STFF SHORTS 2020 AWARDS
The Thousand and One Nights
Directed by: Mahsum Taskin
Free Fun | Best Actress
Directed by: Fehmi Öztürk | Directed by: Umut Alaz Kökçü
GRAND JURY FAVORITE
THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
MAHSUM TASKIN | TURKEY | 2020
Seyithan (12) living in a Kurdish Village in Eastern Turkey comes across the tales of The Thousand and One Nights and seeks a way to find missing parts given by the school teacher to his classmates.
"I kept thinking of the winding road, and the dialogue that seemed to "rain" on this road, with its love for language and revelation. "You're right, whether I read it or not, I"ll die anyways." - Samar Abulhassan, STFF 2020 Grand Jury Member
"Incredibly efficient visuals and character development in just a few seconds of a location or a few words of dialogue. Beautifully balanced shots, and production design that echoed the curiosity of the inner life of the protagonist." - Tifa Tomb, STFF 2020 Grand Jury Member
1st Runner Up
ÖYKÜ ORHAN | TURKEY | 2020
Zeliha, mother of two children, is a poor laborer who works in a steel soucepan factory. One day, she is fired as an unexpected moment. While she is attempting to find new job, she also searchs for solution in order to prevent children noticing this situation. A solution created by her, shows deadlock condition as a result of poverty.
"Centered on social commentary yet this film felt immediately close and intimate, the sounds of pots banging our heartbreak along. Main character's acting is deeply moving. Her hands are marked in my mind." - Onur Bakiner, STFF 2020 Grand Jury Member
2nd Runner Up
ENGIN ERDEN | TURKEY | 2020
“Octopus” is a short film that follows 8 and 9 year-old best friends Ece and Efe on a hot, lazy summer day in Aegean seaside. Ece and Efe encounter different adults until they get tired of being pushed around and make a plan to prove themselves. But they are not aware of the price that they will have to pay for it.
"Effortless feeling of being in the seaside world. Following the kids felt like an actual day in these kids lives. Natural dialogue between kids. Intense Octopus scene was effective in taking us out of the dreamlike state." - STFF 2020 Grand Jury Members
OZAN YOLERI | TURKEY | 2020
Twelve-year-old Irmak idolizes her older teenage friend Aylin, who for Irmak embodies excitement, independence and womanhood. When Aylin plans to move away with her boyfriend, Irmak begins to realize that her feelings for her friend are more complicated than she knew.
"Immediately felt beauty and tension and chemistry between girls. Felt very atmospheric (with hair blowing in the sun and wind)." - STFF 2020 Grand Jury Member
UMUT ALAZ KÖKÇÜ | TURKEY | 2020
Melis, a post-graduate student meets with a 70’s erotic movie star to write a thesis on her career and the period. As Melis keeps interviewing her, she realizes this former star Alev Hanzade has a blurry past and dark secrets.
"Interesting to see the context of the soft porn film industry in Turkey. Actress who played the student was interesting to watch." - STFF 2020 Grand Jury Member
FEHMI ÖZTÜRK | TURKEY | 2020
When Kika entered to have fun in game, she encountered something she never expected. Nothing will be the same anymore.
"Delightful- just long enough to get some flash and comedy and fantasy and then get plunged back into the real world." - Tifa Tomb, STFF 2020 Grand Jury Member
RAIN, SNORKEL & GREEN BEANS
YAVUZ AKYILDIZ | TURKEY | 2020
It is just an ordinary day after thirty-two years. The son confronts the father with all his courage and tells him that he will not live with him anymore but will leave the house. His bag is on his back. He wants to discover both himself and a life he doesn't know. But, it will be much more difficult than he thinks to turn this desire into reality.
"Loved the absurdity of it all. Great acting and visual metaphors." - STFF 2020 Grand Jury Members
ABDULLAH ŞAHIN | TURKEY | 2020
Ilyas and Ahmet are two close friends. Emir, the refugee completes the gang. Ilyas wants to make the tryouts for a local football team and saves money to buy new cleats. Emir shares his ideal. After seeing his father pays the debts of Emir’s family at the grocery store, Ilyas gives his new cleats as a gift to Emir in order to join to the tryouts. However, his own cleats tear up just after. The shoemaker gives him a bigger cleats temporarily. The tryouts morning one of Ilyas’ cleats drops to the river. When Ilyas and Ahmet try to take it out, Emir surprises them with what he’s done.
"Very strong opening shot - almost felt like you were listening in. Interesting context of political situation (Syrians in Turkey), kids involved in soccer and passion." - STFF 2020 Grand Jury Members
SOME CATS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
EMRE SEFER | TURKEY | 2020
Ma'am in her 50s continues her life isolated from the human beings. Every day at the same time, she leaves the house and feeds the cats in the park. One day she is almost hit by Bahadır’s car, and the two strangers' lives become entangled in unexpected ways.
"Liked that both characters have trouble fitting into society and that made them capable of understanding each other". - STFF 2020 Grand Jury Members
TURNING TO DUST
HÜSEYIN AYDIN GÜRSOY | TURKEY | 2020
Elif is working clandestinely in France with her husband. Drowned in debts, they may return to Turkey if they can't get the money their boss owes them. But Elif doesn't want to ruin her son's chances of a better future. She has no intention of giving up.
"Powerful. Excellent tight framing on the main character to develop suspense. Really drew me into her world and determination. Tender mother son relationship grounded it - could have been just gritty crime, but feels like so much more." - STFF 2020 Grand Jury Members
Irem Gokce Aydin
STFF SHORTS 2020 GRAND JURY
Director, Writer and Editor
Tifa Tomb is a Director, Writer and Editor in the Seattle area, who’s most recently directed short film, Retch, was an official selection at SIFF 2019, and awarded Best Film at Seattle Black Film festival 2020. She works as a Media Producer at the University of Washington. In 2017, she was a part of the Oculus LaunchPad group for emerging VR makers, and directed the short film, Party Goers, a selection at Local Sightings in 2017. She edits feature length non-fiction, and narrative work, as well as music videos, corporate, and non-profit projects. Her work as a writer was recognized by the San Jose Cinequest film festival – she was a top ten finalist in 2004, and a top 3 finalist of the Hollywood Black Film Festival for her feature film script, The Bridge Café. She is currently in post-production for her mixed media live-action/animated short film, CREAK!
Associate Professor at Seattle University
Onur Bakiner is Associate Professor of Political Science at Seattle University. His research and teaching interests include transitional justice, human rights and judicial politics, particularly in Latin America and the Middle East.
Writer, Poet and Teaching Artist
Samar Abulhassan is a Jack Straw Writer and holds an MFA. from Colorado State University. Born to Lebanese immigrants and raised with multiple languages, she is a 2006 Hedgebrook alum and the author of several chapbooks. Samar has worked with Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools since 2008. Nocturnal by nature, she often gets her best ideas at night, and is inspired by the ocean, music and dance. In 2016, Samar received a CityArtist grant to aid in completing a novel-in-poems reflecting on memory, longing, and the Arabic alphabet.