About the Project:
The Turk Film Project was conceived after President Obama’s recent visit to Turkey in April 2009. In a speech to the Turkish Parliament, President Obama reminded Turks that Turkey is a critical ally of the U.S., an important part of Europe, and an increasingly influential player on the world stage. “Turkey and the United States,” President Obama said to Parliament, “must stand together and work together to overcome the challenges of our time.” However, even though the importance of Turkey has been emphasized, few Americans know much about Turkey besides that “Istanbul was once Constantinople.”
Over the course of the next year, the Turk Film Project intends to publish short video segments on this web blog to provide Americans insight into the rich culture and diverse peoples living in Turkey. We encourage and hope that both Turks and Americans will comment on these videos, the material, and share their knowledge or questions about the issues raised in this forum. Many of the videos published will be fully directed and produced by Matt Porter, an American living and teaching English in Turkey as a Fulbright scholar. However, as this blog continues, it is our hope that Turkish students themselves will also produce some of the content.
The Turk Film Project is a collaborative one. We are working with student groups from Boston College, Boston University, and Harvard University among others. The production costs of this film project are supported by the Salmanowitz Grant for Moral Courage in Film. This film would also not be possible without a generous grant support from the U.S.-Turkey Fulbright Program. A full list of our collaborators will be published soon.
Through this blog, we hope that Americans will see what makes Turks so proud of their country, their culture, and their history. Again, as President Obama said in his April address, “This is not where East and West divide – it is where they come together. In the beauty of your culture. In the richness of your history. In the strength of your democracy. In your hopes for tomorrow.” We hope that the Turk Film Project will be an effective tool for spreading cultural awareness and bridging the gap between Americans and Turks.
About The Salmanowitz Grant:
The Jacques Salmanowitz Program for Moral Courage in Film is devoted to encouraging the production of films concerned with acts of moral courage, providing role models for youth worldwide. The Salmanowitz Program serves as a resource for independent filmmakers, university students, and faculty across the disciplines who wish to create documentaries that will inspire future generations.
The Program is named for Jacques Salmanowitz, a Swiss businessman, who was instrumental in bringing individuals trapped behind German lines in World War II to safety in Switzerland.
The Salmanowitz Program is established through a continually renewed grant. The Program is conducted through the Fine Arts Department at Boston College and made possible by a grant from the Documentaries International Film and Video Foundation, Washington, DC. The grant establishes the Salmanowitz Professor who advises potential producers on the implementation of new documentary projects. Further, the grant supports the Assistant Director, a student from within the Fine Arts Department, who provides research and logistical support for the program.
The Salmanowitz Program offers resources and assistance to both professional and student filmmakers including access to advice and consultation, a funding database, film archive, and support for distribution.
(Information adapted from the BC Salmanowitz Program)
About the Fulbright Program:
“Fostering leadership, learning and empathy between cultures was and remains the purpose of the international scholarship program.” – Senator J. William Fulbright
Established in 1946 by the US Congress, the Fulbright Program is sponsored by the US department of State and is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. Its purpose is to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”
The Turkish Fulbright Program includes grants for research and teaching. The teaching program has allowed me to spend a year in Kayseri, Turkey serving as an English Teaching Assistant at Erciyes University. Visit the Fulbright website for more information about the Turkish Fulbright Program.
NOTE: This website is not an official state department website. The views and information presented do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.
(Information adapted from the Fulbright Website.)