Producers of wedding film conquer Istanbul’s conquest
The trio of Selçuk Aydemir (with glasses), Murat Cemcir (L) and Ahmet Kural have produced the (soon-to-be) most watched Turkish film.The latest film offering from director Selçuk Aydemir, “Düğün Dernek” (The Wedding Feast), appears destined to conquer the top of the charts in terms of the most watched Turkish film of all time, positioning itself to overtake “Fetih 1453,” an epic on the conquest of Constantinople.
The movie was seen by 5.2 million people in the first seven weeks of its release, trailing only “Fetih 1453,” which was viewed by 6.5 million – albeit over 52 weeks.
Films filled with action and nationalism have always been popular in Turkey, so how has a film about a wedding in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas proved so popular?
“Turkish people like their own stories. We tell them their stories,” Ahmet Kural, one of “Düğün Dernek’s” lead actors, told the Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview.
The film centers on a wedding for the son of one of four close friends in Sivas. According to Aydemir, the events of the film are inspired to a great deal by his own circle of family and friends. But the other lead, Murat Cemcir, was more prosaic in his take on why the film had been so popular. “The budget for [our first movie] was very limited. At that time, we said, ‘If you give us more money, we will make a more successful movie.’ The producers gave more money for this movie, and we made something better,” he said.
“Until this time, we were always taking shots but never scoring. But we didn’t give up and kept hitting the ball,” Cemcir said.
Aydemir previously worked with Kural and Cemcir for the 2011 release “Çalgı Çengi,” which follows two musicians in the wrong place at the wrong time. The film was produced on a miniscule budget but made a huge impression, bringing recognition to Kural and Cemcir.
Both “Çalgı Çengi” and “Düğün Dernek” also provided a chance for Kural and Cemcir to showcase one of their other talents: music. The core of “Çalgı Çengi” was already about music, but the actors said they were now taking music lessons in time for a planned sequel to the movie. At the same time, a song that the actors sing together from the “Düğün Dernek” soundtrack has become one of the most popular videos on the Internet.
Whatever the case, the future seems bright for the trio that brought Turkey its (soon-to-be) most-watched movie of all.
*Miray Kurt contributed to this report