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10/24 (Sun) "Zephyr" - Competition - Official Press Conference

10/24 (Sun) "Zephyr" - Competition - Official Press Conference

10/24 (Sun)14:00 - Official Press Conference for Competition section Zephyr was held at the TIFF movie café.

The Press Conference was held, admission free for the general audiences, at the Roppongi Hills 2F, TIFF movie café (Hills Café / Space).
Excluding the few exceptions, Competition Press Conferences during the Film Festival period will be held in TIFF movie café (Hills Café / Space).
This is the valuable opportunity for the audiences to listen to the talk that wasn't referred to in the Competition titles, Q&A.!

Don't miss the chance!
For Schedule see here

10/24(Sun)14:00~ @TIFF movie café
Competition Zephyr Official Press Conference
Speakers: Belma Bas (Director/Screenplay), Birol Akbaba (Producer), Seyma Uzunlar (Actress)
©2010 TIFF

*Please note that the segment of the Press Conference refers to the content of the film title.

Q: I believe this is your first visit here. What was your impression of Tokyo.?

Belma Bas (Director): It is great to be here because since my childhood, it was one of my dreams to come to Japan. I was always curious about Japanese culture and tradition. I'm also very excited since this is the first time for our film to be competing in an international film festival.
©2010 TIFF

Seyma Uzunlar(Actress): I think Tokyo is a wonderful place with many building much taller than me! The technology is just wonderful. It’s also great how I am welcomed so warmly here.
©2010 TIFF

Birol Akbaba(Producer): The Green Carpet yesterday felt as if I had been in Tokyo from a long time ago. It made us feel great and important. The organization is very successful, too.
©2010 TIFF

Q: Zephyr was developed from a short film presented at the Cannes International Film Festival. Could you tell us what this short film was about and how you developed it into a feature film?

Belma Bas (Director): My first short film is called Poyraz, the Greek word for a god of the north wind. I use wind names for my films just as Zephyr is also the great god of the west wind. I find mythological connotations and stories very inspiring. I have different segments of influences. The first is during childhood when I had a very mysterious experience in the mountains with my grandparents. The other is my education in the English language where I studied romantic literature of the 19th century. This completed what I experienced as a child. 19th century literature pushed me back to my childhood memories and I was surprised to discover that they both were really related.
Poyraz participated in more than 60 film festivals and I am glad that it appealed to audiences worldwide. In this film, I was trying to depict a child’s first encounter with the idea of death, not physical death. Young children still do not have the concept of abstract thinking. Such thinking actually starts around the age of 12. In the early periods of childhood, death is something scary and awesome—something hard to grasp for a child.
I worked with my parents in Poyraz and Zephyr so it was shot in my hometown in the mountains. Seyma is also in both movies. The geography of this area is a great source of inspiration for me. However, the scenery around my home is changing very rapidly and I feel devastated by this because we are losing its authenticity. So in a scene, I wanted to immortalize this scenery which pushed me to act faster than usual—I take action very slowly. My short film took 13 years to complete!

Q: Seyma, how was it shooting on such a high cliff?

Seyma Uzunlar:Playing that role was scary. It was shot on a very high cliff. We had to do a lot of work here so I constantly felt scared.

Q: The costumes are very colorful in this film. They also change color according to scenes. Was this done consciously?

Belma Bas (Director):Yes, when Zephyr was wearing the red outfit, she resembled the wild strawberries or poisonous mushrooms in so there is a close connection with the colors in nature and her clothing. But after her mother comes, she copies her mother's style, and when she leaves the house to follow her mother's footsteps. Her mother is the kind of person who is militant and lives for a cause. So this is also reflected in the color of the clothes.

Q: How did you talk to Seyma about the theme of this movie which is a child's first encounter with the idea of death?

Belma Bas (Director): We filmmakers protect our child actors while filming. We hide the bitter reality and say that this is not playing but serious work. I did not give out the entire script to any of the actors except for the actress who played Zephyr's mother. They didn’t even know the general context of the story. We created small situations from normal life. So the hard reality of the film was hidden, especially from the children.

©2010 TIFF

Film Information

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KEIRIN.JPThe 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
22nd Tokyo International Film Festival(2009)