The European film scene is very much alive with its unique display of cinematic depiction and storytelling. Emin Alper and Tolga Karaçelik are two of Turkey’s most recognized award-winning film directors. Their work speaks for itself. Alper and Karaçelik were featured guests on The Gusto Project and engaged in an in-depth discussion with then host Johnathan Andrews, about the thought processes that go into making a film and how to execute thoroughly, the desired outcome. Both men have proved and are proving to be a driving force in not just Turkish cinema but cinema as a whole.
Karaçelik studied Law at the University of Istanbul. However, his real passion lied in poetry and writing short stories. In addition, Karaçelik has also directed music videos and served as DOP (Director of Photography) on a documentary feature. Karaçelik’s debut feature Toll Booth (2010) was screened at the 47th Atalya “Golden Orange” International Film Festival and was screened in more than 35 cities across the US and Canada. Toll Booth (2010) also earned an award for Best Debut Film at the Atalya Festival. The film tells the story of a hermit-like toll booth operator and his stresses and struggles he encounters. Other films would follow. The psychological thriller Ivy (2015), surrounds a group of crew members stuck on board a ship. As time lingers they all begin to slowly lose their minds. The film won numerous awards at the Sundance Film Festival which included Best Screenplay and Best Director. A dark comedy called Butterflies is currently in the works and set to be released in 2017.
Whilst studying Economics at university Emin Alper was a part of a cinema club. Along with friends, he also published the film magazine “Görüntü”. It was after watching Time of the Gypsies (1988) by Emir Kusturica that Alper’s love for cinema really began to develop. His (Alper) directorial debut Beyond the Hill (2012) is the story of “the repressed violence and projections of a Turkish family on holiday." The film can also be described as an unsettling family drama, as the story takes place in the wilderness and depicts one family up against another. Beyond the Hill (2012) was awarded the Caligari Film Prize in the 62nd Berlinale. It also picked up the award for Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Frenzy (2014), Alper’s second feature film, is a political thriller that follows a recently released convict who is forced into becoming a police informant and gather intelligence on suspected terrorist activity. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. Alper defines his style as “paranoia and dream versus reality.” With such a cinematic signature, Alper is bound to leave his mark and effect on most.
Emin Alper and Tolga Karaçelik are living proof that the art of cinematic fantasy knows no bounds. Indeed, the visual arts allow for imagination i.e. the power to dream. What could be more valuable?