Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.
Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.
Ramin Matin studied communication arts at Loyola Marymount in the U.S. before getting a masters in film from Istanbul Bilgi University. In 2005 he co-founded Giyotin Films with Emine Yildirim. They started producing short films and internationally co-produced documentaries before shepherding Matin’s first feature “The Monster’s Dinner” in 2011, a societal satire set in the near future which won prizes in Antalya and several other fests. Followed “The Impeccables,” about two thirty-something sisters confronting their devastating past in the Aegean summer cottage of their childhood, which in 2013 premiered in Busan and went on to score multiples nods at Antalya and elsewhere on the circuit.
Matin and Yildirim are at the Antalya Film Forum’s Works in Progress platform with Matin’s “Siren’s Call” a drama set in present-day Istanbul, a city which “has turned into an immense concrete wasteland,” notes Matin.
The film’s protagonist, Tahsin, “cannot bear all of the noise and frustration of this city,” says the director. His pic “plays inevitably as a comedy because most of what happens to people in this city is absurd.”
On another level “Siren’s Call” also challenges the defeatist and escapist attitude of the Turkish middle class,” Matin adds. Tashin is representative of the “young secular Turks,” he says. “The generation raised on western values who have been living blindly…who took an accommodating apolitical stance until the Gezi protests that took place in 2013.” Now “they are realising that their country is in the clutches of a self-destructive course, yet they still don’t know exactly how to contribute constructively to societal change.”