | Seker Gida

THE SUGAR GROCER

Şeker Gıda

Directed by Ferman Narin

Short, 2020, 20 min.

Cast: Tolga Manyer, Salih Yıldırım, Bülent Kızıldağ, Ayfer Şen, Mehmet Leblebici, Aynur Saçkesen, Pelin Gören

Salih owns a neighborhood grocery, living alone a monotonous life. One day an order comes in while Salih is sitting at the grocery store, and he experiences the most traumatic day of his life.

The Heavy Burden | Bare Giran | Agir Yuk

THE HEAVY BURDEN

Barê Giran / Ağır Yük

Directed by Yılmaz Özdil

Short, 2019, 17 min.

Cast: Adil Abdurrahman, Saman Mustafa, M. Ali Arpa, Nazmi Kırık

Avdel feeds his family with the salary of the donkey Bozo who works in the sanitation services of the city of Mardin in Turkey. When "old Bozo" is retired by the municipality, Avdel must find a younger donkey to keep his job. To help his uncle, Salih crosses the Syrian border to bring back his own donkey, which he had to leave there when fleeing because of the war. But to accomplish this mission, he must cross the minefields.

 

BOSTON TURKISH FESTIVAL
15th ANNUAL DOCUMENTARY & SHORT FILM COMPETITION

 
 

 

Service Mark Advisory:
Boston Turkish FestivalSM, Boston Turkish Film FestivalSM, and Boston Turkish Music FestivalSM are registered service marks of the Boston Turkish Festival, Boston Turkish Film Festival and the Boston Turkish Music Festival respectively.