The Asia Pacific Screen Academy in association with the Turkish Government’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade presents for the first time in Brisbane, Turkish Waves, a Turkish cultural program in conjunction with the 2nd Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Curated and programmed by Chairwoman of the Turkish Guild of Film Producers and APSA Academy member Zeynep Özbatur Atakan (Producer of the 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep) the Turkish screen culture partnership with APSA and BAPFF will include a screening program of some of the most significant Turkish films of the last five decades and a specially-produced limited edition cinema programme booklet.

Celebrating the rich and diverse arts and culture of Turkey, Turkish Waves will also include festival panel discussions and a delegation of Turkish filmmakers and musicians will be immersed in the APSA international networking events for filmmakers, and participate in screenings and panel discussions at BAPFF.


Zeynep Özbatur Atakan



After graduating from Marmara University, Faculty of Fine Arts Cinema and TV Department, Atakan worked as an assistant director and producer in the television advertisement industry from 1986 to 1999, and cofounded her advertisement production company in 1994.

In 1999, she transitioned to the film industry and began producing international film projects. In 2007, Atakan founded Zeyno Film. In 2010, she won the European Film Academy’s Prix Eurimages European Co-Production award, and founded YAPIMLAB. Atakan has been the chairwoman of SE-YAP, the Turkish Guild of Film Producers, since 2011. Since 2014, she is a vice president of EWA, the European Women’s Audiovisual Network. She won the Bilge Olgaç Achievement Award at the 17th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival in 2014. Zeynep Özbatur Atakan‘s most recent film is the Cannes Palme d’Or and 8th APSA winner, Winter Sleep.

Zeynep along with the Turkish delegation will be in attendance for screenings in this series.

The Bride
97 mins | Unclassified 15+

Young Meryem, her husband and their little boy move to Istanbul to live with the in-laws. It’s tense. Her husband’s domineering father, Haci, has invested the family’s meagre fortune into a grocery store in the ghetto. Desperate to expand the business, Haci takes out hefty loans and scrapes together enough money to buy a space in the city centre. At the same time, Meryem’s child falls seriously ill and requires a costly surgery.

When Haci hesitates to help by offering the money earmarked for the business, Meryem bravely takes matters into her own hands. The Bride, shot almost entirely with a fixed camera, takes on a documentary feel as director Omer Lutfi Akad deftly maintains the emotional weight of this gripping and dramatic story.


Turkey, Qatar, France
119 mins | Unclassified 15+

Australian Premiere    

This intensely affecting drama from director Emin Alper (Beyond the Hill, Best Feature Film winner at 6th APSA), premiered in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival and received the Special Jury Prize.

Set in a dystopian, politically-violent Istanbul, prisoner Kadir makes a secret deal with the government for an early release. In exchange, he becomes a part of an intelligence-gathering unit of garbage collectors, sniffing through trash for potential explosives and other materials terrorists could use to make bombs. Through chance, Kadir reunites with his younger brother, Ahmet, who he hasn’t seen in 20 years. Ahmet’s reluctance to reconnect leads Kadir to concoct conspiracy theories to explain his avoidant behaviour. There’s no escape from Alper’s masterful treatment of this paranoid drama.


Hope (Restored)
99 mins | Unclassified 15+

Cabbar, an illiterate Kurdish horse cab driver, struggles to support his elderly mother, wife and five children. When one of his horses is struck by a car, destitute Cabbar moves heaven and earth to buy a replacement, while creditors swoop in and sell his carriage. All hope seems lost, yet Cabbar’s naïve optimism is unshaken. Under the advice of a holy man, he ventures into the desert in quest of a mythical lost treasure.

Palme d’Or winning filmmaker Yilmaz Guney directed and starred in this faithful depiction of 1970s Turkey. Considered Guney’s first masterpiece, Hope was initially banned in Turkey and subsequently smuggled abroad and screened at the Cannes Film Festival. This digitally restored version premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival.


104 mins | Unclassified 15+

Queensland Premiere

A massive cargo ship, Ivy, had just weighed anchor in Egyptian waters when the crew receive troubling news: the shipping company has gone bankrupt and the owners have disappeared, along with any chance for the seamen to collect their pay.

While the majority of the ship’s crew are allowed to go ashore, the ship’s captain and five other crew members are obliged to stay aboard to prevent the Ivy from being impounded by the local authorities. As supplies run low, nerves fray and the rising tension among the men is primed to take a deadly turn.

With the aid of his strong cast and the magnificent photography, Karacelik’s slow-burning suspense will stay with you long after its haunting finale.


The Lamb
Turkey, Germany
85 mins | Unclassified 15+

Australian Premiere

As Eastern Anatolian village tradition requires, Medine must serve oven-roasted lamb at her five year old son Mert’s circumcision feast. Poor but determined, Medine puts the family to work cutting branches to earn something towards the price of the sheep.

Her unemployed husband Ismail is concerned by his wife’s assertive behaviour. Envious of the attention, Mert’s elder sister tricks him into believing that if a sheep is not found their father will instead slaughter Mert, sending the now terrified boy on a desperate search for the animal.

Premiering at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival, this funny, touching film tells a timeless tale of human fear and desire. the flame of timeless rituals into a world that has almost forgotten them.

Director Kutlug Ataman in attendance. Screening followed by a panel discussion with international Turkish delegation including curator of ‘Turkish Waves’, Zeynep Özbatur Atakan.


Turkey, Greece
96 mins | Unclassified 15+

Australian Premiere

Nesrin is an urban, middle-class woman recovering from a divorce. She quits her office job, abandons Istanbul and moves into her deceased grandmother’s country house to finish a novel and live out her childhood dream of being a writer.

When her conservative and increasingly unhinged mother turns up uninvited and refuses to leave, Nesrin’s writing stalls and her fantasies of a peaceful village life turn bitter as the two are forced to confront the darker corners of each other’s inner worlds.

Just as Nesrin is torn back and forth between love and hatred, Motherland is a complex and brave portrait of humanity’s struggle between modernity and conservatism. Director Senem Tüzen’s first feature, Motherland premiered in the Critics’ Week section at this year’s Venice Film Festival.


Qatar, Turkey, France, Germany
94 mins | Unclassified 15+

Queensland Premiere

“A beautifully mounted story about the demonization of young female sexuality” – Variety

First-timer Deniz Gamze Ergüven won hearts at the Sarajevo Film Festival when her captivating drama Mustang was awarded Best Feature and Best Actress for the ensemble cast of daughters.

Set in a village by the Black Sea, far from Istanbul, five sisters spark controversy after they swim and cavort with local school boys. Societal pressure to confine their sexuality becomes a literal lock and key as the girls are stripped of their mobile phones, make up, tight-fitting clothes and forced to take virginity tests until they are cajoled into arranged marriages.

With artful, award-winning performances and a beautifully shot narrative reminiscent of Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides, Mustang’s gripping portrayal of youthful rebellion will have your heart racing.


The Small Town
82 mins | Unclassified 15+

Based on childhood memories, The Small Town was the debut feature by Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Winter Sleep, Palme d’Or winner and Best Director winner at 8th APSA).

Through the perspective of two children, The Small Town captures the lives of a family in a dreary town in Turkey. The film’s four chapters depict an 11 year old girl struggling within the social web of primary school and encountering the mysteries of nature while journeying through a cornfield with her brother, a family campfire where they witness the complexities and darkness of adulthood, and the return to the family home, floating between reality and dream.

Admired for its striking black-and-white visuals and contemplative pace, The Small Town, from one of Turkey’s modern greats is not to be missed.


Until I Lose My Breath
Nefesim Kesilene Kadar
Turkey, Germany
94 mins | Unclassified 15+

Australian Premiere

Serap, a stubborn late teen, works as a runner in a cramped sweatshop. Fed up with her abusive brotherin-law and detached sister, Serap longs for the chance to move into an apartment with her father, Mustafa.

To everyone but Serap, it’s clear that this is never going to happen. Mustafa does everything he can to avoid being tied down, accepting trucking jobs and lying to Serap that each will be the last. Serap’s emotional dependence on her neglectful father pushes her forward as she deprives herself meagre comforts and secretly saves cash for their future.

Delving into the dark and gritty underclass of Turkey, director Emine Emel Balcı’s debut feature premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.