1984: Zeynep, who lives in Diyarbakir with her three children, wants to visit her husband in prison. Zeynep only speaks her mother tongue Kurdish; however, only the Turkish language is allowed to be spoken in prison, so she’s unable to utter a word there. On the other hand, she wants to bring a new pair of shoes to her husband but it’s forbidden to bring anything to prisoners from outside …

Director's Statement

L. Rezan Yeşilbaş completed his BA at Istanbul Marmara University (cinema and TV department) in 2008. He wrote and directed his debut short film HÜKÜM (The Judgement) in 2008. The film competed at various international film festivals and won the Audience Award at the Boston FF. L. Rezan Yeşilbaş also worked as executive producer and first assistant director on films like KISKANMAK (Envy, 2008) and YERALTI (Inside, 2012) by Zeki Demirkubuz and BABAMIN SESI (My Father’s Voice, 2011) by Orhan Eskiköy and Zeynel Dogan. He received the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism script development grant for his feature film project MESAFELER (Distances, 2010). L. Rezan Yeşilbaş won the Palme d’or for SESSIZ/BÉ DENG at the Cannes IFF short film competition 2012. How long did it take to make your short? Was it difficult to get financing? I wrote the script of the film one and a half years ago and then selected my film team. Looking up locations absorbed ten days, shooting lasted four days and I spent six months editing. I have faced some financial problems but, with the support of certain companies and the Turkish Ministry of Culture I was able to overcome them. Which thoughts come to mind concerning a "European cinema community"? I think that this community is the most correct creation in terms of the future of European cinema. I hope day by day this community of contributions will increase for European cinema. If you owned a theatre for one night, which films would you screen? I would screen Yilmaz Güney’s YOL (The Road), Zeki Demirkubuz’ MASUMIYET (Innocence) and KADER (Destiny) and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s UZAK (The Distant). I would have liked to include some films of other significant directors, however, these films are so valuable for my country and I want them to reach as many people in the world as possible. What is your next project? SESSIZ / BÉ DENG was the second film of the “Trilogy of Women” and I would like to make the third. After that, I will realise my first feature for which I finished the first draft of the script under the title “Mesafeler” (Distances).

Cast & Crew

Directed by: L. Rezan Yeşilbaş

Written by: L. Rezan Yeşilbaş

Produced by: L. Rezan Yeşilbaş

Cinematography: Türksoy Gölebeyi

Editing: L. Rezan Yeşilbaş, Buğra Dedeoğlu

Production Design: Tuba Ataç

Cast: Belçim Bilgin, Cem Bender

Nominations and Awards

  • European Short Film 2012