Initiated by ISTANBUL’74, the IST. International Arts & Culture Festival (IST. Festival) is an annual, high- profile, three-day festival that offers a hybrid program of panels and talks, exhibitions, workshops, screenings and performances that aim to establish and forge cultural and artistic relations, by bringing together some of the world’s most talented and creative minds.

IST. Festival is admission-free, and open to the public. 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 exchanging ideas among its participants, while giving the opportunity to the public audience to engage with some of the most influential individuals coming from various fields as diverse as arts, literature, film, music, fashion, architecture and design.

Each year, IST. Festival focuses on a main theme that is relevant to contemporary culture, and the participating guest speakers as well as the panel topics are picked accordingly. Some of the past participants, guests, honourees and collaborators of the IST. Festival include: Gore Vidal, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Sir V.S. Naipaul, Zaha Hadid, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Franca Sozzani, Michael Stipe, Terry Gilliam, JR, Kirsten Dunst, Daniel Arsham, Abel Ferrara, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Courtney Love, Ryan McGinley, Haider Ackermann, Ferzan Ozpetek, Michael Nyman, Alex Prager, Craig McDean, Juliette Lewis, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Andrew Dominik, Mario Sorrenti, Mark Romanek, and many more.

IST. Festival has grown into a highly anticipated cultural event, seeking creatives from different cultures and artistic disciplines to influence one another in unexpected ways, resulting in eclectic conversations and further collaboration between participants. Beginning from 2019, with a vision to travel beyond borders, IST. Festival will broaden its reach to a wider global audience, launching new biannual editions, to premiere in Rome.