Istanbul Modern Cinema is presenting the fifth installment of “Rendezvous with Directors,” a program hosting a series of meetings featuring directors who stand out for their artistic identities and unique approaches in Turkey’s contemporary film culture.
This year’s guest of the series is Ümit Ünal, a director who initially entered the world of cinema through Yeşilçam and wrote screenplays of renowned films that left their mark on the 1980s.
Among Ünal’s prominent screenplays from the time are “My Aunt” (Teyzem, 1986) directed by Halit Refiğ, which once won the grand prize of the Milliyet Newspaper Screenplay Competition, Atıf Yılmaz’s “My Dreams, My Love and You” (Hayallerim, Aşkım ve Sen, 1987) and Tunç Başaran’s “Piano Piano Kid” (Piyano Piyano Bacaksız, 1989).
The first film Ünal directed and produced, “9” (2001), was shot digitally. Similar to his later films “Ara” (2008) and “The Pomegranate” (2011), “9” was a character-led drama turned into a psychological thriller, which was shot in a single location.
Separating literature from cinema with low budgets and innovative methods in order to break classical dramatic narrative elements, Ünal is concerned with “intermediary” relationships and metaphysical tension in his stories.
Although he includes elements from his own life, essentially he is interested in the tears and gaps that are found on the sociocultural plane.
As part of the “Rendezvous with Directors” program, a selection of films from Ünal’s filmography will be shown along with presentations by film critics and the participation of cast members and film crews.
On Feb. 8, there will also be a conversation held within the scope of the program that focuses on Ünal’s cinema, his direction, and scriptwriting, including his latest film “Serial Cook.”