Turkish village getting its share of screen time
AYDIN – Doğan News Agency
Eski Doğanbey village is home to many ancient Greek houses and has become a natural film location for movies. AA photos
With the ability to stand in for areas around the Mediterranean, the village of Eski Doğanbey in the Aegean province of Aydın is attracting an increasing number of film directors looking to shoot a movie in a picturesque setting.
The village, which is home to many ancient Greek houses and other stone houses, has become a natural film location for many Turkish and foreign movies.
Eski Doğanbey recently played host to “Entelköy Efeköye Karşı” (Ecotopia) and “Dedemin İnsanları” (My Grandfather’s People) and is now the setting for a new version of “Pinocchio” that is being produced by German production company FFP New Media.
The village will stand in for a 1920s Italian village in the movie, which features both Turkish and Germany actors.
The film’s producer, Anemone Müller, recently told Anatolia news agency that they had started to shoot the movie in February in Eski Doğanbey while adding that the movie’s studio scenes would be shot in Germany.
“We needed a Mediterranean village in an Italian style. We searched for a place for a very long time, and finally we found Eski Doğanbey village,” Müller said.
Noting that it was very difficult to find a place such as Eski Doğanbey, Müller said its Mediterranean character meant they needed to do little to convert Eski Doğanbey into a 1920s Italian village. “The village is one of the best places for us to shoot the movie. The locals have also supported us a lot.”
The German production company has also taken support from Turkish production company AZ Celtic Films.
Many of the aspects in the movie, such as the vehicles, actors and actresses, were all supplied locally, according to the filmmakers.
Locals get roles in movie
“During … shootings in Eski Doğanbey village, we used many bit players from [the nearby Aydın districts of] Söke and Kuşadası. We [also] brought a horse carriage from İzmir,” said Berk Bengü, the film’s production director.
The filmmakers also brought two cows and 10 sheep from the mountains around Söke for the film, as well as donkeys and hens.
“These developments have been new and different events for the locals. The animals were given back to the villagers after the shootings,” Bengü said.
Meanwhile, the movie’s casting director, Ufuk Tosun, said Turkish actors and actresses appearing in the film were very “serious” about their job.
“The leading actors and actresses came from Germany for the ‘Pinocchio’ movie. However, apart from the leading actors, we brought [many] supporting actors and actresses in from Söke and Kuşadası,” Tosun said.
“The adventures of Pinocchio take place in Italy, and that’s why we did not want blond people. We found 157 people out of 500 people. We worked very meticulously for the auditions,” Tosun said.
Bahri Yüksel, a retired 60-year-old from Kuşadası, said he had had an enjoyable time appearing as an extra on the film. Hasan Özen, a stallholder in the market who also appeared in “Pinocchio” as an extra, said: “I played in the movie and also brought the donkeys in the movie from Söke to here.”
Retired literature teacher Şennur Parıldar, a resident of Söke, said she had played a tailor in the movie.