Seattle Turkish Film Festival 2020 [Online]
*extended from the 12th
** Pre-recorded Q&As associated with each screening will be included in the event playlist. **
The Seattle Turkish Film Festival returns in 2020 with four feature films — including personal tales of forbidden love affairs in Love, Spells and All That (Aşk, Büyü, vs.) and domestic conflict in Chronology (Kronoloji). Light is cast upon larger Turkish society in Queen Lear (Kraliçe Lear), which follows a handful of peasant women in southern Turkey who take their theater group on the road, and Ovacik, which portrays the heartfelt community-building efforts of a mayor in a small Kurdish-Alevi town. A robust short film program consisting of ten films includes three Grand Jury favorites and, with its nearly three-hour runtime, offers a varied and expansive view of the region. Most screenings will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with filmmakers.
Inaugurated in 2012 by the TACAWA Film Committee, Seattle Turkish Film Festival has become one of the most admired and venerated events of the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington.
The film festival is a non-profit, volunteer-driven event, committed to bringing the best of Turkish films to Seattle in an effort to provide an international platform for talented filmmakers working in both short and feature length formats to showcase their work.
2020 Film Program:
(Ali Aydin, Turkey & Germany, 2019, 117 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
Hakan and Nihal have been married for many years. Shortly after they find out that Nihal is unable to have children, she disappears. While frantically searching for her, Hakan makes some painful discoveries about himself and their marriage. He must face his inner demons to discover what happened to his wife.
** This program includes a pre-recorded Q&A with director Ümit Ünal! **
(Ümit Ünal, Turkey, 2019, 96 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
As teenagers, Eren and Reyhan are bound by a forbidden love affair. Eren is the daughter of a powerful member of parliament, while Reyhan’s father is the keeper in Eren’s family summer house on the Istanbul island of Büyükada. When their relationship is discovered, Eren’s family forces their separation by sending Reyhan and her father away from the island and Eren to a boarding school in Europe.
Two decades later, Reyhan is back on the island, living with a younger man. A glimpse of Reyhan on social media inspires Eren to leave Europe, track her down, and pledge her undying love in a bid to restore what they lost. Reunited, they return to their memories together and attempt to make sense of the years and distance that have grown between them, and the possibility that an old love spell might have something to do with their connection.
** This program includes a pre-recorded Q&A with director Pelin Esmer! **
(Pelin Esmer, Turkey, 2019, 84 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
In the early 2000s, a handful of peasant women from the mountains of southern Turkey formed a theater group, which later became the subject of the documentary, The Play. The women acted out their own life stories in the village, and the play changed their lives. Now, they take to the road with an adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, traveling the dusty, dangerous roads to the farthest-flung mountain villages where there isn’t even running water. On the road, their lives merge with the world of King Lear and become bound up with “the good and the bad,” the young and the old,” “the rich and the poor,” and “the honest and the dishonest” of the play.
** This program includes a pre-recorded Q&A with director Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent and producer Delizia Flaccavento! **
(Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent, Turkey, 2019, 91 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
Fatih Mehmet Macoglu is the first mayor ever in Turkey elected from the Turkish Communist Party. He is the mayor of Ovacik, Tunceli, a small Kurdish-Alevi town in the heart of Eastern Turkey. Unknown to the rest of the world, it is an area where cultural and humanistic values, peace, love and community work are cherished, and where production and education are pursued with almost no budget. The film follows the daily life in Ovacik and Mr. Macoglu’s efforts to strengthen a sustainable economy by promoting community-based agriculture. Both the mayor’s and the residents’ remarkable efforts set an example for agricultural towns around Turkey. The honest and heartfelt example of Ovacik starts building a very important communication bridge between the East and the West of the country.
** On Dec. 6 at 12pm PST, tune in to a live Zoom Q&A with shorts filmmakers! Join the conversation by following this link: bit.ly/stffshorts
This year, the STFF Shorts Committee selected ten short films to screen within the festival program, including three Grand Jury favorites. All shorts in this package are eligible for an Audience Award, cast a vote for your favorite film here: bit.ly/stffshortsvote
SHORT FILM PROGRAM (163 min):
(Fehmi Öztürk, Turkey, 2020, 5 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
When Kika enters an adult VR game, she encounters something she never expected. Nothing will ever be the same again.
(Abdullah Şahin, Turkey, 2020, 11 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
A story of true friendship between Ilyas, Ahmet, and Emir as represented in a pair of cleats.
Best Actress (En İyi Kadın Oyuncu)
(Umut Alaz Kökçü, Turkey, 2020, 20 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
Melis, a post-graduate student writing her thesis, interviews a 70s erotic movie star, slowly uncovering a blurry past and dark secrets.
Some Cats of the Neighborhood (Mahallenin Bazı Kedileri)
(Emre Sefer, Turkey, 2020, 20 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
A woman in her 50s goes about her life, isolated from other people until one day, during her daily routine of feeding cats in the park, her life becomes entangled with a stranger in unexpected ways.
(Ozan Yoleri, Turkey, 2020, 20 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
In 12-year-old Irmak’s eyes, Aylin embodies excitement, independence, and womanhood. Irmak idolizes her older friend and comes to realize that her admiration may be more complicated than she thought.
Turning to Dust (Toz Olmak)
(Hüseyin Aydin Gürsoy, France, 2020, 20 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
Due to unpaid wages, Elif and her husband are deep in debt. Elif’s husband wants to return to Turkey, but she believes there’s a better future for her son in France and has no intention of giving up.
Rain, Snorkel & Green Beans (Yağmur, Şnorkel ve Taze Fasulye)
(Yavuz Akyıldız, Turkey, 2020, 19 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
On an ordinary day, a 32-year-old son confronts his father to tell him he is moving out to discover himself and a new life. It will be much more difficult than he thinks to realize this desire.
(Engin Erden, Turkey, 2020, 13 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
Tired of being pushed around by adults, best friends Ece and Efe make a plan to prove themselves, unaware of the price they will have to pay on this hot, lazy summer day on the Aegean coast.
Break Off (Paydos)
(Öykü Orhan, Turkey, 2020, 18 min, in Turkish w/ English subtitles)
Zeliha is a mother of two and works in a steel saucepan factory. After being unexpectedly fired, she struggles to find work and while maintaining appearances with her children.
The Thousand and One Nights (Binbir Gece Masalları)
(Mahsum Taskin, Turkey, 2020, 17 min, in Kurdish w/ English subtitles)
Seyithan, who lives in a Kurdish village in Eastern Turkey, comes across the tales of The Thousand and One Nights and begins seeking out the missing parts.
STFF Shorts Program has been accepting short film submissions annually since 2014 and received 200+ submissions in 2020.