Four new films weave epic story of Çanakkale
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News AgencyEpic tales of the Dardanelles War have previously been detailed in animated films, documentaries and theatrical plays, but now one of the best known heroic wars in Turkey’s history will come to the silver screen in a series of four films.
Four of Turkey’s best directors are currently working to adapt the conflict-encrusted saga to the screen. Sinan Çetin, Yeşim Sezgin, Serdar Akar and Mahsun Kırmızıgül will direct separate films that will tell the tragedy of the war from the two different fronts in four different stories. Each film will be timed for release on different dates.
Sezgin will direct “Çanakkale 1915,” a film detailing the story of a nation as written by Turgut Özakman in the famous novel “Those Crazy Turks.” Filmed in the Gürpınar district of Ayvacık in the northwestern province of Çanakkale the film explores the country’s revival after the Balkan Wars.
Over 2,000 soldier costumes were made for the film as well as thousands of costumes depicting villagers and various occupational groups. Hundreds of meters of trenches were dug in nearby areas to shoot war scenes, which required a cast of 500 people, all of whom had to undergo brief military educations to ensure accuracy in filming.
Three top ranked military officers worked as consultants for the film. Mechanisms for objects such as cannon balls and guns that reflect the historical time period of the war were built. A vessel similar to Nusret Mine Vessel was constructed and used in the film. Yetkin Dikinciler, Şevket Çoruh, Barış Çakmak, Serkan Ercan, Rıza Akın and Bülent Alkış star in this film, which will be released Oct. 18 in both Turkey and abroad.
‘Children of Çanakkale’
Çetin has already claimed that the film he is directing for the Çanakkale series, “Children of Çanakkale,” will be the most watched film of his career. The film centers on the common tragedy of the two fronts with a storyline revolving around two enemy brothers.
The film’s theme focuses on the brotherhood and the unnecessary aspects of war. The film will tell the story of the War of Dardanelles through a very different perspective, and contain social messages for mothers afraid of losing their children. It has already become one of the more disputed film productions of the season and is set to be released Sept. 28.
The film stars Yavuz Bingöl, Haluk Bilginer, Oktay Kaynarca, Wilma Elles, Çetin’s wife Rebecca Haas and their sons Orfeo and James. It has a budget of 5 million Turkish Liras.
The third film in the Çanakkale series will be “Inside Çanakkale” and star world renowned Australian actor Mel Gibson as an English officer. The film’s director Akar is known for his films “The Valley of the Wolves: Iraq” and “The Wings of the Night.” “Inside Çanakkale” is expected to cost $10 to $15 million and due to Gallipoli Peninsula now being a national park the film will be shot at an area resembling Çanakkale. Australian and New Zealander actors are being employed as Anzac soldiers for the sake of accuracy.
The film will be released in 2013.
New films by Kırmızıgül
Singer and director Kırmızıgül, best known for his films “White Angel,” “I Saw the Sun” and “Five Minarets in New York,” will direct the final Çanakkale film, “57th Regiment.”
After a year-long process of preparation, the cast of the “57th Regiment” has yet to be determined, but it is known that it will require nearly 2,000 actors. The expected cost of the film is $20 million with filming taking place in the Australian city of Melbourne and in Gallipoli. The film is scheduled for release on March 18, 2013.