The City to City programme last year became an unlikely hotbed of controversy with its focus on Tel Aviv, which some festival filmmakers and viewers believed to be inappropriate in a year that held the attacks on Gaza. (For my own response to the controversy, see my blog post here.) This year’s city, Istanbul, promises to be much less scandalous, though perhaps more exotic and will allow a terrific opportunity to catch up with Turkish cinema. Of these I am drawn to Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s new film, Distant which is billed as an “exploration of existential heartache”. Trust me that it is the filmmaker I am following on this one, not the synopsis! The really exciting entries in this programme are the entire slate of Turkish short films, which are a fascinating mix of experimental and narrative dramas told in a wide variety of creative forms.