Tuesday, April 17


Ümit Ünal: “This story has followed me for years.”

Serial Cook from “National Competition” was screened at Atlas Sineması with the participation of the director Ümit Ünal and the film crew. “Even though it’s a crime film, I see it more of a character analysis. I used the crime element to attract the audience,” said Ünal and added: “Sometimes projects are put on hold. Writer Vladimir Nabokov defines the idea of storytelling as ‘a tumor that grows’ and there’s no escape from this tumor. This story has followed me for years. First it was a story set in England. There was a producer there but we couldn’t find enough funding so I decided to adapt it to Turkey.” Actress Elit Andaç Çam also commented: “It’s an amazing experience working with Master Ümit. The character is right there in front of you with all her past and everything… It’s a good work and it is a well-written character.”

On being good

Vuslat Saraçoğlu’s first film Debt from “National Competition” was screened at Atlas Sineması with the participation of the director and the film crew. Saraçoğlu answered the questions from the audience: “I started to think about it four or five years ago. We talk a lot about being bad but not about being good. The villains are always thought through, well-written and deep. So I wanted to make a film about being good. I thought ‘why does this person do a good deed?’ I wanted to question goodness and being a good person.” Saraçoğlu said that he did the casting based on his instincts: “I wanted the audience to think about the question ‘Is someone indebted to their mother, is it a moral obligation to take care of her?’”

Mehmet Selçuk Bilge: “Amateur spirit needs to be kept alive.”

Incubation from “Out of Competition” within “Turkish Cinema” was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması with the participation of the director Mehmet Selçuk Bilge and the film crew. “The film is a collage work and there’s an influence from every film. I cannot say I was influenced by one particular film. The wardrobe scene may have brought ‘Narnia’ to minds but the basis of everything in the film is actually ‘Alice’,” said the director Bilge, pointing out that he thinks that the amateur spirit needs to be kept alive apart from being experimental: “I believe that film festivals need to keep the amateur spirit alive. Incubation is the proof to that. Actress Nur Ertem also said that this is her first experimental film and that they worked in a natural environment.

Neighborhood comedy takes an unexpected turn …

The Smell of Money from “Out of Competition” was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması with the participation of the director Ahmet Boyacıoğlu and the film crew. “It’s a typical Turkish film; the first 80 minutes are fun, and we apologize for what happens after that,” said Boyacıoğlu and added: “We had a ton of fun while we shot the film. We were a compatible team, so didn’t have any problems. This is a small-scale, fiction film. It was first screened at Istanbul Film Festival in Turkey. We were able to make the film thanks to the Ministry of Culture [and Tourism] we just got the registration permit this morning.” Actor Murat Kılıç said: “The taxi driver I play is a childish and naïve man who gets along very well with children. The balloon is an object that he uses in order to be friends with kids. The popping of the balloon means that ‘There are lots of things that blow up in your hands in this life’.”

On love, loss, and separation…

Muhi – Generally Temporary from the section “Human Rights in Cinema Competition” was screened at Atlas Sineması with the participation of the directors Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander and Tamir Elterman. The directors commented: “Muhi is a film about love, loss and separation. We followed Muhi for four and a half years. At the hospital in Israel, they only gave us the permission to shoot on ourselves when they realized that we weren’t going to invade the privacy of other patients. Because it was impossible for us to enter Gaza, a crew from Palestine did that part of the shooting picking up from the border. (…) I hope that Muhi will reunite with his family one day, and that he will be able to live a happy life there with his siblings and reunite with his mother.”