Historic and cultural links with Istanbul
We talk to Huseyin Karabey, art director and producer of the DO NOT FORGET ME ISTANBUL, about this year’s omnibus, Turkish cinema and his next film in which he acts as a screenwriter, director and producer. How did you choose international group of directors for the DO NOT FORGET ME ISTANBUL?
Three years ago I had an idea to shoot something together with my friends, most of them like Stefan Arsenijević, Aida Begić and others I used to meet at festivals and we were in contact all the time. In 2010 Istanbul was European capital of culture and that was our chance to raise funds. After I had talked to my friends, I chose six directors from the region who were somewhat connected to the Istanbul and Turkey together with their personal stories about Istanbul. Aida’s story for instance, about war in Bosnia and what Istanbul meant to her. We got budget from our country’s government, we made co-production and finished shooting during the last months of 2010.
What is your opinion about Turkish production recently, since it has experienced a renaissance at the festivals all over the world?
Turkey is a great country and it has great cinema. It was not always like that, since 1980 and military rule, that was the breaking point. Before that we had been the third cinema, just behind India and the USA, with approximately 250 films per year. Military intervention ruined life of culture and TV production bloomed so it was not easy for film to come back. Some independent filmmakers tried to shoot 12-15 years ago, like Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Zeki Demirkubuz, and they have succeeded. They have given hope for other young directors and films. Also, Turkish Ministry of Culture has started, about ten years ago, to finance independent, art films, which has helped authors, so thanks to them we can shoot and dream about new projects. Some of them realize and that makes others hope to shoot their own films.
What is your next film project?
I have already shot my new film COME TO MY VOICE in which I acted as a screenwriter, director and producer. Shooting was finished a week ago so my trip to Palić Festival is a necessary vacation for me, since I have worked on this project for four years.