The American Turkish Society and Moon and Stars Project Present
Crossing Borders: A Cinematic Journey from the West to the East
An In-Depth Conversation on GITMEK / MY MARLON AND BRANDO
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Huseyin Karabey’s feature debut Gitmek / My Marlon and Brando makes its North American Premiere in 2008 Tribeca Film Festival’s World Narrative Feature Competition . Three years ago, in real-life, Hama Ali, a charismatic B movie actor from Iraq, and Ayca,a fiery actress from Turkey, met on a film-set. Their love affair continued across borders through video love letters until the war in Iraq. As people fled from East to West seeking safety, Ayca decided to make the journey from West to East, seeking her lover. My Marlon and Brando, a feature film in which Ayca plays herself, is based on her extraordinary and, ultimately unexpected, experiences in such sad, mad times….
Please join us for an in-depth conversation on crossing borders in real life, in filmmaking and cultural understanding with actress-writer Ayca Damgaci, Turkish-American journalist and filmmaker Bilge Ebiri, producer Lucinda Englehart, filmmaker Huseyin Karabey, and film critic Sukhdev Sandhu.
Having studied Dramaturgy and Theater Science at Istanbul University, Ayca Damgaci began her professional acting career at Tiyatro Oyunevi (Theater Playhouse) in 1998. She won the Best Actress Award for her performance in My Marlon and Brando at the 27th International Istanbul Film Festival. She is the founder and one of the lead vocals for “Gocebe Sarkilar” (The Nomadic Songs), a music band singing Sephardic, Roman, Armenian, Andalucian, Balkan, and Anatolian songs. Damgaci is currently rehearsing
day and night for two theater productions by Bilsak Theater Atelier and Garaj Istanbul.
Bilge Ebiri is a Turkish American film critic and filmmaker. He writes about film for New York Magazine, Bookforum, and Nerve.com. His first feature film, a comedy thriller entitled New Guy, was released in 2004, and he is currently at work on his second.
Film producer, Lucinda Englehart, is based in London but works on co-productions around the world. Having studied Political Science at Cambridge University, she moved to Cape Town. Here, she wrote extensively on the experience of documentary subjects telling their stories of apartheid memory and produced a number of South African feature films and documentaries. She met Huseyin Karabey at the Venice Film Festival and having heard the extraordinary true story told in My Marlon and Brando, came on board to produce this feature film with him.
Regarded as one of the new directing talents in Turkey’s growing independent film scene, Huseyin Karabey developed My Marlon and Brando with Ayça Damgaci. His previous work includes Boran, a short film that explores the disappearance of 5,000 Turkish political activists in the 1990s by bringing together actual facts and dramatic elements, and the feature-length docudrama Silent Death. His documentary Breath was an exclusive look at Pina Bausch, the world-famous German choreographer. Karabey lectures at universities and cultural organizations in Turkey, and his films have won numerous awards.
Sukhdev Sandhu is the chief film critic of the London Daily Telegraph. He is a Contributing Editor at 'Granta', editor of the journal Texte und Töne, and author of London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined A City (2003) and Night Haunts: A Journey Through Nocturnal London (2007).
Moderated by Binnaz Saktanber, VP of Moon and Stars Project and a PhD student at City University of New York, Graduate Center, studying new media, democratization, and identity politics in Turkey and Middle East.