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PRODUCTION Turkey / Germany

Nisan Dağ wraps the shoot for When I’m Done Dying


- In her sophomore feature, the Turkish director follows a passionate love story set in the slums of Istanbul and steeped in edgy rap music

Nisan Dağ wraps the shoot for When I’m Done Dying
Turkish filmmaker Nisan Dağ (left) with lead actors Hayal Köseoğlu (Devin) and Oktay Çubuk (Fehmi) on the set of When I’m Done Dying

Turkish writer-director Nisan Dağ is moving forward with her hotly anticipated second feature, When I’m Done Dying [+see also:
film review
film profile
, which, after four weeks of filming in Istanbul, has just wrapped principal photography and has already started editing. Dağ rose to prominence five years ago with her debut feature, Across the Sea, which she co-directed with Esra Saydam and which was awarded at multiple festivals.

When I’m Done Dying follows Fehmi, a talented 19-year-old rapper from one of the notorious rough neighbourhoods of Istanbul. He is addicted to bonzai, a cheap and deadly drug, and this jeopardises any possible success for his rap band Hakikat, and even his future dreams of making it big on the music scene. Fehmi will cross paths with Devin, a 25-year-old upper-class woman who’s more into electronic music, but who is also a lost soul. They will fall hard for each other, and by spending time together, they will find love and the inspiration they were lacking, which will be expressed through music. However, the simultaneously passionate and troubling relationship between this odd couple will soon become quite toxic.

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The script was penned by Dağ, and emerging talents Oktay Çubuk and Hayal Köseoğlu will perform the roles of Fehmi and Devin, respectively. The cast also includes Ushan ÇakirIsmail ZagrosEren ÇiğdemGörkem Kasal and Müfit Kayacan. Furthermore, Dağ is collaborating with the same cinematographer, John Wakayama Carey, and editor, Özcan Vardar, who worked on her debut feature. Since music plays a predominant role in the film, it should be noted that the original music was composed by Da Poet, one of the most acclaimed beatmakers and rappers in Turkey, while the lyrics were written by both famous and up-and-coming Turkish rappers. Finally, Hayki, another well-known Turkish rapper, coached the cast for the rap scenes.

While in development, When I’m Done Dying won a Special Mention at Meetings on the Bridge and the Antalya Film Forum Prize in 2017 (see the news), and later the same year, it took part in connecting cottbus (see the news) as well as in the 2018 Berlinale Co-Production Market (see the news).

When I’m Done Dying is a Turkish-German co-production by Jessica CaldwellYağmur ÜnalJim Wareck and Müge Özen, for Istanbul-based Solis Film, with Dorothe Beinemeier on board for Hamburg-based Red Balloon Film GmbH. The film received co-development and production funding from the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH) and Eurimages, and private financing from the USA and Turkey. As the editing is already in progress, the release of When I’m Done Dying is slated for early next year.

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