Friday, April 11, 2003
Another film festival in trouble thanks to world situation.
Fear of flying close to a war zone has caused some invited celebrities to pull out of commitments to attend the 22nd Istanbul International Film Festival, which opens Friday, organizers said.
John Malkovich, director of "The Dancer Upstairs," is still scheduled to attend, as is filmmaker-actor Paul Morrissey, with "Andy Warhol Presents: Paul Morrissey's Trilogy."
Turkey, which borders northern Iraq, was the focus last month of White House pressure to allow U.S. troops to use it as a land corridor to open a second front in the war against Saddam Hussein's regime.
Although Turkey's Parliament voted to deny U.S. troops access, the proximity of Turkish airspace to a war zone where frequent "friendly fire" incidents have been reported has scared away some invited guests.
"The war in Iraq (has had) an effect on guests. We received replies from some celebrities who preferred not to fly to the region," said festival spokesman Ustungel Inanc. "The real problem (is) about flying, not Turkey being a neighbor or the situation in Istanbul, as life here is at its normal pace."