Turkey, France, Germany | 2012
Yeşim Ustaoğlu
Programme date: 20.01.2013
Programme time: 17.00

Pretty Zehra and handsome Olgun spend most of their young lives working in a service station cafeteria near a lonely highway. Their monotonous work shifts are broken up only by sparks of naive expectations of a brighter future.

Everything seems transient about their surroundings. The once important industrial area is now a faceless place of economic waste and unemployment. Most of the area's occupants have all escaped to the big city in search of opportunity. But Zehra, Olgun and their friends still remain, caught somewhere in between the past and an uncertain future. Zehra dreams that love will take her away from her meaningless job and life at home with her strict old-fashioned mother. She becomes fascinated by an older truck driver, Mahur, who spends much of his time on the road. As Zehra's desire for Mahur turns into a tragic first love, her rebellious friend Olgun becomes more and more frustrated, stuck at home, not yet a young man on his own. Zehra and Olgun will experience a bittersweet rite of passage, leading to both suffering and awakening. But as they say goodbye to their childhood innocence, love and hope will help them to move forward.

2012 Tokyo International Film Festival - Best Actress Award: Neslihan Atagül

Director Biography
Yeşim Ustaoğlu

Yeşim Ustaoğlu, Turkish filmmaker and screenwriter, was born in 1960. After making several award-winning shorts in Turkey, Ustaoglu made her feature film debut The Trace in 1994. She received international recognition for her Journey to the Sun. In competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 1999, it received the Blue Angel Award (Best European Film) and the Peace Prize. The moving story of a courageous friendship undaunted by political cruelty, Journey to the Sun swept the Istanbul Film Festival by winning Best Film, Best Director, the FIPRESCI Prize and the Audience Award. Her third film, Waiting for the Clouds, the story of a woman forced to live for 50 years with the haunting secrets of a hidden identity, was awarded NHK Sundance - International Film-maker's award and thus established a strong reputation as a director. Ustaoğlu’s fourth film, Pandora's Box, the story of an old woman suffering from Alzheimer disease, won the Best Film and Best Actress award in San Sebastian in 2008, continued to travel many international festivals and was also released theatrically in many countries.

Yeşim Ustaoğlu

Yeşim Ustaoğlu

Director of photography:
Michael Hammon

Film Editing:
Mathilde Muyard, Svetolik Mica Zajc, Naim Kanat

Serkan Cakarer, Catherine Dussart, Viola Fügen, Yesim Ustaoglu, Michael Weber

Production Companies:
Ustaoglu Film (Turkey) in Coproduction with CDP (France), The Match Factory (Germany) ZDF/arte, TRT

Özcan Deniz, Neslihan Atagül, Barıs Hacıhan, Ilgaz Kocatürk, Nihal Yalçın