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STFF 2023 Festival Schedule

In its 11th year, the Seattle Turkish Film Festival (STFF) will bring the Seattle audience together with the most distinguished films and directors of Turkish cinema. All screenings will take place on November 17–19th, 2023, at SIFF Cinema Uptown, with a “see and be seen” gala party happening at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) on the night of November 18th, featuring KEXP DJ Darek Mazzone.

This year’s selection among Türkiye’s best films will include five feature films, two feature documentaries and two cult-classic “fantastik” films from the vaults of 1970s–80s Turkish cinema. Furthermore, among approximately 200 short film submissions received this year, eleven fiction and six documentary short films have been selected.

This year, STFF will present the audience with a total of seven feature-length films. The film selection is as follows.

STFFContemporary 2023 Selection

Kim Mihri         Friday Nov 17th, 5:15pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Berna Gencalp | 2022 | 1 hr 29 min

Seattle Premiere

Winner Best National Documentary (Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival)

A documentary about the life of Mihri (Musfik) Rasim Achba, one of the first female portrait painters, whose journey is traced from the late Ottoman Empire era Istanbul to Rome, Paris and New York. A pioneering figure even during her era, Mihri’s untold story is explored by filmmaker Berna Gençalp using interviews and animation.

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A Day, 365 Hours      Friday Nov 17th, 7pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Eylem Kaftan | 2023 | 1 hr 19 min


Seattle Premiere, Filmmaker in attendance

Official selection (Sarajevo Film Festival, Adana Golden Boll Film Festival)

One of the boldest documentaries of 2023, A Day, 365 Hours directed by Eylem Kaftan focuses the legal battle of two women who have been victims of abuse and violence. The strong bond formed between the women and the courage to take their abusers to court gives hope to many. The film will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker, Eylem Kaftan.

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Iguana Tokyo    Saturday Nov 18th, 4pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Kaan Mujdeci | 2022 | 1 hr 14 min

Seattle Premiere

Winner of Best Art Direction (Istanbul Film Festival) and nominated for Best Film (Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival)

Writer director Kaan Müjdeci, who gained a lot of attention with the 2015 film Sivas (featured during STFF 2015), is presenting audiences this year with Iguana Tokyo, an uncommon science fiction story from Turkish Cinema that was filmed entirely in Tokyo, Japan. The film focuses on the life of a small family living in Tokyo who experience a dramatic change in their lives when they begin playing the virtual reality game “M2”. As they become increasingly engrossed in the game, a dangerous atmosphere develops at home noticed only by the family’s pet iguana.

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Black Night    Saturday Nov 18th, 5:45pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Ozcan Alper | 2022 | 1 hr 54 min

Gala film, Filmmaker in attendance, Seattle Premiere

Followed by a Gala Party at MoPOP

Winner of numerous awards including Best Director (2022 Ankara International Film Festival), Best Film and Best Screenplay (2022 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival). Nominated for the Antigone d’Or (2022 Cinemed International Mediterranean Film Festival, Montpellier).

Multi-award-winning filmmaker Özcan Alper (including Locarno International Film Festival), who received acclaim from Seattle audiences with the 2015 film Memories of the Wind (featured during STFF 2016), will be the guest of with the film Black Night. The film revolves around a lynching incident in which Ishak, who hails from a small mountain town and earns his living as a musician, was involved seven years ago.


Tebessum     Sunday Nov 19th, 11:15am - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Sezgin Cengiz, Siyar Gedik | 2022 | 1 hr 31 min

Seattle Premiere

Nominated for Best Film (Bosphorous Film Festival)

The film focuses on the life of Mustafa, a man in his mid-30s, who works in the archive department of a government institution. Known for his grimness and introversion by those around him, the film becomes a dark comedy where Mustafa’s life takes an absurd turn when he visits his father at a hospital.

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Suddenly          Sunday Nov 19th, 3:15pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Melisa Onel | 2022 | 1 hr 55 min

Seattle Premiere

Nominated for Best Film (Tokyo International Film Festival)
Official selection (International Film Festival Rotterdam, Vancouver International Film Festival).

Reyhan has lived in Hamburg for years. Just before returning to Istanbul, she notices that she has lost her sense of smell. Medical tests reveal a potentially significant issue. However, instead of addressing her illness, she embarks on a journey to find her true self.


About Dry Grasses     Sunday Nov 19th, 5:45pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Nuri Bilge Ceylan | 2023 | 3 hr 17 min

Seattle Premiere

Winner of Best Actress (Cannes Film Festival) and Best Supporting Performance (Chicago International Film Festival)

Nominated for the Palme d’Or (Cannes Film Festival) and Best International
Film (Jerusalem Film Festival)

The most prominent film of STFF 2023 is About Dry Grasses by award winning filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, the film revolves around a teacher assigned to a teaching post in the rural areas of eastern Anatolia who is dealing with accusations of inappropriate behavior by two students. Türkiye’s official submission for this year’s Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.


STFFFantastik 2023 Selection

Seytan                      Friday Nov 17th, 9pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Metin Erksan | 1974 | 1 hr 41 min

Archival cult classic from 1974, Restored and Remastered

Directed by award winning filmmaker Metin Erksan who won top awards at the Berlin and Venice Film festivals, and whose film Dry Summer was chosen for restoration by Martin Scorcese’s World Cinema Foundation, Seytan is an almost scene-by-scene remake of the 1973 masterpiece The Exorcist, by the late William Friedkin. But made for the Turkish audience with an imam in place of a priest, and a Quran in place of a Bible. As one of the early examples in Turkish horror cinema, and featuring some of the name actors of its time such as Agah Hün and Cihan Ünal, Seytan has earned a cult following by fans all over the world. This presentation of Seytan has been made possible by Dr. Iain Robert Smith from King’s College London.


The Man Who Saves The World  Sunday Nov 19th, 9:30pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

Cetin Inanc | 1982 | 1 hr 31 min


Archival cult classic from 1982, Restored and Remastered

Directed by Cetin Inanc, one of the most prolific filmmakers in Turkish film history who directed nearly 150 films between 1967-1987 in genres ranging from action, western, to science fiction. One of the most intriguing films in Turkish Cinema history, The Man who Saves the World is filmmaker Çetin İnanç’s attempt at a fantasy science fiction that gained a cult following over time and is now part of midnight screenings all over the world. Faced with challenges of its time including censorship imposed on Turkish cinema and intense demand from the industry, the film contains scenes and/or music copied from a total of 19 Hollywood films, including Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope and Raiders of the Lost Ark. This presentation of The Man who Saves the World has been made possible by Dr. Iain Robert Smith from King’s College London.


STFFShorts Program 2023

STFFShorts         Saturday Nov 18th, 12:30pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

2 hr 42 min

Grand Jury Awardee in attendance, Q&A after screening

Seattle Premiere for many short films

STFFShorts Program is a part of the STFF Festival and a celebration of short films of all genres. The jury primarily consists of distinguished voices in the Seattle arts community. Each year, during STFF, STFFShorts brings together a curated selection of shorts, providing international exposure to exceptional filmmakers and connecting them with Northwest audiences. This year, we received about 200 submissions and our STFFShorts and STFFDocs selections will be screened between November 18-19 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Game, Interrupted - Ilayda Iseri, 20 min
Sparks Lampini - Rebecca O'Neill, 18 min
Agora - Tolga Evguzel, 14 min
The Maze - Selcuk Oren, 4 min
Things Unheard Of - Ramazan Kilic, 15 min
Water of Life - Sundus Goren, 15 min
break - 10min
Fatih the Conqueror
- Onur Yagiz, 15 min
Lipstick - Burcu Gorgun, 12 min
hell is empty, all the devils are here - Ozgurcan Uzunyasa, 18 min
The Moisture (Rutubet) - Turan Haste, 20 min
You All & I Alone - Baris Kefeli, Nukhet Taneri, 14 min


STFFDocs                          Sunday Nov 19th, 1pm - SIFF Cinema Uptown

1 hr 44 min


Seattle Premiere for many short films

STFFDocs is part of STFFShorts Program and a celebration of short documentary films.

The Birth Of Kennedy  Gulben Arici, 16 min
Vakti Gelince - In Due Time Murat Yuksel, 15 min
Summer Holiday Mehtap Samiloglu, 15 min
Minik, My Mother's Short Story Mert Inan, 8 min

Children of the White Mountain Yalcin Ciftci, 20 min
Emma Merve Kus Marataci, 29 min

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