Initiated by ISTANBUL’74, the Istanbul International Arts & Culture Festival – IST. Festival is an annual, high-profile event that aims to establish and forge cultural and artistic relations by gathering leading cultural figures from across the globe in the city of Istanbul.
Co-curated by Demet Müftüoğlu-Eseli and Alphan Eseli, with international guest curator, the three-day festival offers a hybrid programme packed with guest speakers, exhibitions, workshops, screenings and performances held at different venues in and around the city.
Ever since its inception in 2010, IST. Festival has been remarkable for bringing visionaries together with a keen audience. By attracting a mix of national and international creatives to lead panels, discussions and more, the Festival creates an inspiring platform for ideas exchange between its participants, while giving the opportunity to the attending public audience to engage with some of the most influential individuals of our time coming from various fields as diverse as arts, literature, cinema, music, fashion, architecture and design.
Each year, IST. Festival focuses on a main theme that is relevant to contemporary culture, and the festival committee picks the participating guest speakers as well as the panel topics accordingly.
Some of the past participants of the IST. Festival include: Tilda Swinton, Gore Vidal, Harvey Keitel, Zaha Hadid, Craig McDean, Juliette Lewis, Franca Sozzani, Reha Erdem, Terry Gilliam, JR, Alphan Eşeli, Ryan McGinley, Kirsten Dunst, Marco Mueller, Sir Vs Naipaul, Daniel Arsham, Özalp Birol, Gareth Pugh, Courtney Love, Dan Colen, Haider Ackermann, Ayşe Kulin, Michael Nyman, Taner Ceylan, Alex Prager, Jefferson Hack, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Sam Taylor-Wood, Andrew Dominik, Mario Sorrenti, Ferzan Özpetek and Mark Romanek amongst many others.
IST. Festival is admission-free, and open to the public.