Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cannes 2012 | Short and Sweet but Not "Silent"

From awards ceremony at Cannes 1724 GMT: 
Kylie presents the Short Film Palme d'Or, to Turkey's L Rezan Yesilbas for "Sessiz-Be Deng/Silent." The screening at Cannes marked Silent’s world premiere. Silent won production fund from Ministry of Culture of Republic of Turkey It won Akbank Short Film Competition “Best Film Prize” in Turkey, as well.

Mavi Boncuk |
Sessiz Fiction/ 14'21'' / HD / Color / 2011 
Directed/Written/Produced by: L. Rezan Yeşilbaş;  Cinematography by: Türksoy Gölebeyi;  Edited by: Buğra Dedeoğlu, L. Rezan Yeşilbaş; Sound: Furkan Atlı;  Cast: Belçim Bilgin, Cem Bender 


The year is 1984. Zeynep, who lives in Diyarbakır with her three children, wants to visit her husband in prison. Zeynep is only able to speak her mother tongue ‘Kurdish’; however, only the Turkish language is allowed to be spoken in prison, so she’s unable to utter a word there. On the other hand, she wants to bring a new pair of shoes to her husband but it’s forbidden to bring anything to prisoners from outside… 

Directors Comment
The film takes place in Diyarbakır in 1984, it is about a young woman who wants to visit her husband in prison. Yesilbas says about the film: “The prison of Diyarbakır, the setting of the story, is like the symbol of the torture experienced in the prisons in Turkey afer the coup d’etat of 1980. However, in this story, I did not choose to tell the things that took place in the prison, or the political prisoners or the torture, or the political fight. Instead, I turned my camera to the little stories of the “silent” women outside the prison, who could not speak another language than Kurdish, which was forbidden in the prisons of that era.” 

Born in 1977, he graduated from the Cinema-TV department of Marmara University in 2008. His short film “Hüküm” ( Judgement) was the first film of his “ Trilogy of Women”. Hukum has been screened in many national and international film festivals. He shot “Sessiz/Be Deng” (Silent) in 2011 which is the second film of the trilogy. He has also written the script of the third film of the trilogy. L.Rezan Yeşilbaş also works as the assistant of Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz since 2008. 

2012 YERALTI (Underground) Zeki Demirkubuz  Feature 
as First Assistant Director 

2011 Sessiz / Be Deng Short Film (feature) 14'21'' 2008 
as Director Scriptwriter 

2011BABAMIN SESİ (VOICE OF MY FATHER) Orhan Eskiköy/ Zeynel Doğan Feature 
as Executive Producer 
2010 UNUTMA BENİ İSTANBUL (DON’T FORGET ME İSTANBUL) Multiple directors  Feature 
as Executive Producer 
2008KISKANMAK (ENVY) Zeki Demirkubuz Kara Film Feature 
as Executive Producer 
2008 HÜKÜM (THE JUDGEMENT) Short Film (feature) 35m 2008 
as Director Scriptwriter 

Contact L.REZAN YESILBAS - ikbaliye mah. zeamet sok. gul apt. d.2 no26 acibadem kadikoy Turquie - T : +90 555 300 0300 Press: Beyza Karayel +90 538 519 98 99

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Turkish Cinema in Warsaw

New Turkish Cinema in Warsaw, 
24 - May 30, 2012
On 24-30 May 2012 in Warsaw, will be organized by the Society for Culture and Arts Magic Lantern [1].

In addition to presenting examples of award-winning New Turkish Cinema,  a Film Market will be held, where leading representatives of the Polish film industry will be able to meet with Turkish artists.

Mavi Boncuk |

In Cinema Muranów Polish film lovers will have the opportunity to watch the following films: "Love in a different language"( Baska Dilde Ask ), "The tragic history of Celal Tan and his family" (Celal Tan ve Ailesinin Aşırı Acıklı Hikayesi ), "What is left" ( Geriye Kalan ),"Jealousy" ( Kıskanmak ), "Cosmos" ( Cosmos ), "Night of Silence" (Lal Gece ), "Pomegranate" ( Nar ), " dot " ( nokta ), "Another prayer"( Uzak İhtimal ) and "Ekotopia" ( Entelköy Efeköy'e Kars ) .

The Turkish Film Week in Warsaw will host the: Reis Celik, Director , " Night of Silence " ( Lal Gece )  , actress Lale Mansur of  "Love in a different language" ( Baska Dilde Ask ) , Zeki Demirkubuz, director of " Jealousy " (Kıskanmak ) znd actor Serhat Tutumluer the producer of the film "Ekotopia" (Entelköy Efeköy'e Kars) Muharram Gülmez and producer of "pomegranate" (Nar) Turker Korkmaz . Turker Korkmaz will also be a guest of the Film Market.

[1] The Magic Lantern Culture and Arts Association 
Society for Culture and Arts Magic Lantern Büyülü Fener Kultur Sanat Dernegi (BFKS) led by Irfan Demirkol was founded in the spirit of the idea of "globality" of art and the fact that it is "common language" for the world. The organization brings together people looking at the world differently, for many years creating and operating in different fields of art such as in literature, photography and cinema. The Society organizes seminars and cultural and artistic events, and promotes art and culture of Turkey both at home and abroad. The works are supervised by the Society headquarters in Ankara.

Monday, May 21, 2012

'Can' Opens the Space Between

'Can' Opens the Space Between -- A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey

I was very proud when my film Can was the first film from Turkey to be shown at the recent Sundance Film Festival where it received the "World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Artistic Vision." This recognition further established Turkish films as a powerful voice in world cinema.

Can tells the story of a couple, Ayşe and Cemal, who long to have a child. I wanted to explore the somewhat desperate steps a man and woman facing infertility will take in order to create a family. My characters chose to fake a pregnancy and decide to buy a child, which turns their lives into a living hell. Is it a form of insanity to bring a new life into the world? Can anything ever prepare us for the struggle of becoming parents?

Left alone with her new baby, Ayşe is despondent and depressed. No matter how hard she tries, she cannot accept that she is now a mother. We assume that the maternal instinct is so strong that it will eventually overcome any obstacles. But what if a mother can't bond with her baby, particularly when that child is not her own flesh and blood?

My couple finds themselves completely alone dealing with circumstances they could never have predicted. All their lives they have been taught that having a child and being a parent fulfills a fundamental need to be part of a society's great plan for all of us. But what if that plan fails and all that is left is an aching void?

As in many cultures, family is extremely important in Turkey. My film raises the questions: are we ever really prepared to create a family? Does society pressure us to have a child and then offer no help when we are overwhelmed and distraught over this new responsibility?

It is my hope that Ayşe and Cemal's story of deception, passion, doubt and ultimately acceptance of the faults we all share as human beings will resonate with American audiences.

Now Can will open "The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey," the largest retrospective of Turkish films in the United States, which opens on April 27th at the Walter Reade Theater in New York.

I am grateful to Richard Peña, the Programming Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, who chose my film along with 28 others to be part of this landmark event, which spans seven decades of Turkish films. My countrymen at the Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society, which organized the program, deserve my thanks as well.

Born in Izmir in 1969, Raşit Çelikezer directed his feature debut Three Apples Fell from the Sky in 2008 to critical acclaim at film festivals throughout the world. His film Can will be shown on April 27th at 6:30 p.m. as part of The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey presented by The Moon and Stars Project, the cultural division of the American Turkish Society, and co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Polluting Paradise: Cannes Review

Environmental doc is explicitly much more a campaigning tool than any kind of objective reportage.

Prolific Turkish-German auteur Fatih Akin aims to raise a stink with Polluting Paradise, a heartfelt documentary chronicling the environmental mismanagement blighting his grandparents' home village. 

Co-produced by a German TV channel, this is informative, ire-stoking but formally conventional small-screen fare whose only theatrical prospects are domestic, where Akin's ensemble comedy Soul Kitchen was 2009's second-biggest home-grown hit. Exposure abroad via eco-themed festivals and networks will nevertheless flow from an Out of Competition premiere at Cannes, where Akin's 2007 The Edge of Heaven took Best Screenplay.
Akin is quite unusual among major European film-makers in that he's harvested such major awards -- including Berlinale's Golden Bear for Head-On -- and critical praise as well as significant box-office success. An occasional documentarian, whose non-fiction movies tend to spring from his features, he now uses his status as a bully-pulpit to help raise awareness of a specific issue unfolding over the last half-decade on the Black Sea coast.
PHOTOS: Cannes 2012: Opening Night Gala
Polluting Paradise (Müll im Garten Eden), filmed over the last five years since Akin came to the area to shoot parts of Edge of Heaven, is thus explicitly much more a campaigning tool than any kind of objective reportage. It's evident that Akin is firmly on the side of the villagers in Çamburnu, a picturesque settlement located beneath lush tea-growing slopes. In 2007 a former copper-mine a couple of miles uphill was turned into an enormous landfill for the entire Trabzon province's trash - amid much local protest. The opposition has remained vociferous over the years -- thanks partly to the powerful stench emitted by the supposedly "odorless" garbage and, even more economically damaging, the deleterious effect on streams and the water-table.
Often working in collaboration with local-historian Bünyamin Seyrekbasan, whose photographs and video-recordings comprise an exhaustive and invaluable archive of the case, Akin sympathetically catalogues the complaints of numerous residents. Crucially, Akin and his collaborators obtain great access to the site and its surroundings, frequently happening to be in the right place at exactly the right time. They can thus capture the often-fraught encounters between the locals and the hapless functionaries tasked with operating and maintaining this deeply unpopular facility -- images of which are often given a sinister cast by the thriller-type stylizations of Alexander Hacke's over-used score.
The village's mayor is also a frequent on-camera presence, having pluckily spearheaded resistance to a scheme devised and implemented by the seldom-seen officials of the regional and national government. Mouthpiece for the latter is the plant's blandly reassuring manager ("the earth will sort it out") - but Polluting Paradise never quite manages to point a steady finger of blame at any one individual or department, and there's no indication that Akin tried to contact higher-up decision-makers.
Then again, a confrontational, attention-hogging Michael Moore approach clearly isn't his style -- as well as an amplification of grievances, Polluting Paradise is often a lyrical tribute to places and people with whom the Hamburg-raised director evidently feels a strong affinity. Akin's own family left Çamburnu long ago, of course -- and the village's population has been quickly dwindling as young people seek better opportunities and less smelly surroundings. Their relocation to Turkey's major cities -- whose own infrastructure is thus placed under extra stress - is symptomatic of a planet-wide flight from the rural to the urban. And it's sobering to reflect that there are probably hundreds of Çamburnus all around the world, small-scale eco-disasters proceeding far the purviews of world cinema's beady eyes.
Venue: Cannes Film Festival (Out of Competition - Special Screenings), May. 18, 2012.
Production company: Corazón International, in coproduction with NDR and Dorje Film
Director / Screenwriter: Fatih Akin
Producers: Fatih Akin, Klaus Maeck, Alberto Fanni, Flaminio Zadra, Paolo Colombo
Directors of photography: Bünyamin Seyrekbasan, Hervé Dieu
Music: Alexander Hacke
Editor: Andrew Bird
Sales Agent: The Match Factory, Cologne
No rating, 97 minutes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Read BFI Report with Turkey in Mind

Read BFI Report with Turkey in Mind

Read Report PDF

New Horizons for UK Film: A consultation on the BFI Future Plan 2012-2017
The BFI has launched a four-week consultation on its Future Plan for 2012-2017 and you are invited to take part.

New Horizons for UK Film outlines the BFI's proposals for investing Lottery support for UK film and sets out a fresh agenda to capitalise on British creativity and talent.

The proposals cover a wide range of activities for supporting filmmaking, production, development, exhibition, education, skills development and film heritage - with a central focus on building audiences across the UK and on all platforms.

The consultation is open from 14 May to 10 June.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Seyfi Teoman: ‘You can’t have it both ways’

Seyfi Teoman has only presented his sophomore directing effort this year; nonetheless, he has learned a lot about the film distribution business in the process.
The young filmmaker behind the drama “Bizim Büyük Çaresizliğimiz” (Our Grand Despair), which had its world premiere earlier this year at the Berlin film festival, says filmmakers should settle for “success either in film festivals or at the box office.”

“If your [film] has drawn 5 million viewers [in the box office], you shouldn’t set your sights on collecting all the movie awards. If your film received a certain number of awards and is honored by festivals, you shouldn’t anticipate 5 million viewers,” said Teoman, a member of the İstanbul-based independent and arthouse filmmakers collective Yeni Sinema Hareketi (New Cinema Movement), during an interview this week with the Anatolia news agency.

Teoman made a successful foray into film directing in 2008 with his drama “Tatil Kitabı” (Summer Book), which premiered at that year’s Berlin film festival. The film went on to win numerous awards both nationally and internationally as well as being featured in several international film festivals abroad.

The 33-year-old director also said in the interview with Anatolia that the reception for arthouse films was the same all around the world. “All films that have a universal content and are made with no commercial concerns … receive the same reaction throughout the world, which is low box-office returns. But there might be exceptions to this,” he said, noting that “Sonbahar” (Autumn), Özcan Alper’s directorial debut, and “İki Dil Bir Bavul” (On the Way to School), a documentary that recounts a school year in a Kurdish village in southeastern Turkey, were examples of such exceptions.

“Films that have a certain political content but that at the same time do not compromise cinematic quality have reached a certain success in the box office, because politics is important in people’s lives,” he said. “If Yeşilçam is the descendant of commercial cinema, we represent the other cinema. We are the heirs of Yılmaz Güney,” he added.


In Memoriam | Seyfi Teoman (1977-2012)

In Memoriam | Young Turkish movie director Seyfi Teoman (1977-2012) passed away in Istanbul today. Seyfi Teoman, who had a motorcycle accident on his birthday on April 16 in Istanbul’s Bakırköy neighborhood, was being treated in the intensive care unit of Istanbul University’s Faculty of Medicine hospital. Teoman, 35, was diagnosed with a cerebral hemorrhage and  his health condition stayed as serious. 

Mavi Boncuk |

Seyfi Teoman (1977-2012)

After his first film “Tatil Kitabı” (Summer Book), Teoman’s second film “Bizim Büyük Çaresizliğimiz” (Our Grand Despair) competed at the Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale last year for the Golden Bear. 

He won the Jury Special Prize and the Best Director of Photography Award at the 30th Istanbul Film Festival, as well as the Best Film Award and Cinema Critics Award at the 16th Nurnberg Turkey-Germany Film Festival. 

Teoman was also among the producers of the film “Tepenin Ardı” (Beyond the Hill), which won the Golden Tulip Award at the 31st Istanbul Film Festival on April 15. 

After studying economics at Bogaziçi University, Teoman lived in Lodz in Poland for two years, studying film directing at the Polish National Film School, where his tutor and supervisor was acclaimed Polish director Mariusz Grzegorzek. He shot his graduation movie, Apartman (Apartment) in 2004.