Within the scope of Bosphorus Film Lab, the industry department of the 9th Bosphorus Film Festival, the event “Making The First Feature” was held with the participation of director Selcen Ergun and producer Nefes Polat at Akademi Beyoğlu.
Participants shared their experiences during the production of their film Snow and the Bear under the moderation of Bosphorus Film Lab Director Selin Karlı. The film’s director Selcen Ergun said that she had firstly started writing the film in 2017, took notes along the way and later on put them together and formed the script. Ergun said she did not want to be the only producer due to locational difficulties which brought them together with the film’s producer Nefes Polat. When asked about what it felt like to work with consultants, Ergun underlined the importance of working with the right consultant that it was important to know what you wanted, what you wanted to see in the project and while listening to ideas, you had to imagine whether they matched the film.
Further on in the event, Nefes Polat, the producer of Snow and the Bear, took the floor. She firstly talked about how they got together with director Selcen Ergun, and answered the question “What was it like to work with Selcen?”, saying that “This is a journey where you have to find a way to stand beside each other and in terms of this, she is one of the most precious partners I have ever had. She knows what she wants for sure.” Director Selcen Ergun replied the same question, “I share the same thoughts that openness, honesty and being able to talk with one another are the key. Thus, she is important and precious to me.”
Polat said that they started working together and looking for locations, and that she introduced director Selcen Ergun with people in the town where she shot her previous film. Being asked about the financial support they received, Polat reminded that this was a five-year process and they proceeded in terms of goal-conclusion.
About the question on the submission process, director Selcen Ergun replied, “They invited us to a platform where we currently did our presentation and told our story. At one point they asked ‘How will the rape scenes be filmed?’ and I got shocked since there was no rape scene; there is only a sequence in the film which I identify as a man asking for his manhood back. I said, ‘There is no harassment scene,’ and saw the reactions of three women. That moment I realized we will not be receiving any supporting award.” Ergun expressed that she could have agreed with some platforms by giving them what they expected from Turkey but chose not to do so, adding the two ways an independent film could be made in Turkey: the first is to find support and the other is to work harder to find co-producers.”
For the same question Nefes Polat replied, “When forming the vision Selcen talked about, we went through questions like ‘What kind of partner and which countries will become partners?’ etc. We asked ourselves what those countries planned to do. For example, we thought Georgia would be a suitable country for us. It was a low budget film and we had to think about the details.”
With the contribution of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Cinema General Directorate, official partnership of TRT, support of Global Communications Partner Anadolu Agency, official partnership of Beyoğlu Municipality and organized by the Bosphorus Culture and Arts Foundation, the 9th Bosphorus Film Festival will be hosting significant names in the sector along with internationally acclaimed cinema porfessionals in Istanbul. Details and inquires on films, events and screenings could be reached on www.bogazicifilmfestivali.com and on social media accounts.