Ferzan Özpetek: I want to make a film in Turkey’s east
Acclaimed Turkish director and scriptwriter Ferzan Özpetek, who lives in Italy, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th International Antalya Film Festival this year. He replied to questions from press members and cinema lovers during a talk, which was also attended by producer Tilde Corsi, scriptwriter Giani Romoli, art director Deniz Kobanbay, stage actress Çiğdem Selışık and actress Şebnem Bozoklu, held on Oct. 2 at the Antalya Culture Center.
Özpetek said the film “Hamam” has been important in his career and had been shot in four weeks but had not been accepted in Venice and Berlin, at first.
He said he was the assistant director and became the director for the first time in “Hamam.”
“We shot the film under difficult conditions. My mother was cooking and bringing it to the film set. They did not accept the film at the Berlin festival. I felt down. A team from Cannes watched the film and carried it to the festival,” said the director.
“That is how my career started. ‘Hamam’ introduced me to the whole world. All my life changed in 15 days after the screening in Cannes. When the first film goes well, then they easily buy your next movies,” he said.
Özpetek said he chose the actors by having normal conversations with them and that he had never been wrong in choosing the actors. “If I am excited when making the film, viewers get excited too,” he added.
“I went to Diyarbakır, the city of 32 civilizations. I am very interested in the region. I will make a film in Italy in May. Maybe the next film will be there,” Özpetek said, adding that he wants to make a film in eastern Turkey.
The director said Turkish people work passionately.
“Everyone’s life will become a television series one day. Turkish television series are shown in Italy. They write me the names of Turkish television actors on social media. ‘I am in love with him/her, please work together,’ they say. They show the photos of actors in Turkish television series. Movie theaters in Turkey are very comfortable; you feel uncomfortable in Italy. They are either cold or hot; cell phones are also a problem,” he said.
Corsi said she wanted to make another film with Özpetek and Turkish actors in Turkey after “Harem Suare,” their first film together 15 years ago. She said everyone in Cannes wanted to ask about Özpetek’s films.
Following the talks, a teaser of Özpetek’s new film “Napoli Velata” was shown, which will be released in Turkey on Oct. 26.