Apple Tea Film Makers (Elma Çayı Sinemacıları)

Kaş Likya Festival-Apple Tea Filmmakers, Kaş, Turkey June 25, 2011

Kaş Likya Festival-Apple Tea Filmmakers

Three short films by Kaş high school students were shown on June 25th, the second day of the XIV International Lycian/Kaş Culture and Art Festival on the stage set up at the Kaş Harbour.

These young people called themselves the Apple Tea Film Makers. Many people who saw these films were very surprised at the quality of their work!
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See below for the rest of their story (by Ayşe Dağıstanlı)

Click here to jump to an interview of the Apple Tea Film Makers

Özkan Yılmaz, is a young Turkish film producer who recently moved to Kaş. His last film Çoğunluk, (The Majority) won the Best Film awards in both the Antalya and Venice Film Festivals. Yılmaz started a new project which hopefully will continue in the coming years. He reached out to high school students from Kaş villages to teach them the art of film making. 28 students started the three month course, eight of them finished; six girls and two boys.

As part of the course they had to develop film ideas and all together chose three ideas out of about twenty. They then wrote the scripts and shot three short films. The students did all the work in collaboration: they were the directors, camera operators, actors, lighting, and prepared the music. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Yılmaz several professional artists volunteered their time to perform roles in the films gratis.

Özkan started the film project with the aid of the Kaş Kültür Evi. They prepared announcements and reached out to students. Training then started on film theory and lasted for three months. They started with 28 students. The training was scheduled on weekends of two-four hour days each. The number of students dropped and at the end of the three months, eight students finished the course.

The students were then told to either come up with projects or ideas or else they could all just sit around and watch films. The students got the message. They came up with 15 or 20 projects. All together they chose three film ideas out of them that have a message to give, that is, “films with problems.” This lasted about a month. After this very useful learning period they started to shoot their films. The young film makers started to call themselves the Apple Tea Film Makers, because they like to drink apple tea.

The pieces of the puzzle eventually came together and overcoming all problems they were able to shoot the first film in February. Editing had to be done in Istanbul because there wasn’t a capable computer in Kaş. It was during a school holiday so the director was able to go also. The music of the film was made by students from the Apple Tea Film Makers. This first film was called Çalınmayan Aşk (Unstolen Love) and was directed by: Sude Meriç Kolozina and Deniz Karalar. It is the story of a kleptomaniac girl who fights against herself, and her boyfriend who helps her in that battle.

Ardından (Reminiscing) Film by by İrem Uçkun, Kaş, Turkey

Ardından (Reminiscing) Film by by İrem Uçkun

In March they shot the second film. This the story of a woman. Famous actress Tülin Özen came to Kaş at her own expense and took part in the film. The film makers were able to use the music of Sarp Maden, a jazz guitarist, thanks to the support of Şevval Sav, a famous singer. Özkan Yılmaz mentions how all these people gave very valuable support to the project. The second film was titled Ardından (Reminiscing) and was directed by İrem Uçkun. This film is a short story of a woman who goes back to the past through perfumes.

The third film is a sea and dive story. For this reason, the waited for the weather to warm up. Famous actress Hande Soral gave support to the three days of shooting. Kaş locals helped by giving their time and expertise. The dive boat, dive instructors, oxygen tanks and other dive equipment were freely loaned for use. Özkan says he is thankful to all of them. This film is titled Denizin Gizemi (Mystery of the Sea) it was directed by Melisa Yılmaz. It is the sad story of a young diver who gets a stroke after a dive accident.

In spite of many difficulties the third film was finished and like the others the editing was done in Istanbul. All three films were first shown to the public for free during the 14th International Lycia/Kaş Culture and Art Festival on June 24th. So the first step of the project has come to an end and the films have been applauded enthusiastically. The next step is to take part in national and international film festivals.

Interview of the Apple Tea Film Makers

(by Ayşe Dağıstanlı)

Özkan Yilmaz and the Apple Tea Filmmakers, Kaş, Turkey 2011

Özkan Yilmaz and the Apple Tea Filmmakers

Melisa Yılmaz, Deniz Karalar, İrem Uçkun and Sude Meriç Kolozina are students in İsmet Köroğlu Anadolu High School. Fatma Kabaca, Enes Çıngıl, Egecan Şen are still students and Simge Doğanay Yaşar graduated from Kaş High School in 2010.

What do they think about the project?

(Melisa) At first I thought it was a drama (theater) course. I said let me have a look. Later I found it interesting and continued. Cinema was never in my mind before, but now I may consider studying it. My life changed with the project. We met interesting people. The help and support of the professionals was very important. I think that cinema is one of the best ways of saying (conveying) something.

(Deniz) We were already (with Sude) showing films at the Kaş Culture House. I like watching films. I play the piano. I’ll study music production. The project was beyond my expectations. Now I think films may be part of my education, my job.

(Fatma) I joined the project because I was curious to know. It was fun and nice. I wasn’t intersted in cinema before, but maybe I will be in the future, who knows?

They developed the stories together. They discussed the ideas, and generated new ones. For example İrem used to smell perfumes while she studied. They thought of adding love, jealousy, and other emotions is how the script came up.

First they had a story, then they wrote the script, and then the scenes. While they were doing all this, they got stressed about not having enough time, they wanted it to be finished, and be done and over with it. But when it was finished, they regretted it was over, they wanted it to go on.

They all had different things to do in turn and experienced different facets of film making.

These six girls and two boys, calling themselves the Apple Tea Film Makers, have been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Özkan Yılmaz held their hands and introduced them to the world of cinema, a world of passion, dreams and fantasy. We hope that the future will give us the opportunity to follow their successful steps in this magical world and the architect of this is Özkan Yılmaz.

For this reason on behalf of Kaş and these young people we owe him our thanks. Thank you Özkan Yılmaz!

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