Malatya Film Festival: Profiles of the Films in the Turkish National Competition

    Title: BUĞDAY (GRAIN)
    Country: Turkey-Germany-France-Sweden-Qatar
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP,B&W ,127’, English with Turkish subtitles
    Director: Semih Kaplanoğlu
    Screenplay: Semih Kaplanoğlu, Leyla İpekçi
    Cinematography: Giles Nuttgens BSC
    Editing: Semih Kaplanoğlu, Osman Bayraktaroğlu, Ayhan Ergürsel
    Music: Mustafa Biber
    Cast: Jean-Marc Barr, Ermin Bravo, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Cristina Flutur
    Producer: Semih Kaplanoğlu, Nadir Operli
    Production Company: Kaplan Film Production
    Distributor: Match Factory

    In an indefinite near future, life on Earth has been driven to brink of extinction following an abrupt climate change. And in the new world with redrawn borders, immigrants are kept at the camps, waiting to be transferred to the cities protected with magnetic walls. Meanwhile, chaos erupts as the sustainability of genetically modified seeds remains uncertain. Two men’s paths cross in Dead Lands; secluded Cemil and Professor Erol Erin, a seed genetics specialist. Their journey in quest of the seeds to be grown will change Erol’s whole acquired knowledge...

    Born in Izmir in 1963. He studied film at Dokuz Eylül University. His feature debut “Away from Home” (2001) received wide recognition. “Angel’s Fall” won several awards following its premiere at Forum, Berlinale 2005. He directed The Yusuf Trilogy: ”Egg”, “Milk” and “Honey.” In 2010, Honey won the Golden Bear in Berlin.

    Title: DAHA (MORE)
    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 115’, Turkish, Arabic with English subtitles
    Director: Onur Saylak
    Screenplay: Hakan Günday, Onur Saylak, Doğu Yaşar (Adapted from the novel of the same name by Hakan Günday)
    Cinematography: Feza Çaldıran
    Editing: Ali Aga
    Music: Uygur Yiğit
    Cast: Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan, Hayat Van Eck, Turgut Tunçalp, Tankut Yıldız,
    Tuba Büyüküstün, Kaan Uluca, Ahmet Melih Yılmaz, Uğur Aslan, Lara Aysal, Pervin Bağdat
    Producer: Kerem Çatay, Ziya Cemre Kutluay
    Production Company: Ay Yapım, BİT Yapım
    Distributor: Heretic

    Adapted from the award-winning novel of the same name by Hakan Günday, which has been translated into more than 7 languages worldwide, “Daha” is the gripping story of a boy that gets to grow up in a world where there’s no room for innocence. Gaza is a 14-year-old boy who lives on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Together with his domineering father, he helps smuggle refugees to Europe, giving them temporary shelter and scant food until they attempt their crossing. Gaza dreams of escaping this life of crime, but can’t help being drawn into a dark world of immorality, exploitation and human suffering. Can you avoid becoming a monster when you’ve been raised
    by one?

    Born in 1977, in Ankara. Onur Saylak is an actor and director. He started his cinema career as an actor by playing the character the “Yusuf” character in “Autumn”, which won the Best Picture Award at the 15th Golden Boll Film Festival. Following the national and international achievements of Autumn, Onur Saylak continued his acting career in cinema and made his directorial debut with the short film, The Jungle. His feature film “More” has premiered at Karlovy Vary IFF.

    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 95’, Turkish with English subtitles
    Director: Orhan Oğuz
    Screenplay: Orhan Oğuz, Eyüphan Erkul
    Cinematography: Cihan Yeşiltarla
    Editing: Murat Bör
    Music: Saki Çimen
    Cast: Nilüfer Açıkalın, Metin Belgin, Ercan Kesal, Serkan Ercan
    Producer: Yasemin Küçükçavdar
    Production Company: Kardeş Sanatlar Film Production
    Distributor: Kardeş Sanatlar Film Production

    During their night duty, three municipal police officers receive a complaint call from the Mayor regarding a homeless guy who refuses to leave the cultural center. The officers are now tasked with removing the homeless guy, Şemsi, from there. Finally, they convince him to leave with the promise of another place. Disturbed by Şemsi’s unpleasant smell, the officers start arguing in the car, completely ignoring Şemsi. The quartet spends a chaotic night, and Şemsi’s fate that night concludes with a surprise ending.

    He was born in Kırklareli as the son of a family which emigrated from Yugoslavia. As a child, he was interested in photography and painting. He started his cinema adventure as an assistant cameraman at the age of 16, and he shot four short films with his friends. He held photograph and painting exhibitions. In 1978, he worked as a director of photography with many directors. And with their encouragement, he shot the movie "Her şeye Rağmen" in 1987.  He prefers to tell the stories of lonely, quiet and marginalized people from all strata.

    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 107’, Turkish with English subtitles
    Director: Pelin Esmer
    Screenplay: Pelin Esmer, Barış Bıçakçı
    Cinematography: Gökhan Tiryaki
    Editing: Pelin Esmer, Evren Luş
    Cast: Başak Köklükaya, Öykü Karayel, Yiğit Özşener
    Producer: Pelin Esmer, Marsel Kalvo
    Production Company: Sinefilm, Mars Production
    Distributor: Sinefilm

    Why would someone like Leyla go to a high school reunion dinner? And take an overnight train to get there. After all, she hasn’t been to a single one for the last 25 years... What is Canan, a student nurse, doing on the train? Reluctantly going to an interview for a nursing job when she would like to be an actress instead. And Yavuz? He spends all day lying by the window watching the passing hawkers, horse carriages, and people. He is waiting for Canan, or maybe Leyla, or maybe a murderer and a poet who meet on a train one night.

    Pelin Esmer was born in Istanbul. She studied sociology. After her first documentary “The Collector” she founded her own film company Sinefilm, and made her feature films “The Play”, “10 to 11” and “Watchtower.” She was invited to Cannes Film Festival’s Résidence du Cinéfondation in Paris where she wrote the script for “10 to 11.” Her films have been premiered at important festivals like San Sebastian, Tribeca, Toronto, Rotterdam, received many awards and were released in Turkey, Germany, France and US. In 2016, she finished shooting her last film “Something Useful” which is expected to be released in 2017.

    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 120’, , Turkish with English subtitles
    Director: Onur Ünlü
    Screenplay: Onur Ünlü
    Cinematography: Vedat Özdemir
    Editing: Ahmet Can Çakırca
    Music: Yasemin Mori, Korhan Futacı
    Cast: Haluk Bilginer, Serkan Keskin, Hazal Kaya, Taner Ölmez, Tansu Biçer, Osman Sonant, Fatih Artman, Öner Erkan, Kadir Çermik, Metin Akdülger, Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan, Şenay Gürler, Nazan Kesal
    Producer: Kerem Çatay
    Production Company: Ay Yapım
    Distributor: Ay Yapım

    Osman and Enis are two young men who play in an amateur football team in Galata, one of Istanbul’s oldest districts. Their actual aim is both to rob a bank in their neighbourhood, and to prevent the team from being dropped from the league by winning the last game. The game is played, but remains unfinished when a huge fight erupts. Based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, The Bank of Broken Hearts is the tragic story of three heroes chasing an unlikely dream, running towards their sad end in a Shakespearean manner.

    Onur Ünlü was born in İzmit in 1973. He has been working as a scriptwriter, director and producer for TV and cinema since 1997. He wrote and directed his debut film “Police”, which was screened at numerous national and international festivals, including Golden Boll and Moscow Film Festivals. He was granted awards by the Golden Boll and Golden Orange Festivals, and SİYAD for his 2009 film “Five Cities.” He won the Golden Tulip award at the International İstanbul Film Festival with “Thou Gild’st the Even” and won the Best Director award in 2014 with “Let’s Sin.” He also wrote and directed “The Bank of Broken Hearts” and “Aşkın Gören Gözlere İhtiyacı Yok.”

    Title: MURTAZA
    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 93, , Turkish with English subtitles
    Director: Özgür Sevimli
    Screenplay: Özgür Sevimli
    Cinematography: Ahmet Bayer
    Editing: Doruk Kaya
    Music: Okan Kaya
    Cast: Cezmi Baskın, Meral Çetinkaya, Mine Teber, Yaşar Akın, İncinur Daşdemir, Kadim Yaşar, Bülent Düzgünoğlu, Kadir Çermik
    Producer: Sevil Demirci
    Production Company: Yeni Sinemacılar
    Distributor: Yeni Sinemacılar

    Sabure and Murtaza live in a village up in the mountains of Malatya. Sabure has lost her vision years ago. Murtaza takes care of her. Their children live in Istanbul. One day, Murtaza calls home from the local grocery store and finds out that his daughter is ill. He returns to the village but does not tell Sabure about their daughter’s illness, and leaves for Istanbul on his own. Selvi, their daughter, dies that day. Murtaza keeps lying to Sabure, and keeps her in the dark about Selvi’s death. Sabure becomes increasingly withdrawn. A few months later, workers arrive to the village to pick apricots. With their arrival, Sabure’s agony becomes tangible. Murtaza is at a loss and keeps lying.

    Özgür Sevimli was born in 1980 in Istanbul. In 2004, he graduated from Erciyes University’s Department of Film and Television. During his studies, he made documentaries and short films. He has been a long time first assistant director to master directors in Turkey. He continues to work on his “Anatolia” themed photography, of which his “Patched Hearts Anatolia” exhibition has been recognised nationally and internationally. Özgür Sevimli has worked at various cultural art organizations, his poems and stories have been published in newspapers and magazines.

    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 85’, Turkish with English subtitles
    Director: Fikret Reyhan
    Screenplay: Fikret Reyhan
    Cinematography: Marton Miklauzic
    Editing: Ömer Günüvar, Fikret Reyhan
    Cast: Aytaç Uşun, Mehmet Özgür, Gökhan Şimşek, Cem Zeynel Kılıç, Tarık Köksal, Akan Atakan, Seher Çuhadar
    Producer: Nizamettin Reyhan, Nuriye Bilici
    Production Company: FNR Film, Verba Film  
    Distributor: FNR Film

    In a field surrounded and squeezed by increasing industrialization, an immigrant family, deep in financial debt, struggles to survive through traditional farming. Their son, Ibrahim, dreams of a different future for himself.  However, he finds that it is not so easy to turn a dream into reality. Ibrahim is the youngest son of his immigrant family, which has been unable to keep up with the pace the changing times or oppressive commercial relationships. Ibrahim is surrounded by not only his family’s feudal circumstances but also the merciless system of the region. Yellow Heat aims to tell the story of people who are affected by the change of production relations and in parallel by the change of the capital.

    Born in Hatay, Turkey. Reyhan has a master's degree in Physics Engineering.  He authored the novel “Defne” and his short stories have been published.  “A Few Pennies” is his debut short film. He also edited all of his short films and documentaries. “Yellow Heat” is his first feature film.

    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 86’, Kurdish, Turkish with English, Turkish subtitles
    Director: Taylan Mintaş
    Screenplay: Taylan  Mintaş
    Cinematography: Taylan Mintaş
    Editing: Baptiste Gacoin, Taylan Mintaş
    Music: Başar Ünder
    Cast: Asim Mintaş, Cengiz Mintaş, Yazgül Mintaş, Mecbure Mintaş, Toprak Mintaş, Taylan Mintaş, Cansu Mintaş, Selcan Mintaş, Kudret Mintaş
    Producer: Erol Mintaş, Taylan Mintaş
    Production Company: Mintaş Film
    Distributor: Mintaş Film

    Stunningly cinematographed, set in the rarely filmed Turkey’s Eastern region of Kars, “Brothers of Silence” is a hymn to the power of human spirit over the limitations of the body.  A random example in Turkish documentary making of the cinema verite both in  style and storytelling, loosely scripted film's plot evolves around the family of the filmmaker's mute cousins Toso and Çao Mintas, whom he’s followed for four years.   Respectfully carrying out his observation, Taylan Mintas creates an intimate slow burning "a la"Jean Rouch movie utilizing meditative and melancholic moods combined with sharp images and the breathtaking panoramas of North Eastern Turkey.  

    He graduated from Marmara University’s Department of Painting-Craft in 2012.
    He shot “I Got an Idea!”, an experimental video art movie, in 2015. He shot another short film, “0 RH-“, in 2016. His first feature-length script “The Murder” was selected to Antalya Film Festival’s Film Support Fund in 2015.

    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 103’,Turkish, with English subtitles
    Director: Ümit Ünal
    Screenplay: Ümit Ünal
    Cinematography: Türksoy Gölebeyi
    Editing: Osman Bayraktaroğlu
    Music: Erdem Helvacıoğlu
    Cast: Demet Evgar, Fatih Al, Alican Yücesoy, Fırat Altunmeşe, Elit Andaç Çam
    Producer: Sinan Yabgu Ünal, Servan Güney
    Production Company: RTNT Film
    Distributor: Chantier Film

    Neslihan is a devoted housewife and a perfect cook. Although born and raised in Istanbul, she’s spent most of her life in Anatolian towns because of her husband’s job. Everyone around her is a big fan of her meals. Neslihan dreams about being a famous TV chef dressed in fancy clothes, and each recipe in her show is about someone she knows. And when these people start to die mysteriously in this remote town where nothing extraordinary happens, Neslihan is considered the prime suspect by a newly assigned, young police captain. However, he can’t prove she’s guilty.

    Born in 1965 in Turkey, Ümit Ünal is the scriptwriter for eight feature films including “Teyzem” (My Aunt) (1986), “Hayallerim, Askim ve Sen” (My Dreams, My Love and You) (1987). His first feature film as a director is “9” (Dokuz, 2001) which won many awards at various film festivals, and was the Official Turkish Entry for the 2003 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He wrote and directed seven feature films including “Istanbul Tales” (Anlat İstanbul, 2004), “Ara” (2007), “Shadowless” (Gölgesizler, 2008). “The Voice” (Ses, 2010), “The Pomegranate” (Nar, 2011).  “Serial Cook” (Sofra Sırları) is his latest film.

    Title: TAŞ (STONE)
    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, B&W, 90’,Turkish with English subtitles
    Director: Orhan Eskiköy
    Screenplay: Orhan Eskiköy
    Cinematography: Türksoy Gölebeyi
    Editing: Selda Taşkın
    Cast: Muhammet Uzuner, Jale Arıkan, Beste Kökdemir, Ahmet Varlı, Saygın Soysal
    Producer: Orhan Eskiköy, Armağan Lale
    Production Company: Perişan Film
    Distributor: Perişan Film

    On a winter’s day, Selim runs away from Memur and takes shelter in the Village of Sesik. Selim knocks on a door and finds himself being embraced by Emete, who mistakes him for her missing son, Hasan. When Selim wakes from a two-day sleep, he doesn't recognize any of the people gathered around him. Suna immediately realizes that he’s a stranger, but Emete is still convinced that he is Hasan, claiming that he may have forgotten who they are because of some illness. Besides, although he has changed a lot in 15 years, he still looks like him. Although Selim is eager to leave the village, Memur is still after him. While the amorous feelings he begins to develop for Suna gradually tie him to the village, he is also desperate to escape the clutches of Ekber and Emete who treat him like their own son.

    His feature debut “Voice of My Father” (co-dir. Zeynel Doğan), which unfolds in a Kurdish setting, was selected for the main competition at the 2012 Rotterdam International Film Festival and won several festival prizes. Stone, the director’s second feature, received support from the Karlovy Vary IFF when it was selected for last year’s Works in Progress.

    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour,63’, Turkish with English subtitles
    Director: Nejla Demirci
    Screenplay: Nejla Demirci
    Cinematography: Koray Kesik
    Editing: Ömer Günüvar, Kristina Karasu, H. Özlem Sarıyıldız, Barış Özkaya
    Music: Senem Diyici, Duygu Demşr
    Cast: Ebru Semra Demirbaş, Nurcan Çelik, Nuray Güvendi Azeri, Sergun Ağar, Emine Şahin, Mukadder Cankoçak
    Producer: Nejla Demirci, Sergun Ağar
    Production Company: Ney Film
    Distributor: Ney Film

    Through the lenses of our main character Ebru from Istanbul, Confrontation focuses on the psychosocial aspects of breast cancer, dominated by body images, fear of loss and changing relationships. During various stages of the disease, Ebru’s internal struggles find their way of expression through dance therapy. At times she dances alone and at times with other survivors in a quest to redefine herself and learn to make peace with her own body. On her journey, other characters open their world to us. Turkish Women’s national soccer team goalkeeper and trainer Nurcan is self- confident despite the mastectomy. She is filled with joy of life while all her family members have fought breast cancer. Nuray, diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant, is able to welcome a health baby to life despite all the fears, trying to share her experience to benefit others. Sergun, a male writer who has to deal with “a disease mostly affecting woman,” goes through turbulent emotions…“Confrontation” is a story of human will and strength.

    Nejla Demirci was born in 1971 in Ağrı, Turkey. She graduated from the department of Sociology at Eskişehir Anadolu University. In 2012, she completed her first award winning documentary film "Gündöndü" (Sunflower) about an ecological subject.

    Title: ZER
    Country: Turkey
    Year: 2017
    Tec spec: DCP, Colour, 110’, Turkish-English-Kurdish-French with English-Turkish subtitles
    Director: Kazım Öz
    Screenplay: Kazım Öz
    Cinematography: Eyüp Boz, Feza Çaldıran, Orçun Özkılınç
    Editing: Kazım Öz, Thomas Balkenhol
    Music: Mustafa Biber
    Cast: Nik Xhelilaj, Güler Ökten, Levent Özdilek, Füsun Demirel, Tomris İncer, Haleigh Ciel, Teresa Anne Volgenau, Ahmet Aslan
    Producer: Kazım Öz, Meral Balık, Turan Tokel  
    Production Company: Koz Film, Newa Film
    Distributor: Köz Film

    Zer is the story of Jan who is in pursuit of the song his grandmother sang him once, which holds her past and identity. In 1938, his grandmother Zarife has endured great pain in Dersim, and always kept it a secret. When Zarife is transferred to NYC for cancer treatment, where Jan was born and raised, they reconnect. Their reconnection changes Jan’s perception of life and his priorities. When Zarife dies, Jan sets off in pursuit of the song, In this journey from NYC to Dersim, Jan aims to find his true self. He finally finds his roots, learns Zarife’s deepest secret, and encounters a world and stories that are unknown to him.

    Kazım Öz is a awarded Kurdish director, scriptwriter and producer. He started  to produce art with Kurdish theatre. In 1990s, he continued to work with Yapım 13 Production Company which is affiliated to Mesopotamia Culture Center. He shot his first short film Ax (Land, 1999) and was awarded by many of the prominent film festivals. Later, he managed to shoot his first feature film Fotoğraf (2002).

    Last modified on 08-11-2017