Written and directed by Serhat Karaaslan, a Kurdish director from Turkey, the film centers on a young couple in a small Turkish town looking for privacy. Shortlisted in the live-action short category for the 2022 awards, the film uses genre to discuss the way an oppressive society pushes its civilians to police each other, ultimately turning sex into a subversive act.
“The Criminals” is produced by Laure Dahout through her French production company Tiresias Films. The film world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, where it won the Short Film Special Jury Award. Since then, it has garnered over 90 selections and more than 40 awards. It was nominated for a César award on Wednesday.
Nattiv, the director of the upcoming Helen Mirren-led biopic about Golda Meir, is now lending his bona fides to the film. The director won the 2019 live-action short Oscar for his film “Skin” with Jaime Ray Newman.
Also boarding “The Criminals” as executive producers are filmmakers Scott Aharoni, Mustafa Kaymak and Sinan Eczacibasi, whose movies have also won major awards at Sundance and Tribeca. The trio recently secured a major film fund through their new production company Cinegryphon Entertainment.
Nattiv said: “I am honored to join the talented team of the acclaimed and important short film, ‘The Criminals.’ It has a powerful message with excellent direction and acting. It shines a light on a country that is being turned into a gigantic prison, a society where everyone is being watched and controlled. The themes are as universal as they come, and I commend director Serhat Karaaslan on this brave and inspiring film.”