Turkey, France, Germany, Luxembourg


In a secluded village in the mountains of Turkey's Black Sea region, 25-year-old Sibel lives with her father and sister. Sibel is a mute, but she communicates by using the ancestral whistled language of the area. Rejected by her fellow villagers, she relentlessly hunts down a wolf that is said to be prowling in the neighbouring forest, sparking off fears and fantasies among the village women. There she crosses path with a fugitive. Injured, threatening and vulnerable, he is the first one to take a fresh look at her.

Director's Statement

The rage to exist - that is what Sibel, the main character of our film, discovers. When she thought she already did the hardest by transcending her handicap and accepting her lonely life, Sibel ends up living an emancipation that she no longer expected, in this remote village full of traditional customs. This film is also the story of a discovery. Tough Sibel, with her strange and awkward beauty, discovers her feelings, her body, and her sexual desire. Her body becomes empowered by this new identity. With Ali, Sibel grows up and gains confidence. The film is a total immersion in the most mysterious questions of what will happen in Sibel’s head and body as she finally finds herself. And through this, our film aims to go beyond a simple denunciation of the conditions of women in a conservative and traditional society. To us, shooting in Turkey was crucial for us. The country is going through a very difficult time due to the exacerbation of tensions between the many communities of Anatolia. Nationalism is rising. There is a constant fear of the other, of the stranger. In our film, Ali is Kurdish, but he could be from Istanbul, Alevi, Armenia or Syria - the attitude towards him would be the exact same. For Sibel and her compatriots, it’s a question of experiencing alterity, which in our opinion is a universal experience, for it can be lived anywhere, at home just like in the high mountains of the Black Sea. In the end, Sibel experiences a new intimate personal birth and releases something new and fresh in the village. We hope the audience is filled with this new air and hope as they leave the theatres after SIBEL.

Director's Biography

Since 2004, the French-Turkish couple Çagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti have directed together several shorts (all selected in Berlin, Locarno, Clermont-Ferrand Festivals) and two features, NOOR and NINGEN. SIBEL is their third feature and is selected in competition at Locarno International Film Festival.

2018 - SIBEL
2013 - NINGEN
2012 - NOOR

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Çagla Zencirci, Guillaume Giovanetti

Written by: Çagla Zencirci, Ramata Sy, Guillaume Giovanetti

Produced by: Michael Eckelt, Johannes Jancke, Marsel Kalvo, Nefes Polat, Christel Hénon, Lilian Eche, Marie Legrand, Marc Simoncini, Rani Massalha

Cinematography: Eric Devin

Editing: Veronique Lange

Production Design: Osman Özcan

Costume Design: Seda Yilmaz

Make-Up & Hair: Ilknur Saglam

Original Score: Bassel Hallak

Sound: Stephan Konken

Visual Effects: Raoul Nadalet

Cast: Emin Gürsoy (Emin), Erkan Kolçak Köstendil (Ali), Elit Iscan (Fatma), Meral Çetinkaya (Narin), Damla Sönmez (Sibel)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2019