Ankara Film Festival was held for the first time in 1988. In the festival held between 13-20 March, around 40 works from 10 countries and 30 local productions met with the audiences. Until then, no such large-scale organization for cinema had been organized in Ankara. The first film festival of the capital, took placeunder the leadership of Mahmut Tali Öngören and Aziz Nesin. and was implemented in partnership with the Mulkiyeliler Union and Science and Art, Bilar A.Ş.

While the Ankara Film Festival offered programs that diversified and developed rapidly, it was interrupted in 1991 primarily due to the Gulf War and other reasons. However, this year resulted in the laying of the institutional foundations of the festival; With the efforts of Mahmut Tali Öngören, the World Mass Communication Research Foundation was established on January 11, 1991. The festival, which was included in the activities of the foundation, was presented to the audience in 1992 as the 4th Ankara International Film Festival with its rich program.