During the 23rd Rendezvous Istanbul International Film Festival serving the most prominent films of the last period to moviegoers from Turkey, online interviews were carried out on TÜRSAK Foundation’s YouTube channel. The directors of the films in the “Shorts from Filmmakers of the Future” section and Umur Turagay, the director of the film Portrait of Beauty in the section titled “A Glance at Turkish Cinema” attended the interview.
There was an exhilarating online event on the first day of the weekend at the 23rd Rendezvous Istanbul International Film Festival organized and held online until December 23rd by the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TÜRSAK) with the contributions of the Directorate General of Cinema of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In the online interviews held on the TÜRSAK Foundation’s YouTube channel, the directors of the films had the opportunity to answer the questions about the production process and stories of their films.
Under the moderation of TÜRSAK Foundation Board Member and Producer Bulut Reyhanoğlu, the first interviews of the day were with the director of the film Missed Call featured in the Shorts from Filmmakers of the Future section Nadir Kağan Kocakaya; director of the film Stop Look Listen Pass, Muhammed Günaydın; the director of the film With Love from Majid, Yiğit Armutoğlu; and the director of the film Smirna’s Pit Begüm Aksoy.
“The Research Process for My Film Took a Long Time”
Begüm Aksoy, the director of the film Smirna’s Pit, started by telling the story of the Basmane pit, the subject of her documentary film, which first attracted her attention when she went to Izmir to study university. She said she shot the film with a small crew of three people, but since it is in the documentary genre, she made a great effort for interviews and other research which made the process quite exhausting for her. Emphasizing that she had a very lengthy research process for the writing of her story, Aksoy pointed out that the most difficult part due to the pandemic was trying to reach out to the people to be interviewed.
“Working with Child Actors is a Much More Challenging Process”
Yiğit Armutoğlu, the director of With Love from Majid shared details about his film, which tells the story of refugee children playing in a park around his neighbourhood. Emphasizing that they had a lot of trouble in finding a location and that to him this was the most difficult part in the shooting of the film, Armutoğlu said he solved the problem with some documents he received from TÜRSAK Foundation regarding permits. Addressing the budget issue in the interview, the young director emphasized that the most important thing for those who want to shoot a short film is to find funding. Stating that working with children generates different challenges as compared to adults in his film, Armutoğlu said that he solved this by working with an acting coach.
“My Love for Science Fiction Played a Role in My Writing of the Script”
Nadir Kağan Kocakaya, the director of the film Missed Call said that ever since he was a child he loved science fiction stories, so, he created the story of his film that way. The director stated that he made the shooting in Antalya instead of Istanbul in order to be less affected by the pandemic and to work more freely, and that this decision led to challenges in terms of finding a resourceful crew. Stating that the idea of the film first came to his mind two years ago and that he wrote the script as there were no similar examples of it in Turkey, the young director also emphasized the importance of a producer or an executive producer in filmmaking.
“Professional Actors are Great in Portraying the Character”
The director of Stop Look Listen Pass, Muhammed Günaydın answered the questions about his film where he told a daily story which was written and shot according to dramatic elements. Günaydın said that the most difficult part during the shooting of the film was the exterior scenes in the Karaköy region and stated that they had a lot of difficulty in editing as well because they shot the film in the normal course of traffic. The young director, who also shared his experiences in working with two professional actors Murat Kılıç and Ali Seçkiner Alıcı, said that professional actors can easily get into and get out of the character and that it makes his job a lot easier.
“The Important Thing in Horror Films is Using Cliches to Get the Audience”
The second event of the day, moderated by director Bora Talat Oyacı, was held with Umur Turagay, the director of the film Portrait of Beauty in the A Glance at Turkish Cinema section of the festival. Answering the question about whether to use cliché elements in horror movies, Umur Turagay said that the use of cliches is not something to refrain from, and the important thing is the ability to get the audience with them. Turagay also stated that they did not hesitate to use horror movie clichés in Portrait of Beauty, and said he avoided putting pressure on the actors while directing and that they showed the utmost care for the actors to be comfortable. “If you don’t see something that you know exists, it triggers fear right then and there.” said Turagay, adding that making a horror film is even harder than making a comedy film. The director, who also determined that the audience of horror films is very abrupt and direct in reacting, emphasized that every single aspect of a horror film should meet the audience directly.
Due to the pandemic, all events will be held online on Zoom and TÜRSAK Foundation YouTube channel, and the social media accounts of the TÜRSAK Foundation can be followed for information on the events.