Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Kivilcim Akay, Director ‘I am Also Here’

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Kivilcim Akay in 2008 got her degree in fine arts from Akdeniz Univerisity in Antalya and went to work in the advertising field, eventually starting her own advertising and production company in 2011. She produced and directed Turkish fashion doc series “100 Years of Fashion” which in 2013 aired on pubcaster TRT. In 2014 followed “My Wish is Peace” in which children in areas affected by the ongoing 30-year-old Kurdish-Turkish conflict express their desires for resolution. That doc world-premiered at the Istanbul film fest and circulated internationally.

Akay is currently at work on “I’m Also Here,” a doc about a Senegalese immigrant to Turkey named Amina whose dream of becoming a fashion model provides the basis for a story about female solidarity between immigrants and refugees in the country. The most important reason for this documentary is “to act as a reminder of the presence of immigrant and refugee women living in Turkey,” she says. “I’m Also Here,” which won a prize at the Antalya Film Forum’s Documentary Pitching Platform last year, is back this year in the forum’s work-in-progress section.

 

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