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STFFContemporary is a celebration of the vibrant and ever-evolving landscape of cinema that reflects the pulse of our modern world. Here, we gather to experience the diverse, thought-provoking, and boundary-pushing works of filmmakers who capture the essence of our current times.

We are excited to see you again at SIFF Cinema Uptown between November 15–17 and celebrate the gala together at KEXP on the 16th!

STFFContemporary 2023 Selection

Kim Mihri

Berna Gencalp | 2022 | 1 hr 29 min

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

Eylem Kaftan | 2023 | 1 hr 19 min



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

Kaan Mujdeci | 2022 | 1 hr 14 min

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

Ozcan Alper | 2022 | 1 hr 54 min



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.



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

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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Melisa Onel | 2022 | 1 hr 55 min

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

Nuri Bilge Ceylan | 2023 | 3 hr 17 min

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.


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