Adana Golden Boll International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious and long-established film festivals in Turkey. It was inspired by the legendary director Yilmaz Guney, the winner of Golden Palm for Yol (1982), at the wake of a new era which marked a divergence from the traditional cinema towards a political consciousness.
Adana, the homeland of several filmmakers, authors, artists and intellectuals including the Goncourt winner novelist Yashar Kemal was the second largest market for Turkish cinema in its golden era. The first festival was organized in 1969 by the municipality and Adana Cinema Club. The festival and its award took its name from the intensive cultivation of cotton on the Eastern Mediterranean coastal plain, Çukurova, where Adana is located. After four glorious years celebrating the success of Yilmaz Guney in the first place and also prominent filmmakers like Metin Erksan, Lutfi Akad, Yilmaz Duru, Bilge Olgaç and many others the festival had to come to an end due to economic crisis and political turmoil in Turkey.
Military coups, martial law and state of emergency as well as a weak economy especially affected Adana, a city of working class, both agricultural and industrial. The rebirth of the festival in 1992 was very warmly received by the film industry. To invest in the future of cinema in Turkey, Golden Boll developed a special focus on students’ films. Some of today’s outstanding filmmakers and cinematographers including Gurcan Keltek and Yuksel Aksu were awarded in Adana while they were undergraduate years. Unfortunately, the earthquake which devastated the center of Adana in 1998 brought the festival to a halt. It was followed by the earthquake of Marmara in 1999, the biggest natural disaster recorded in modern Turkey. It took the Golden Boll seven years to restore itself.
Ever since its reestablishment in 2005, Adana Golden Boll Film Festival gained an international status. The festival kept on developing, continually enriching and widening its program with various sidebar events. 70.000 admissions are recorded every year. Currently the festival includes a non-competitive international selection and a wide program composed of classics and recent Turkish productions alongside the National Competition of Feature Films. The Golden Boll is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Turkish cinema. The festival hosts approximately 600 guests in each edition. Filmmakers Theo Angelopoulos, Rodrigo Pla, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Yesim Ustaoglu, Hiner Saleem and leading film industry professionals have been among the guests.