1st Foça International Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Film Days
Foça Film Days is a 3-day event that will involve the screening of documentary films on archaeological and cultural heritage to a general audience of local residents as well as visitors to Foça. Films will be shown at the Reha Midilli Cultural Centre and will be accompanied by panel discussions and talks with invited archaeologists and documentary filmmakers from Turkey and abroad. At the same time, the cultural centre will host an exhibition of photographs of the ongoing excavations in Foça taken by local students as well as stands featuring local agricultural products and other items relating to archaeology and cultural heritage. Following the daily programs, archaeologists and local volunteers will lead guests on tours of the local excavations and other historical settings, and in the evenings, feature films and entertainment will be offered at the Beşkapı Castle.
The Importance of Celebrating History and Cultural Heritage in Foça
The beautiful municipality of Foça, set within a loop of harbors and shelterıng islands a short hop up the Aegean coast from Izmir, once played an important role in world history as one of the most powerful cities in the Ionian League, and later became a rich port of trade ceded to the Genoese by the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII. Like a number of old settlements in this region, Foça, which was known in antiquity as ‘Phocaea’ (derived from the Greek word for “seal,” after its native monk seal population), can be considered one of Anatolia’s ‘forgotten beauties,’ given that the town has not suffered from the environmental consequences associated with mass tourism. Instead, Foça’s well-preserved stone houses, hospitable residents, crystal- clear seas and welcoming fish restaurants have allowed the town to attract day-trippers from around Izmir while at the same time providing a comfortable, “liveable” environment for the town’s residents.
Despite Foça’s archaeological riches — acknowledged most recently by its candidacy as a UNESCO World Heritage Site — restoration activities have suffered from a dearth of funding; therefore Foça’s archaeological and historical treasures have yet to be integrated into a tourism-based economy. As a result, national and international tourism remain relatively low, and growth restrictions stemming from Foça’s multi-level protective status are threatened by forces that favor expanding development in the area. While recent efforts have been made to promote cultural and ecological tourism, economic and environmental pressures caused by a growing population are making preservation ever more difficult. The 2016-2020 ÖÇK Action Plan addresses this situation by calling for activities aimed at raising awareness among the local population regarding the preservation of historical and cultural treasures in order to support its Fırst Ideal Goal: “Conservation of Traditional Life and Historical Fabric”.
- To introduce to the public important examples of architectural and cultural heritage from Turkey and around the world,
- To raise awareness about the importance of heritage conservation, and
- To encourage sustainable tourism.
To find out how to submit a film for screening at Foça Film Days, click here.
To find out how to partner with us in support of Foça Film Days, click here.