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.
Andac Haznedarolglu is an experienced TV director with several hit shows under her belt. She is now at her second feature film with “The Guest,” which is world premiering in the Antalya fest competition. Her first feature was local romcom “Everything for Love.”
“The Guest” is a refugee drama toplining Jordanian star Saba Mubarak as a Syrian named Meryem fleeing from war-torn Aleppo with two children whose parents have perished.
“This is a story that has changed my life,” she says, noting that the script stems from months of research on the front lines witnessing “the terrifying ordeals that Syrian refugees have to live through.”
The lead child actress was selected from a group of 3500 refugees who auditioned for the role.
The script for “The Guest” originated at the Sundance Institute’s Mediterranean Screenwriters Workshop in 2015 and was first pitched that year at the Antalya Film Forum before being selected for the Locarno Industry Days in 2016. This first Turkish-Jordanian co-prod, has received backing from the Turkish Ministry of Culture.