Turkish film eyes Oscars, promoted in Los Angeles

Turkish film eyes Oscars, promoted in Los Angeles

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Turkish film eyes Oscars, promoted in Los Angeles The Turkish film “Ateşin Düştüğü Yer” (Where the Fire Burns) is being promoted in a series of events in Los Angeles to improve its chances to represent the country at the upcoming Academy Awards.
As in all of his work, director İsmail Güneş said the film depicts a struggle with morals. “In the film, a father tries to persuade himself. How can a father decide to kill his daughter, whom he has raised for many years? I wanted to question this process and turn it into a story of regret. Because I think that some things are contagious.

“For example, a doctor is beaten and the incident appears in all the newspapers. For the next 15 days, it becomes popular to beat doctors. When you talk about honor and manners, it is a matter of mitigation and you make a murder innocent. But this is just a murder. When you try to explain it with some reasoning, it does not change the reality. We say ‘murder of honor.’ We should abandon this idea.”

‘Turkey falls behind in promotion’

Güneş said the film has received positive reactions at international festivals and would go to Los Angeles, where they will work to promote the film as a contender for the Oscars.

“The Academy Awards have nearly 400 members that reduce the number of best foreign films to five. The committee watches 10-15 of the best-promoted films but people think that the committee watches all the films. There can be very good films among the ones that the committee members do not watch. The first five will be selected from among the most popular films. We will be there to create this popularity. Previously Nurie Bilge Ceylan, Semih Kaplanoğlu and Yavuz Turgul sent their films, but they were not chosen. It doesn’t mean that they were not good, but Turkey falls behind in promotion. For example, there is an Oscar desk in the consulates general of countries like Germany with 10-15 people working for it. We should prepare for the Oscars with an Olympic soul.”


Director İsmail Güneş (L) says they will organize
promotional events in Los Angeles and the DVDs of
the film, which is based on a true story, will be sent
to bloggers.

Güneş said they would organize promotional events in Los Angeles and the DVD of the film would be sent to bloggers. “I am in a positive mood about winning the Oscar. Because I think that global conjuncture and politics are very important. Also, the violence against women in the film will also be effective. Women are exposed to violence everywhere. It can affect the committee.”

The director also said he had been preparing for a new film titled “Postman” that would be shot in June of next year.

Based on a true story that took place in Turkey, “Where the Fire Burns” is a dark drama about 17-year-old Ayşe, who unexpectedly falls ill. After visiting a hospital, her family discovers that she not only has a heart condition but is also pregnant. According to tradition, a family council of elders and men in the family is called to decide the fate of the young woman who has shamed her family’s name.

The decision is unanimous: Ayşe is to be executed. Ayşe’s father, Osman, is given the task of killing his daughter. She is taken by Osman on a journey from the southwestern coast of Turkey to Konya.

“Where the Fire Burns” has won the top prize of Grand Prix des Americas at the 36th edition of the Montreal World Film Festival as well as the International Federation of Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI).