Mercy to the Universe Short Film competition organized for the 3rd time by the Siyer Foundation which has become a traditional event dedicated to the Master Prophet (pbuh) for the first time in the world and in Turkey gained an international identity during its 3rd year.
The 3rd year kicked off with a press release on March 07, 2016 Monday.
An international jury was formed for the Mercy to the Universe International Short Film Competition.
While the preliminary jury was comprised of Abdulhamit Kahraman, Bedir Acar, Bünyamin Yılmaz, İhsan Kabil, Mehmet Kaman and Yalçın Parmaksız, the main jury included Central Asia Filmmakers Union President Hocakulu Narlıvey from Turkmenistan, Firdevs Azizi from Eastern Turkistan and Nacer Khemir of Tunisian origin who received recognition in the Islamic world with his movie entitled Bab-ı Aziz in addition to Elif Eda Karagöz, Gülcan Tezcan, Hasan Kaçan, Nazif Tunç Mustafa Demirci from Turkey.
Deadline for the participation to the competition applied by directors from many different countries was December 31, 2017. A total of 143 films participated in the competition which continues to raise the bar due to the ever increasing interest. The main jury selected the rankings from among the first 15 finalists during the two-stage evaluation.
Mercy to the Universe International Short Film Competition organized different activities and cinema talks prior to the gala and award ceremonies this year thus bringing together the lovers of cinema with the international jury members.
Cinema Talks started on February 15, 2017.The speech on, “Spiritual Dimension in Turkish Cinema” was moderated by cinema author İhsan Kabil. Hocakulu Narlıyev and Firdevs Azizi were among the guest names in this conversation.
The talk entitled, “Cinema as an Art of Telling Stories” took place on February 15, 2017 with the moderation of Art Critique Bedir Acar. Director Nazif Tunç, Academician Artist Mustafa Demirci and scriptwriter Elif Eda Karagöz were guests of this talk.
A talk on, “Cinematic Representation of our Understanding of Civilization” took place on February 16, Thursday with the moderation of director and cinema author Abdulhamit Güler. Nacer Khemir participated as a speaker.
On the night of the same day (February 16Thursday) newspaper reporter Bünyamin Yılmaz moderated the talk on, “Cinematic Reflection of Moral Values”. Gülcan Tezcan was the guest of this talk.
AWARDS WERE PRESENTED AT THE HALİÇ CONGRESS CENTER
The award ceremony for the 3rd Mercy to the Universe International Short Film Competition took place at the Haliç Congress Center. The program that was broadcast via many national and international television channels was watched live by millions of people.
Many names from the world of art, cinema and politics participated in the award ceremony. Siyer Foundation President Mehmet Kaya participated in the ceremony and made an opening speech in which he gave information on works carried out by the foundation. Kaya explained the purpose and goals of the Mercy to the Universe Short Film competition after which he continued his words as such:
“We set out fully aware that we have to tell of our Master Prophet (pbuh) and His distinguished companions to the people of our age and that cinema is one of the most important tools available for this purpose today.”
Kaya also made some explanations regarding the new workshop activities at the Hassan b. Sabit Cinema Academy which was established by the foundation 3 years ago. “As the Siyer Foundation; we started the Hassab b. Sabit Cinema Academy to add an Islamic identity to cinema and to train directors, scriptwriters and producers.” Afterwards, the work of Hassan b. Sabit Cinema Academy entitled “Bilet” was screened.
“The Qur’an tells a lot with so little.”
Siyer Foundation founder Muhammed Emin Yıldırım participated in the ceremony as well and spoke as such:
“The most important sunnah that Muslims should abide by is to give the proper due to their work. If we are to take word, then we have to give due to whatever we do.
If you ask whether what we have done for the past 3 years is sufficient or not, I would of course say that it is not sufficient and that we have just started on this path. Cinema is a very difficult field. But if the Muslim community needs a mad man, than we accepted being that mad man.
We signed up for this madness if the name of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) will move from geography to geography and from nations to tribes.
May His (pbuh) name give soul to cinema as well. There is abundance wherever His (pbuh) name is spoken. May His (pbuh) name yield abundance to this difficult field. May His (pbuh) dear name be heard all over the world. That was indeed why we had started on this path.
Actions have seaons just like climates do. This community has been expressing many things for the past 250 years, however it fails to reflect the messages of Islam properly. Someone should work and do justice to the flag of Islam. The same holds for cinema as well as literature, science and all other disciplines.”
Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avcı Also Participated in The Award Ceremony
Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avcı made a speech during the ceremony in which he indicated that, “The Mercy to the Universe International Short Film Competition has reached a very important point”.
Avcı also added that he is aware of the difficulties involved in such comepetitions and congratulated the jury members for bearing such a heavy load.
Avcı suggested the book “Yeşilçam Günlüğü” by Ayşe Şasa to the young generation and said, “Our Master describes the miraculousness of His descendance upon the world as completing good morals as such, ‘I have been sent to complete good morals’. Thus, we are of the opinion that this competition which has been organized for the past 3 years by the Siyer Foundation that encourages the making of films that will enable us to understand the exemplary morals of our Master, His sound personality, His life of struggle which will result in an increase in the awareness of people is of great importance. Therefore, I as the representative of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism wish great success to all my young friends with the principle of, ‘good intent, good future’.
Following his speech, a plaque was presented to the Minister of Culture and Tourism Avcı by Siyer Foundation President Mehmet Kaya.
Jury president Hocakulu Narlıyev was called onto the stage for his welcoming speech on behalf of the jury. Narlıyev’s (Turkmenistan) plaque was presented by İhsan Kabil after his speech.
3rd Year Guest of Honor Mustafa Akkad Was Commemorated
The guest of honor of this year’s competition was the famous director Mustafa Akkad who never let his ideals shadow his Muslim identity.
A collage film on the much respected director Mustafa Akkad was screened during the ceremony to commemorate him. Following the collage film, Abdulkerim Akkad, nephew of Mustafa Akkad also made a speech:
“Mustafa Akkad’s goal was not making money through films or entertaining the people in front of the curtain. His goal was to use cinema as a sword or as cavalry and through his efforts many people became Muslim. I have never seen any other people who commemorate Mustafa Akkad every year and who make a program in his memory; that is why I thank yo dearly,” said Abdulkerim Akkad who received his plaque for his participation from Ali Rıza Demircan.
Directors of 15 short film finalists from different countries of the world were invited up to the stage where they received their plaques.
Director Ömer Dişbudak received the Ministry of Culture Special Award with the short film entitled, “Bir Şey Yap Güzel Olsun”. Ömer Dişbudak received his award from Ministry of Culture Cinema General Director Erkin Yılmaz.
Director Alaa Khweled from Syria received the Siyer Foundation Special Award with the short film entitled, “İz”. Alaa Khweled received his award from the Siyer Foundation President Mehmet Kaya.
Director Talha Genç received the Jury Special Award with the short film entitled, “Öz’ün Öz’ü”. Talha Genç received his award from Nazif Tunç.
Director Kerime Nur Ejderoğlu received the Honorable Mention Award with the short film entitled, “Zübde”. Kerime Nur Ejderoğlu received her award from Davut Akgül, Eyüp Municipality Cultural Affairs Director.
3rd place award to “Heny”
Actor Ufuk Bayraktar was invited upto the stage to present the 3rd place award. The short film entitled “Heny” directed by Mehmet Nişancı received the 3rd place award.
2nd place award to “Hayat Bu”
Director Elif Yüksel received the 2nd Place Award with the short film entitled, “Hayat Bu”. Elif Yüksel received her award from AK Party İstanbul Congressman Halis Dalkılıç.
1st place award to the film entitled “Yalnızlık” by the Kırgız Director
The film enttled “Yalnızlık” by the Kırgız director Kasiet Djholdoshbekova which depicts the most fundamental emotion for making the world a better place; benevolence and compassion with an effective and permanent visuality was awarded the first place this year. Djholdoshbekova received the award from Siyer Foundation founder Muhammed Emin Yıldırım.
The awards given to films that received a ranking were as such:
First place award 25.000 TL., Second place award 15.000 TL., Third place award 10.000 TL., Sponsor award 5.000 TL., Honorary Mention award 4.000 TL., Siyer Foundation Specal award 3.000 TL., Jury Special Award 3.000 TL. Following the award ceremony, the first three films were screened thus ending the night.