MAFIZ embraces Turkey with the filmography of Semih Kaplanoglu

Focus Turkey, an event planned for 2020, has finally begun as a tribute to one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish directors

22/03/2022.- Yesterday ‘The perception of time through the characters’, the masterclass by the Turkish scriptwriter Semih Kaplanoglu, marked the beginning of a series initially scheduled for March 2020, which had to be cancelled because of the surge of the pandemic, which also delayed the Malaga Film Festival and reduced its format.

The section Zona Mundi, which sought to continue with the Festival’s process of internationalisation and encourage an approximation to non Ibero-American cinema, decided at that time to have Turkey as its first guest. In this edition of the Festival, the section is called Focus Turkey and serves as a tribute to the filmography of one of the most acclaimed contemporary Turkish directors.

Focus Turkey is an opportunity to make Turkish films better known, and in particular the work of Kaplanoglu, around whom the activity was structured. Juan Antonio Vigar, Director of the Malaga Film Festival, welcomed the famous filmmaker, who thanked MAFIZ for the invitation, adding that he saw “opportunities and new projects” in the Industry Zone.

Later he offered a masterclass on the construction of a character with the actor and his cinematographic ideas, which was held in the Auditorium of the University of Malaga. Kaplanoglu shared with the audience his ideas on how to shape the characters “using time and rhythm”, but also with any other element that appears in the film, such as “trees, animals, landscapes…”. Because when we “speak about a film’s characters we only think of the actors, but for a director all those elements are characters”.

For Kaplanoglu, the search for the cast begins when he has finished defining “the character’s soul and inner form”; that is when he “looks for an actor who can reflect them”. This first search “begins with a face”. And he looks for it “everywhere, not only where I shoot: in a little village or around the world.” He said that “I don’t look for the faces of popular actors, but for anyone’s face”.
During the search he also looks for locations for shooting: “When I find the locations, I understand where the character is going to act, and with what background”. This way, “everything you see in the film is harmonious”.


Starting today until the 25th of March, four feature films of the winner of the Golden Bear of Berlin for Honey, the third instalment of the Yusuf Trilogy, will be screened at the Centro Cultural María Victoria Atencia (MVA) and the Cine Albéniz, open to the general public: Yumurta (Egg), Süt (Milk), Bal (Honey) and Bugday (Grain).

Yesterday Kaplanoglu revealed that he likes to work with actors who are capable of connecting with “their memory of emotions: their recollections and experiences” and accepted that “some actors speak about this and others don`t; I prefer not to work with those who do not. I film with real persons” and he thinks that “is why it is easier for the reality” he designs “to look like the real world”. That “is transmitted to the spectators, and that is when they are able to connect with the film”.

The same thing happened to him with the protagonist of Honey, a 6-year old boy who succeeded in “going back” to what had been “the biggest scare of his life” and “we filmed with very real emotions”. Egg, Milk and Honey are the three films that comprise the trilogy on the life of Yusuf, divided in three chronologically inverted parts, with which Kaplanoglu acquired international fame as a film director.

But not only Honey won the Golden Bear at the 60th edition of the Berlinale in 2010. In 2007 Egg was exhibited at the Directors’ Fortnight of Cannes and won, amongst many other awards, the Golden Orange at the Antalya Film Festival and the Golden Tulip at the Istanbul Film Festival. In 2008 Milk participated in the Official Section in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Another feature film that will be screened in the framework of the Malaga Film Festival, Grain, was named Best Film at the Tokyo Festival on 2017.

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