×

Oscars: Yilmaz Erdogan Hopes ‘Butterfly’s Dream’ Will Open Doors for Local Bizzers

Director, actor and poet Yilmaz Erdogan made a big splash in 2001 with his first feature, “Vizontele,” a hit comedy about TV arriving in an isolated southeastern Turkish township in 1974 and becoming a symbol for the struggle between secular and religious groups for whom it was a slap in the face of Islamic tradition.

Now that Turkish television, mainly its soaps, has become a booming business worth an estimated $130 million in foreign sales, Erdogan is having second thoughts about coming out in its favor, but only for purely practical reasons.

“The TV industry is going good; but that’s not so good for shooting movies because actors and crews are always busy,” he quips.

That’s not to say local talent and crews didn’t find time for Erdogan’s latest, and most ambitious, feature, “The Butterfly’s Dream,” which is Turkey’s submission for the foreign-language film Oscar.

Produced by Necati Akpinar’s BKM, “Dream” had a long gestation. The screenwriting process took seven years, pre-production took two years. And all the while the effort was for the film to have international-level production values and a narrative that could really resonate with the home crowd but also click beyond national confines.

To that end, the pic’s original 138-minute running time has been trimmed down to 123 in hopes this will help bring about a U.S. sale.

“Dream,” which is set in World War II-era impoverished Turkey, is about the bond between two young poets forced to work in coal mines. They both fall sick with tuberculosis and fall in love with the same woman, an aristocrat’s daughter, played by star Belcim Bilgin, who is also Erdogan’s wife.

“It’s a rare case of a Turkish film that strikes a middle ground between mainstream movie and quality cinema,” Bilgin says.

They are hoping “Dream” could open doors for the Turkish film industry internationally.

Meanwhile, Erdogan is working on his next project, which is set in Germany and based on a true story related to the Berlin Wall.

Not surprisingly, it is being mounted as a Turkish/German co-production.

More Biz

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA Takes Aim at Endeavor IPO, Tells Members It Has 'Sufficient Funds' for Legal Battle

    The Writers Guild of America has gone to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its battle with Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees and affiliated production. The guild sent a letter to William Hinman, director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, the guild accuses WME parent company Endeavor of misrepresenting the [...]

  • Honoree Yusef Salaam poses at the

    Yusef Salaam Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Yusef Salaam, one of the men who was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger case, has signed with CAA for representation in all areas of business worldwide. The story of Salaam and the four other men — then boys — who were wrongfully convicted was recently told in Netflix’s miniseries [...]

  • Kim Kardashian West Kimono

    Kim Kardashian West's 'Kimono' Shapewear Sparks Backlash

    West announced yesterday that she was launching a line of form-fitting shapewear in nine different skin tones and a range of sizes. But the name of the reality star’s latest business venture — “Kimono” — is already wrapped up in controversy.Kimonos are Japanese robes traditionally worn at formal affairs, prompting some to accuse the businesswoman [...]

  • Discovery Corporate New Logo

    Discovery Faces Backlash From Unscripted Producers After Shift in Series Payment Process

    Discovery Inc. is facing a backlash from the unscripted production community following a shift in the cable giant’s protocol for paying for programming. During the past year, Discovery has implemented a new system that calls for the company to pay producers for shows after all episodes and related material for a given season have been [...]

  • Wendy Goldstein Named Republic Records President,

    Republic Records Names Wendy Goldstein President of West Coast Creative

    Republic Records advances Wendy Goldstein to President of West Coast Creative, label co-founders and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman announced today. Goldstein has overseen the company’s Santa Monica office since 2017 as EVP of Republic Records. Over the past year, she headed up the label’s efforts for Ariana Grande’s  back-to-back No. 1 debuts for the singer’s “Sweetener” and “Thank U, Next” albums, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content