Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cannes 2007 | Best Screenplay Award to Fatih Akin

Best screenplay was awarded to German-Turkish director and writer Fatih Akin for The Edge of Heaven, a cross-border story of love and reconciliation.

Cannes 2007 | The Ecumenical Jury Prize to Fatih Akin

The Ecumenical Jury Prize was awarded to The Edge of Heaven by Fatih Akin, presented in Competition. The Jury mentioned: "This film skillfully tells the story of the intersecting destinies in Germany and Turkey of men and women from different backgrounds. It makes the viewer aware of the pain and complexity of the loss of cultural identity and relationships, as well as the valuable cultural exchanges, transitions, and cohabitations possible between these two worlds. Two other major themes are parent-child relationships, sacrifice, and reconciliation." Established in 1974, the Ecumenical Jury designates works of artistic quality, film testimonials to the depth of human feeling and its mystery, through human preoccupations, hopes, and despairs.

Review | The Edge of Heaven

Akin speaks of The Edge of Heaven (Auf Der Anederen Seite) as the second instalment of a hypothetical trilogy entitled "Love – Death – Evil" that began with Head On. Actually, the theme of death, or the Western taboo of death, is only of the film’s strong elements. It is interwoven with political passion, ideology and militancy, borders, globalization, and the languages and cultures that divide populations and individuals.While his previous hit feature was a dramatic love story in which the two main characters lose and find each other again here Akin focuses on more characters, creating a hefty role for the superb Hanna Schygulla (an actress who has worked with Fassbinder, Wajda, Wenders, von Trotta, Godard, Scola and Ferreri), who plays the mother of a university student (Patrycia Ziolkowska) who meets a young Turk who has fled his country as a result of his political activities. Yet the perfect and enthralling structure of Head On is here transformed into a screenplay and directing style that are level and without any particular sparks, in a story that unfolds between Germany and Turkey not, however, lacking in intensity and strong emotions, supported by magnificent supporting cast (Baki Davrak, Nursel Kose, Tuncel Kurtiz and Nurgul Yesilcay). It will be interesting to see how the film, acted in German, English and Turkish, will be received in Turkey. The Edge of Heaven was produced by Corazon International in co-production with Anka Film and in association with NDR and Dorje Film. It is being sold by The Match Factory.
Camillo de Marco

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cannes 2007 | Review for Auf der anderen seite

The Edge of Heaven Auf der anderen seite (Germany-Turkey)
A Corazon Intl. (Germany)/Anka Film (Turkey) production, in association with NDR, Dorje Film. (International sales: The Match Factory, Cologne.) Produced by Andreas Thiel, Klaus Maeck, Fatih Akin. Co-producers, Erhan Ozogul, Funda Odemis, Ali Akdeniz. Directed, written by Fatih Akin.

Nejat Aksu - Baki Davrak
Ali Aksu - Tuncel Kurtiz
Yeter Ozturk - Nursel Kose
Ayten Ozturk - Nurgul Yesilcay
Susanne Staub - Hanna Schygulla
Lotte Staub - Patrycia Ziolkowska


Baki Davrak plays a Hamburg U professor who befriends a Turkish prostitute (Nursel Kose) in 'The Edge of Heaven.'

The point at which a good director crosses the career bridge to become a substantial international talent is vividly clear in "The Edge of Heaven," an utterly assured, profoundly moving fifth feature by Fatih Akin. Superbly cast drama, in which the lives and emotional arcs of six people -- four Turks and two Germans -- criss-cross through love and tragedy takes the German-born Turkish writer-director's ongoing interest in two seemingly divergent cultures to a humanist level that's way beyond the grungy romanticism of his 2003 "Head-On" or the dreamy dramedy of "In July" (2000). Robust upscale biz looks a given.
Pic opens and closes in Turkey during a bayram, the word for a festival or holiday regardless of national or religious differences. First seen tooling around the Black Sea coast, Hamburg U. prof Nejat (Baki Davrak) is next seen arriving in nearby Bremen, where his father, sprightly septuagenarian Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz), still visits hookers as a cure for his loneliness.

Happening upon a no-nonsense Turkish prostie, Yeter (Nursel Kose), he proposes she moves in with him if he matches her hooking income. Under pressure to quit her job by two fundamentalist Turkish thugs, Yeter agrees.

Turns out that, back in Turkey, Yeter has a 27-year-old daughter, Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcay), who thinks her mom works in a shoe shop. When Ali is hospitalized after a heart attack, Yeter forms a close relationship with the quiet Nejat, who accepts his father's patriarchal lifestyle.

However, viewers have already been warned, in pic's opening title ("Yeter's Death"), that tragedy is waiting round the corner. Sure enough, Yeter is accidentally killed by Ali in an argument. As Ali is incarcerated in a German jail and Yeter's body is shipped home, story shifts to Istanbul, where Nejat has bought a German-language backstreets bookshop. Between times, he's searching for Ayten, to finance her education as a form of reparation.

As another audience warning ("Lotte's Death") appears on screen 40 minutes in, we meet Ayten, a political activist using the alias Gul Korkmaz who's on the run from the authorities. Fleeing to Germany, she ends up penniless in Hamburg where she's befriended by college student Lotte, daughter of comfy, middle-class Susanne (vet Hanna Schygulla). Lotte and Ayten become lovers, setting in motion a complex series of criss-crossing events that changes the lives of the survivors for ever as the story shifts back to Turkey.

Pic has a lean, almost procedural style, in which every scene and line of dialogue counts. Akin doesn't try to hide the plot's coincidences or Swiss watch-like precision, which is given human resonance by the flawless playing of the six leads. Only one scene, a political face-off by Ayten and Susanne, rings awkwardly.

By the time the second seg segues into the final one (film's German title, "From the Other Side"), helmer's long-burn approach packs a considerable emotional wallop in a quiet, inclusive way.

Veteran Turkish actor Kurtiz, who's almost a national monument back home, dominates the early going with his frisky but deeply traditional Ali. Distaffers take over the running in the second half, with the utterly convincing Yesilcay (so good in the very different role of a quiet Moslem bride in recent Turkish pic "Adam & the Devil") and Ziolkowska (from Akin's "Solino") as the lesbian lovers. Schygulla's low-key perf grows more slowly, bringing a reconciliatory glow to the final reels.

Akin's cultural ease with both countries shows in the shooting, spread between Bremen, Hamburg, Istanbul and Trabzon. Good-looking but never gratuitously glossy lensing by Rainer Klausmann ("Solino," "Head-On," "Downfall") is an extra plus, as is the liberating score by Shantel (aka Stefan Hantel).

Camera (color), Rainer Klausmann; editor, Andrew Bird; music, Shantel; art directors, Tamo Kunz, Sirma Bradley; costumes, Katrin Aschendorf; sound (Dolby Digital), Kai Luede, Richard Borowski; sound designer, Joerg Krieger; associate producers, Alberto Fanni, Flaminio Zadra, Paolo Colombo; casting, Monique Akin. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (competing), May 23, 2007. Running time: 120 MIN.
(German, Turkish, English dialogue)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cannes 2007 | The World Cinema Foundation

Officially launched at the press conference today, the World Cinema Foundation is a non-profit organization that is to contribute financial support to the restoration and distribution of films from all over the world. Joining Martin Scorsese on today’s panel of filmmakers were Souleymanne Cisse, Gianluca Farinelli, Ermanno Olmi, Walter Salles, Wong Kar Wai, Ahmed El Maanouni and Fatih Akin.

Martin Scorsese on the origins: “This goes back to the founding of the Film Foundation in America, with myself and George Lucas, and Spielberg, and Coppola, and Pollack, Stanley Kubrick and Eastwood, where we began to understand with the archives that if we were to combine our influence as filmmakers, we could put pressure upon the studios and other areas as so many American films have been neglected and some have lost their rights, out there like orphan films. We could take that influence and create a different way of thinking about cinema patrimony in America. And that was started in 1990. During that time we kept thinking that wouldn’t it be great if we could do that internationally, particularly with countries that may not have the ability to get the support and finances to restore certain films…It’s the tenacity and the obsession of the filmmaker that I’m hoping we will be able to deal with here.”

Martin Scorsese on the impact of watching international movies: “I saw a great deal of films on television, in particular, and I remember learning something about India from watching a Satyajit Ray’s films, not from watching film about India made by other countries and this opened a whole world to me. Foreign films on television introduced so many different cultures to me. What may happen is that we re-influence each other and that creates a new kind of cinema that is right her in Cannes. But most importantly is that once we begin to understand, we’ll begin to have less of a feeling of strangeness towards other cultures. This hopefully can bring about some political understanding.”

Walter Salles on preserving cinema history: “A sentence said by Glauber Rocha, producer and also director of photography: ‘A country without cinema or cinema history is like a house without mirrors.’ So you understand rapidly that the question of preserving films is preserving cultural identity.”

Souleymane Cissé on the preservation of film in Africa: "This Foundation represents hope for us in Africa, because we are more and more aware of the multitude of problems on the continent… In many African countries there is no such thing as the film preservation. We organized a festival in the center of Africa and we invited Serge Toubiana, head of the French Cinematheque. We wanted him to talk about preservation, yet we were reminded that we were in a region where people are scrambling to find food and that is where the filmmakers came together to talk about the preservation of their identity. To put it simply, I think Martin Scorsese has a strong place in his heart for humanity and a great foresight. He came to us and we have joined the battle wholeheartedly, because it is essential to our survival. Our films are beginning to raise buzz. If in 15 or even 30 years down the line, these films are no longer visible, well, we will cease to exist."

Wong Kar Wai on the Hong Kong Film Archives: “Actually I think the films before 1949 are well preserved in China. Perhaps it’s the habits of the Chinese; they like to keep things…In the past few years they have been trying to restore them, like one of my favorites: Springtime in a Small Town. After 1949, Hong Kong Film Archives have been the center for entertainment for all the overseas Chinese communities. A few years ago I went to Chinatown in San Francisco and we realized there’s a warehouse outside of San Francisco with hundreds of titles. And I think all these films are something very important, to link all of the Chinese around the world because they have something to share. So we are trying to get these film shipped to the Hong Kong Film Archives.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cannes 2007 | Turkish Pavilion

PAVILION PROFILE: Turkey Looks to Boost Visibility with Bigger Pavilion

This time last year Turkey was in a Pavilion space half its current size, but 2007 brought along a newfound confidence and along with that, the need for expansion. With 100 square meters, Turkey has created a "welcoming home" of sorts for their Cannes line up of filmmakers to relax, work, and network. Not only has their square footage increased, but so has their advertisement of their films. Visible on the market floor and in the trade paper Variety, Turkey has made some clear financial commitments in order to augment their exposure to the Cannes international community.

This year, Turkey's collaborative film with Germany, "The Edge of Heaven," by Fatih Akin, which is about a young man who goes on a search for his father's girlfriend's political activist daughter, is in the festival's official competition and will have its gala screening (with all the trappings accustomed to those nightly events) on Wednesday, May 23rd in the Lumiere. Another film that brought Turkey back to Cannes is the Director's Fortnight selection "Egg," by Kaplanoglu Semih. Centered on Yusuf, a poet, the man returns to his home village, which he hasn't visited for years, following the death of his mother. A young girl named Ayla, who had been living with Yusef's mother for the past five years, is waiting for him in their decrepit house. Ayla has a mission for Yusuf, he must perform a sacrificial rite and visit a Saint's tomb that his mother, Zehra, was not able to fulfill before she died.

Currently, Turkey's main interests are enhancing visibility and shopping around their seven screenings at the market, pitching ideas to other filmmakers, and searching for co-producers. The Turkish Pavilion offers a daily happy hour that goes from 6-9pm. They boast that when the rest of the International village is desolate, they are busy and alive with attendees sipping on Turkish wine and coffee. Turkey's box office is perhaps itself a mirror of this liveliness as well. In 2005, Turkish film was 40% of the country's domestic box office revenues. In 2006, the percentage had increased to 51.8% of the box office, a figure that gives the country an enviable home grown film industry in comparison to many of its neighbors. [Ashley Adams]

Monday, May 21, 2007

2007 Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival

Flying Broom bids farewell to Ankara

The 10th edition of Ankara's Uçan Süpürge (Flying Broom) International Women's Film Festival ended Sunday with an award ceremony at the Metropol movie theater, where the festival has been screening 149 productions by female filmmakers for the last 10 days.

Japanese actress-director Kaori Momoi's feature-film "Faces of a Fig Tree" was named the winner of the prestigious International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize at the ceremony, beating 14 entrants from various countries screened in the "Each has a Different Color" section of the festival. The winners of the short film screenplay competition were also announced during the ceremony. There was a three-way tie for first place -- including Burcu Tasçı for her story titled "Tek Sahnelik Hayat" (Single-act Life), Merlin Yılmaz for "Ve Bir Tüy Düstü" (And a Feather Fell) and Esra Günel and Erhan Yavuz for "Oyuncak" (Toy) -- according to the Anatolia news agency.

This year's theme for the short film screenplay competition was "Marriage and Playing Family," aiming to draw public attention to problems caused by early marriages. Flying Broom women's platform coordinator Halime Güler said the festival has once more proven that "democracy has been approved by women." She said the Flying Broom was "a bold, leading and mighty festival. For a festival to be marking its 10th year shows its permanence," she added.

Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival | Uçan Süpürge Uluslararası Kadın Filmleri Festivali
Büyükelçi Sok. 20/4, Kavaklıdere – Ankara, Turkey
T: 0 312 427 00 20/4 | F: 0 312 466 55 61 |

W: |

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Honey by Semih Kaplanoglu


Honey, the third in the Yusuf trilogy, is also the last stage in the journey we take to the origin of a soul.

Yusuf reached maturity in Egg while in Milk he was on the verge of leaving home and becoming an adult. Honey takes us to the childhood of the poet.

Honey is the inner story of a boy who searches for his lost father at a point where he's trying to make sense of life, living in the remotest and wildest area of the Eastern Black Sea Region where modern life has not yet penetrated.

Called 'The World's Finest Honey,' the Black Hive Honey (specific to the region) is produced by a dwindling number of beekeepers in hand-made hives set on treetops in the deepest reaches of a dark and frightening forest.

A joint effort by the endangered Caucasian bees and the beekeeper Yakup, this therapeutic honey is the essence of an older world, untouched nature and holiest knowledge for the inhabitants of the region.

Yakup, the skilful gatherer of this miracle on high treetops, intrepid in the face of all hardships and perils, is a holy person in the eyes of his son Yusuf. The loss of his father, who had vanquished the terrifying forest in Yusuf's eyes, the colossal trees and the monster in his lair, disillusions the boy greatly.

The first poems he writes using the letters he's learned at school taste of the Black Hive Honey.

Yusuf defies the forest on the way between school and home. He wants his father back. He firmly believes his father, in his eyes very like the prophet his grandmother often talks about, will return one day.

Yusuf confronts a completely unfamiliar world when he steps into the forest, gathering all his courage to try to find his father. The tree by which he is to spend the night and the darkness of the forest will capture his soul for all eternity.

Cannes 2007 | Egg by Semih Kaplanoglu

Egg,"the first film of Semih Kaplanoğlu's "Yusuf Trilogy", has been selected for screening at the "Quinzaine des Realisateurs" section of the 60th Cannes Film Festival.A co-production between Turkey and Greece, the film was made with the support of Eurimages, Turkey's Ministry of Culture, the Greek Film Center, Efes Pilsen and the Municipality of Tire and features Nejat İşler and Saadet Işıl Aksoy in the leading roles.

"Milk" the second film from the Yusuf Trilogy--Honey, Milk, and Egg--written by Semih Kaplanoğlu and Orçun Köksal will be introduced to film professionals by the Cannes Atelier, one of the official sections of the Cannes festival. Yumurta
de Semih Kaplanoglu
Egg | Yumurta
Official Site

DIRECTOR Semih Kaplanoğlu SCREENPLAY Semih Kaplanoğlu DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Özgür Eken SOUND İsmail Karadaş
Özkan Yılmaz EDITING Ayhan Ergürsel, Semih Kaplanoğlu, Suzan Hande Güneri
PRODUCER Semih Kaplanoğlu Kaplan Film Production CO-PRODUCER Lilette Botassi Inkas Film Production GREEK CO-PRODUCERSPanayiotis Papazoğlu(PPV S.A.) SOUND STUDIO Papazoğlu S.A. (Athens)LAB Sinefekt (İstanbul)Sklavis Lab (Athens) CAST:Nejat İşler (Yusuf), Saadet Işıl Aksoy (Ayla), Ufuk Bayraktar (Haluk), Tülin Özen (Woman in Bookstore), Gülçin Santırcıoğlu (Gül) Kaan Karabacak (Little Boy)

SYNOPSIS: Poet Yusuf returns to his childhood hometown, which he hadn't visited for years, upon his mother's death. A young girl, Ayla awaits him in a crumbling house. Yusuf has been unaware of the existence of this distant relation who had been living with his mother for five years.

Ayla has something to ask of Yusuf . Yusuf is obliged to perform the sacrifice his mother Zehra had been prevented by death from fulfilling. Yusuf agrees as he finds himself unable to withstand the passive rhythm of rural life, the spaces imbued with the ghosts and personages of old lovers and friends, nor against the overriding feeling of guilt.

Yusuf and Ayla set off for the saint's tomb, some three or four hours away, for the traditional sacrifice ceremony. Unable to locate the herd amongst which the sacrificial animal was to be selected, they have to spend the night in a hotel by the crater lake. Yusuf and Ayla are drawn closer together by the atmosphere of the wedding party at the hotel.

While the falling snow blankets guilt, the place to which they are returning will no longer be that old town.

Film greco-turc en couleur, 2007, tous publics
Quinzaine des réalisateurs Cannes 2007

A la mort de sa mère, le poète Yusuf retourne dans son village natal où il n'était pas venu depuis des années. Ayla, une jeune fille qui vivait avec sa mère depuis cinq ans l'attend dans une maison décrépite.
Ayla demande à Yusuf d'accomplir le rite sacrificiel que sa mère Zehra n'a pas pu faire avant de mourir. En route our la tombe du saint, ils doivent s'arrêter pour la nuit dans un hôtel. Se trouvant pris dans une fête de mariage, Yusuf et Ayla découvrent qu'ils sont attirés l'un par l'autre.

Casting : Semih Kaplanoglu (Réalisation), Nejat Isler , Saadet Isil Aksoy , Ufuk Bayraktar , Semih Kaplanoglu (Scénario), Orcun Koksal (Scénario)

Durée : 97 minutes

Milk | Sut by Semih Kaplanoglu

Colour / Black and white : Color
Lengh : 100 mn
Locations and shooting dates : Central Anatolia - 10 weeks - 35 mm
Shooting language : TURKISH
Working budget : 890 000 €
Acquired financing : 433 000 €

Turkey's rural areas have been undergoing huge social, economic, and cultural changes over the past few years. A new way of life has awakened in those towns and villages that used to rely solely on agricultural pursuits. This new way of life has not only changed the area economically, but has also forced change in traditional mores. I implanted these changes in the heart of our young poet, Yusuf, and in the heart of his mother, a woman who yearns for a new way of life. As each character assumes their place in the events that are being lived out, the conflicts that Yusuf faces in the turmoil wrought by the clash of the traditional and the new are also being experienced by countless young people in Turkey. The needs and desires of traditional rural women have always remained suppressed under the over-looming shadows of their fathers, husbands, sons and families.
In MILK, and in the Yusuf Trilogy in general, I want to focus on the centre of the painful change that is currently being played out within the mother-son relationship in Turkey.

Synopsis: Yusuf (18-20) is disconcerted when he learns that his mother Fatma (38-40) has a secret affair with the town's railroad stationmaster. Should he behave in accordance with the traditional male-dominated culture and traditions of the town or should he develop a new perspective in accordance with the new modernization process that is on-going in the area?

Yusuf and Fatma struggle to make a living of the milk they get from the cows. Their town is in the midst of rapid industrialization and this is quickly putting an end to traditional production methods and some of the trades traditional to the area. When she falls in love with the town's stationmaster, Fatma's femininity is rekindled and she begins to change. Yusuf discovers that his mother's interest has turned to another man, but when he receives his draft notice, he suddenly goes off to the large city to take the Army's physical examination. His mother's relationship, which he has tried to ignore up to now, and the pain at being considered unfit for military duty, force Yusuf, who comes from a male-dominated culture, to make some serious decisions.

Contacts: Production: KAPLAN FILM PRODUCTION - Sureyya Agaoglu Sk. n.417 - Tesvikiye Istanbul - TURQUIE - T : 90 212 291 29 95 - -

Biography and Filmography: Kaplan Film Production was founded by Director and writer Semih Kaplanoglu in 2002. In 2003 the firm started to work on the film Angel's Fall. Angel's Fall, after having its World Premiere at the 55th Berlinale, was invited to many prestigious festivals like Edinburgh, Moscow, Pusan, Vienna, Warsaw, Thessaloniki and Nantes. In 2006. Kaplan Film started the production of a trilogy in which the films will be called Milk - Egg - Honey.

The shooting of Egg was completed in November 2006. It was selected for the Cinemart Co-production Market and Paris Project, where meetings were held with international professionals. Egg has the support of Eurimages and the Turkish Ministry of Culture. Egg is a Turkish-Greek co-production Milk the second part of the trilogy, received production support from the World Cinema Fund of Berlinale. During the 47th Thessaloniki Festival, Milk was invited to the Crossroads Co-production Market. Milk was also invited to the Berlinale Co-production market in the World Cinema section. Kaplan Film Production is also working on the film Steppe Winds. Currently in development, the film already has the support of the Hubert Bals Fund and the Turkish Ministry of Culture.


CANNES '07 ATELIER INTERVIEW | Semih Kaplanoglu: "Time is the raw material of cinema."
by indieWIRE (May 18, 2007)

In Semih Kaplanoglu's Atelier project "Milk", a young man who sells milk with his mother watches his world change dramatically as their Turkish town faces globalization and his mother falls in love. Kaplanoglu already has a distinguished record in film. His first feature "Herkes Kendi Evinde" won the Best Director award at the 2001 Singapore Asia Film Festival, while his second, "Angel's Fall", premiered at the 55th Berlinale.

About the program: The Atelier de la Cinefondation was created by the Cannes Film Festival to nurture specific projects from emerging filmmakers. In its third year, the program has selected fifteen projects looking for development or completion funding. Meetings and events between filmmakers and film professionals will be arranged during the Festival, May 18-25. Click here for more information on the program and projects.

Where you were born and how did you become a filmmaker?

I was born in Izmir on February 22, 1963. My most unforgettable memories of childhood involve the time I spent at the movies in the summer. There were at least ten summer open-air movie theaters, this being before television... My family and I would go every night and watch at least two movies. My father, who lived in Paris during the first part of the French New Wave, was very interested in movies. With his encouragement, I zealously followed the cinema program of the movies at the French Cultural Foundation.

After a while, the German Goethe Institute also began bringing movies and showing them in the same theater. By the age of 15, I had seen numerous works from Godard, Bresson, Claire, Rohmer, Fassbinder, Herzog, Bunuel, A. R. Grillet, and other important directors of European cinema. In addition, I had an 8mm camera that I used to make documentary-style movies which I would then watch with my family. Naturally enough, I attended the Cinema School of the Fine Arts Faculty at the University in Izmir. When I graduated I was 21 and had a 16mm black-and-white short film in my repertoire.

Talk about your previous work, including your recent films and other creative projects.

On the second day after graduating from the university I packed up and moved to Istanbul, the center of Turkish filmmaking, with the sole purpose of making movies. I worked in various jobs: camera assistant on documentaries, set photographer, advertising writer, scriptwriter for TV shows, directing, etc. This continued for 16 years until I was able to film my first feature length movie in 2000, called "Herkes Kendi Evinde" ("Away From Home"). After that came "Angel's Fall", which had its world premiere at the 55th Berlinale and won awards for Best Film at festivals such as Nantes, Kerala, Barcelona, and Istanbul. I also directed "Yumurta" ("Egg"), to be shown at the 2007 "Quinzaine des Realisateurs" section of the Cannes Film Festival.

What is your process in making these films?

What I'm looking at here is a longish cinematographic flash-back. Call it an internal journey, if you will, towards the authentic and away from the globalizing face and appearance of the world's provinces. For it is in our provinces that the feeling of time, so eroded by civilization, still clings. This will also be something of an archaeological dig, extending from the last days of the mother-son relationship (with the death of the mother in "Egg") to the beginning (the birth of the son in "Honey"). I hope in this way to narrate the burden and pain of passing time so that I may be able to invite everyone to remember and think about his own time. We all have mothers we love and it is highly possible that much is hidden in the time we spent with our mothers, and the time we are no longer able to spend with them. I wish to note that my films are not only bound to the story, that is, the screenplay. I am of the view that time is the raw material of cinema. My expression is plain, spare in dialogue, shaped by visual and audio details and focused on conveying the sense of time passing with every breath. "Milk" director Semih Kaplanoglu.

What is "Milk" about and what inspired you to pursue it?

Turkey's rural areas, especially that of Central Anatolia, have been undergoing huge social, economic, and cultural changes during the past several years. A new way of life has awakened in those towns and villages that used to rely solely on agricultural pursuits and animal husbandry, due to the factories and the dams being built in the areas, and the mines being opened. The new employment opportunities and the dynamics brought about by widespread migration have deeply affected family structure, a structure that was traditionally the unassailable fortress of the entire region.

These new ways of living have not only changed the area economically speaking, but have also forced a change to traditional mores. While some view this transformation from soil to industry, from field to factory, as a ray of hope, god-sent vehicle towards a 'bright future,' for others these major changes have brought about 'chaos and strife.'

What do you hope to accomplish for the project while you are in Cannes?

I'm looking particularly for international co-producers here. I need laboratories and the best technical experts to attain the production levels necessary to bring my films to the whole world. I am therefore seeking producers who can help me accomplish that. In addition, it's important for us to sell to television channels like Arte and international distribution companies. We have to work with a smaller budget in comparison to most others and yet it gets harder and harder every day.

What are some of your favorite movies and influences?

The directors that influenced me the most are no longer living: Ozu, Bresson, Satyajit Ray, and Tarkovsky. I'm trying to find my own path based on the cinematographic and ethical rules they laid down. I am primarily interested in the metaphysical aspects of cinema and I also happen to think that the only way to do philosophy these days is through cinema.

Cannes 2007 | Auf Der Anderen Seite by Fatih Akin

Auf Der Anderen Seite | Edge of Heaven | Yasamin Kiyisinda

Synopsis:Nejat seems disapproving about his widower father Ali's choice of prostitute Yeter for a live-in girlfriend. But he grows fond of her when he discovers she sends money home to Turkey for her daughter's university studies. Yeter's sudden death distances father and son. Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter's daughter Ayten. Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte, who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, a gesture not particularly pleasing to her conservative mother Susanne. When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea is denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Lotte travels to Turkey,where she gets caught up in the seemingly hopeless situation of freeing Ayten.

Director Fatih Akin; Screenplay Fatih Akin; Director of Photography Rainer Klausmann; Editor Andrew Bird; Music by Stefan "Shantel" Hantel; Production Design Tamo Kunz, Sirma Bradley
; Casting Monique Akin
Producers Fatih Akin, Andreas Thiel, Klaus Maeck; Production Company corazón international/Hamburg, in co-production with NDR/Hamburg, Anka Film/Istanbul, Dorje Film/Rome

Principal Cast Baki Davrak, Patrycia Ziolkowska, Nurcel Koese, Hanna Schygulla, Tuncel Kurtiz, Nurguel Yesilcay

Length 122 min, 3,312 m |Format 35 mm, color, 1:1.85 |Original Version German/Turkish/English
Subtitled Versions English |Sound Technology Dolby Digital Surround Ex
Festival Screenings Cannes 2007 (In Competition)
With backing from Filmfoerderungsanstalt (FFA), BKM, FilmFoerderung Hamburg, Filmstiftung NRW, Nordmedia, Kulturelle Filmfoerderung Schleswig-Holstein |German Distributor Pandora Film Verleih/Aschaffenburg

World Sales:The Match Factory GmbH |Michael Weber |Sudermanplatz 2
50670 Cologne/Germany T:+49-2 21-2 92 10 20 F:+49-2 21-29 21 02 10 E:

Production: CORAZÓN INTERNATIONAL GMBH & CO KG - Ditmar-Koel-Str.26, D-20459 Hamburg - T : +49 40 311 82 38 0 - - ANKA FILM (TURKEY)

Fatih Akin was born in 1973 in Hamburg and began studying Visual Communications at Hamburg's College of Fine Arts in 1994. In 1995, he wrote and directed his first short feature, Sensin - You're The One! (Sensin - Du bist es!), which received the Audience Award at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival, followed by Weed (Getuerkt, 1996). His first full length feature film, Short Sharp Shock (Kurz und schmerzlos, 1998), won the Bronze Leopard at Locarno and the Bavarian Film Award (Best Young Director) in 1998. His other films include: In July (Im Juli, 2000), Wir haben vergessen zurueckzukehren (2001), Solino (2002), the Berlinale Golden Bear-winner and winner of the German and European Film Awards Head-On (Gegen die Wand, 2003), Crossing the Bridge - The Sound of Istanbul (2005), and The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite, 2007).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Erju Ackman | Turkish Cinema Newsletter Editor

Erju Ackman

Born 1950, Istanbul, Turkey
Founder/Director Silk|ROAD (2004)
Editor Turkish Cinema Newsletter
1997 - 1998 Toronto
1998 - 2007 Washington DC

Member of FilmProgrammers International

Chronology (1967-2007)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

2007 | Financial support list for Turkish Films

Sinema Destek Kurulu (Film Support Council, Ankara) provided a list of films receiving financial support in 2007

'Ulak" by Çağan Irmak 475 000 YTL
"Beyaz Hüzün-Sarıkamış" by Orhan Oğuz 450 000 YTL
"120" by Metin Bükey 400 000 YTL
by Semih Kaplanoğlu 225 bin,
"İlkbahar Sonbahar" by
Yavuz Özkan 300 000 YTL
"Zeytin Dalı" by
Mustafa Şevki Doğan 350 000 YTL
'Firar" by
Ömer Uğur 275 000 YTL
"Cennet" by
Biray Dalkıran 225 000 YTL
"Lüküs Hayat"
Ezel Akay 300 000 YTL
"Büyük Oyun" by
Atıl İnaç 300 000 YTL

Saturday, May 05, 2007


SÖZÜN BİTTİĞİ YER 115 min. color Turkey 2007
Directed by İsmail Güneş; Screenplay by:İsmail Güneş, Ömer Faruk Birpınar
Cinematography by: Baybars Tekin, Ahmet Bayar; Edited by: Mevlüt Koçak;Music: Murat Özdemir; Art Direction:Duygu Kabaçam; Produced by: Mehmet Güneş Cast:Mehmet Özgür, Yasemin Balık, Volkan Severcan, Okan Tangücü, Elif Sümbül Sert, Fatih Ayhan, Mehmet Çepiç, Ahmet Yenilmez, Emin Gürsoy, Yaşar Uzel; İstanbul Güneşi, Türkiye (2007)Production; Dist.: Best Line Pictures.Release date: May 4, 2007

Synopsis: Turgut (Mehmet Özgür)is clown living with his son Umut(Okan Tangücü). The return of the mother when Umut was hospitalized with a leukemia diagnosis brings new hopes to Turgut as he must face a new dilemma.