Don't tell my father that I'm a screenwriter

Safa Önal’s father was one of the district governors of the young Republic, but he didn’t want his son to build a life on writing. Because he knew what kind of trouble awaited those who did. But his son didn’t listen to him. From an early age he has had read Ahmet Haşim, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Peyami Safa and especially Reşat Nuri Güntekin from cover to cover and already had set his heart on writing. Perhaps if he hadn’t went to the offices of Duru Film and signed a deal to write the screenplay for Kanlı Para / Blood Money, we would have known him as a fine writer. He is a Guinness World Records-certified screenwriter with 395 filmed screenplays. But this happened out of necessity. It is a fact that he had to pen so many scripts because he is one of the very few screenwriters who knew the society well, and literate enough to write good dialogue. However, what rendered him valuable was not the level of compulsory output, but the scripts he wrote for films that were ahead of their time. Being a keen observer, having an insight into the psyche of the Anatolian people, his relation with literature and his history in journalism and publishing have all worked in his advantage. That’s why he is able to write exquisite dialogues that flow from life itself and the spirit of the times. He has also made his mark in Yeşilçam as a director by making 24 films including Umut Dünyası. They say you can’t make a good film from a bad script. Önal verifies this statement… It’s a conundrum to ponder how many renowned screenwriters we have produced. Yet, the life experience of Safa Önal and his works brightly illuminates Yeşilçam and beyond. - Olkan Özyurt