You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gallipoli pics do battle in Turkey

Centenary births dueling adaptations

ISTANBUL — With the centenary of the battle of Gallipoli just around the corner, Turkish audiences who want to relive the event onscreen will have options, with at least two adaptations of the 1915 WWI campaign set for release.

On Sept. 28, the nation-forging struggle between Ottoman and Allied forces over the straits of the Dardanelles, or what Turks call Canakkale, will first be brought to life in Sinan Cetin’s “Children of Canakkale.” Detailing the story of two brothers who fight on opposite sides in Gallipoli, the $5 million Plato Film project is set to premiere on 400 screens across Turkey.

On Oct. 18, Yesim Sezgin’s “Canakkale 1915,” based on the bestselling historical fiction by Turgut Ozakman, will be released on 1,000 screens across Turkey and Europe. Also boasting a $5 million budget, this Fida Film production focuses on the battle as a foundation for the Turkish Republic.

Both films should benefit from a recent surge in interest among Turks for historical dramas. This year’s “Conquest 1453,” detailing the conquering of Istanbul, grossed $31 million, to become the biggest film in Turkish history, and is being turned into a TV series. Historical series draw high ratings on Turkish TV, including “Magnificent Century” (dealing with the court of Suleyman the Magnificent), “Law of the Wolf” (covering the early Turkish Republic) and “Ottoman Mutiny” (relating the middle Ottoman period).

“Children of Canakkale” distinguishes itself from many Turkish war films by its antiwar stance. The film has already stirred controversy for its tagline, “Long live the children, too,” a likely reference to the popular nationalist chant “Long live the homeland.” Roughly a third of the dialog is in English, a choice the producers say highlights the shared horror of war on all sides.

“Canakkale 1915” marks out quite different territory with the tagline: “No enemy, army or weapon can be mightier than the love for a nation.” Producers stress the realism of the film, noting the authentic arms, costumes and locations, including the actual battlefields of the Dardanelles, for which they received special shooting permission.

Playing to an audience that enthusiastically embraces local product, these takes on the battle may be just the beginning of films on the subject, with at least three other major productions pegged at various stages of development.

So whatever the most appropriate tagline for all these works may be, it’s certain Turkish filmmakers are crying, “Long live the battle of Gallipoli.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Germany's Leonine Buys ‘Dark’ and '4

    German Indie Studio Leonine Buys ‘Dark’ and '4 Blocks' Producer W&B TV

    Leonine has acquired “Dark” producer W&B TV from Endemol Shine. Fledgling German studio Leonine had already bought Wiedemann & Berg Film and established itself as a Munich-based movies, TV, and digital production and distribution group. It has now added the W&B TV unit to its roster. The production company is behind several big German dramas [...]

  • iHuman

    Cinephil Acquires AI-Themed Political Thriller Documentary 'iHuman' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tel Aviv-based Cinephil has acquired worldwide rights to Tonje Hessen Schei’s (“Drone”) “iHuman,” a political thriller documentary about artificial intelligence, power and social control. U.S.-based sales agent ro*co films is representing North America on the film, which will have its world premiere in the Frontlight section of Amsterdam’s International Documentary Film Festival. “iHuman” follows the [...]

  • 'Feast of the Seven Fishes' Review:

    Film Review: 'Feast of the Seven Fishes'

    Early on in “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” two characters debate the optimal way to decorate a house for Christmas. One favors an “understated” approach, with white lights and little more; the other argues that the holidays are no time for subtlety, advocating green, red and gold sparkle as far as the semi-blinded eye can [...]

  • Queen & Slim

    AFI Fest Film Review: 'Queen & Slim'

    Going to the movies can feel a lot like agreeing to a blind date: It’s normal to feel a little wary — but also a bit excited — at the potential before agreeing to spend two hours with characters you don’t know. If the film is any good, it wins you over early on, enough [...]

  • Steven Spielberg Branko Lustig

    'He Left Me Speechless': Steven Spielberg Remembers Branko Lustig

    Steven Spielberg has offered a touching remembrance of Branko Lustig, the Holocaust survivor who produced “Schindler’s List” with Spielberg and Gerald Molen and died Thursday in Croatia. “I was heartbroken to hear of Branko’s passing and my thoughts are with his family and friends,” Spielberg said. “When we first met to discuss ‘Schindler’s List,’ he [...]

  • Dylan Brosnan and Paris BrosnanGolden Globe

    Pierce Brosnan’s Sons Paris and Dylan Brosnan Named 2020 Golden Globe Ambassadors

    Pierce Brosnan’s two youngest sons, Paris and Dylan Brosnan, have been named as the 2020 Golden Globe Ambassadors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Thursday evening. Paris and Dylan are also the sons of journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith. The ambassador(s), a title that typically goes to the son or daughter of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content