An official two-day double opening kicked off the 44th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival and its accompanying 3rd International Eurasia Film Festival last Friday.

As the biggest film event in the Turkish calendar, the first opening night was a glamorous affair for local cinema. Following a lavish opening cocktail reception at the upscale Hotel Divan which overlooks Antalya Bay with stunning mountain views, a parade of stars walked down the red carpet at the Talya Convention Centre (dubbed the Glass Pyramid) where the opening ceremony was held.

Three honorary awards were given out to local filmmakers, including actor Halil Ergun, director Yavuz Turgul, actress Macide Tanir while editor Turgut Inangiray received the Cinema Labour Award.

The awards were presented in the presence of Menderes Turel, mayor of the Municipality of Antalya and honorary president of the festival, and Engin Yigitgil, festival president and chairman of organisers Tursak.

The second opening night was dedicated to the upstart Eurasia festival which aims to bring an international perspective to the Antalya festival, the longest-running film festival in Turkey. Ang Lee's Venice Golden Bear winner Lust, Caution was screened as the opening film at Ataturk Cultural Centre (AKM).

The festival also has a market component with the 2nd Eurasia Film Market running from October 22 for four days at the Hillside Su Hotel. About 70 exhibitors (including 60 from overseas and 10 from Turkey) and 120 overseas buyers are expected, according to market director Deniz Ziya Temeltas.

The festival is mainly funded by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Turkish Prime Ministry Promotion Fund and the Municipality of Antalya as well as German hypermarket chain Real.