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PRODUCTION Turkey / Germany / Greece

Emre Yeksan in post-production with his feature debut, The Gulf

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- The Turkish filmmaker is putting the finishing touches to his Turkish-German-Greek co-production

Emre Yeksan in post-production with his feature debut, The Gulf
An image from The Gulf

Emre Yeksan, who hasalready worked as a producer, directed a short film called Aziz (2014) and formed part of the directing team for the short documentary Welcome Lenin! (2016), has spent almost four years sculpting and bringing to life the idea behind his debut feature film, entitled The Gulf. After appearing at multiple acclaimed development workshops and co-production markets — Meetings on the Bridge, CineLink, Ekran+, Les Arcs— the project is now almost complete and is currently in post-production.

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The screenplay, written by the director and Ahmet Büke, revolves around an apathetic man, 32-year-old Selim (Ulaş Tuna Astepe), who returns to his home town Izmir at a moment when his personal life and professional career are in ruins. Selim, who doesn’t want to plan his future, decides to reconnect with his past friends, his family and the energy that his old town offers him. However, this new adventure takes an unexpected turn when an unbearable smell spreads over the city.

Regarding the idea behind the story of The Gulf, Yeksan explains that he tried to capture the increasing sense that we are living on the edge of a manmade disaster or another world war. While some of us still have the strength to stand against this catastrophe and overcome the fear, there are moments when we may feel perplexed and immobilised, and this is the case with the main protagonist.

The €500,000 project was shot last summer in Izmir, which also happens to be Yeksan’s home town. The Gulf is also the first feature film produced by Anna Maria Aslanoğlu of Istanbul-based Istos Film, which, in recent years, has been an active participant in the short films’ sections of major film festivals and is currently developing three new feature films (Idle Moments by Cem Öztüfekçi, Zuhal by Nazli E. Durlu and Ela and Hilmi by Ziya Demirel). According to the producer’s notes, the film is expected to be completed this summer.

The Gulf is a Turkish-German-Greek co-production by Anna Maria Aslanoğlu (Istos Film), Asli Filiz (Bir Film), Dirk Engelhardt (Kundschafter Filmproduktion) and Maria Drandaki (Homemade Films). The film is supported by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund, the Greek Film Centre and Swiss fund Visions Sud Est.

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