By Melis Zararsız
    Semih Kaplanoğlu Semih Kaplanoğlu

    15.11.2017 - As the closing ceremony and awards night is near, the excitement of the film teams increases. Today, after the second screening of Bugday by Semih Kaplanoglu, the director answered questions about his strong film.

    Semih Kaplanoğlu wrote the script of Bugday/Grain five years ago, which is about drought, hunger and some genetic changes in a post apocalyptic world. In the dead lands, genetically incompatible immigrants suffer from epidemics. The film is a co-production of Heimatfilm (Germany), Sophie Doulac Productions (France), The Chimney Pot (Sweden) and Arte France Cinéma (France). His English-language film is a dystopian sci-fi epic filmed on three continents: USA, Turkey and Germany.

    Semih Kaplanoglu is a producer and director mostly  known for his trilogy “Yumurta (2007)”, “Bal (2010)” and “Süt (2008)”. He has received 28 international awards and 10 nominations worldwide. He was a jury member in 2013 Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation and Short Films. He also is member of the European Film Academy as well as Asia Pacific Screen Academy. Bugday/ Grain is an allegorical treatment of  some Quran verses that have special significance for the mystical Sufi branch of Islam. (story of  Khidr and Moses).  The quote: “breath or grain” in the film is from Yunus Emre, the mystic poet. But films visual and thematic difference, for example being b&w also  greets the Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s dystopian sci-fi classic, Stalker,  which Kaplanoglu underlines himself.

    Kaplanoglu said also greetings in his speech to “Niyazi-i Mısri” from Malatya, an Anatolian poet born in 1618. He said he wanted to shoot a film which reminds the responsibilities of being a human. He underlined that metaphysics cannot be seperated from spirituality and also from science, but it has been seperated lately. He said he wanted to draw attention to ecologic problems and the contradictions we live accordingly. Technology creates air conditioning but it’s us who ruins climates, in the first place, so this is a loop, he stated.

    Onur SaylakAnother strong film from the competition section screened today was “Daha/More” by Onur Saylak. Adapted from an underground literature book by the same name from Hakan Gunday, the film tells the gripping story of a boy that gets to grow up with his father in a world where there’s no room for innocence. Onur Saylak is an actor and director, this is his first feature film as a director after his short film “The Jungle”.

    The movie concentrates more to the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey than the maturation story of a young boy in the novel. Concentrating more on the first 1/3rd of the novel, director wanted to draw a portrait of what we’re living through right now in Turkey. To the questions about the harshness of the film Saylak said the reality is more harsh than what we are showing in our films.

    7. Malatya International Film Festival kicked off on the 9th November 2017 and runs till the 16th of November. The awards will be announced on the closing ceremony of the festival.