Mehmet Aktas: Co-produced films bring two cultures together

1/9/2019 09:50:00

Mehmet Aktas in the second panel of the 32nd International Film Festival for Children and Youth (IFFCY) in Isfahan said on Wednesday that making joint film projects is like inter-cultural marriage that brings various cultures and traditions together.


“Co-production is like marriage,” the Turkish producer said, “in which, mostly, two people from two different cultures meet and decide to live together for a long period of time.”


The Turkish expert, who is residing and working in Germany, said that despite his Turkish nationality, most of his activities have been in cooperation with Europeans.


He said that co-production is not limited to the funding or the facts and figures, rather it can include the story’s timeline, artistic aspects of a film as well as the sense of responsibility of all sides.


When two or more sides decide to jointly produce a film, he said, the first question is why they are willing to do so?


He added that what matters to the producers is the originality, and then the issue of the office box and screening are taken into consideration.


Then the next questions arise, he said, “Who will be the director?


What kind of experiences does he or she have?”


Most of the time, European producers do not trust young or inexperienced directors, he said adding that there have been, however, some instances that they were meticulously chosen to play the role.


“Co-production is like marriage,” the Turkish producer said, “in which, mostly, two people from two different cultures meet and decide to live together for a long period of time.”


In such projects, you bring two or more traditions together to make one film, he said in the panel titled Co-Production in Europe, Turkey and Iran at Isfahan’s Central Library.


For example, Aktas said, in a project of co-production in Iraqi Kurdistan, there were a combination of Iranian and European cast and crew.


“Each side learns from the other,” he said of the benefits of the joint projects for all sides.


“Co-production makes it possible to merge two film landscapes and languages,” according to the producer. In co-production projects, new filmmaking cultures are presented to the region and the world, Aktas said.


“Two different cinematic languages are combined and a new body is emerged and introduced to the world,” he said.


Regional cooperation, for example among Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, in filmmaking is of great importance, he said.


Aktas who is originally from Turkey but mainly works in Europe said that producers in Europe look for directors with a new language of filmmaking.


Describing the regulations of co-production in Germany, he said that if an Iranian producer, for example, invest one million euroes to Germany, 20 to 30 percent of the expenses will automatically be paid by the country.


They will also ease the process of arranging locations, he said.


The facility is so enticing that even US producers come to Germany to make films, the Turkish producer said.


He maintained that there are two ways before independent filmmakers: either they can find a partner in the West for co-production, or they can use Asian markets.


Speaking about the audience of films, he noted that filmmaking about children differs from filmmaking for children.


When filmmaking for children, one should portray the world from the view of children, he said adding that there should be a balance between the facts on the ground and the world of children.


Commenting on the problems that might impede the process of co-production, Aktas said, “Whenever everybody in a joint project are happy, there might be some problems, because in co-productions, it is impossible that all sides are satisfied.”


Aktas added that some producers are willing to cooperate regionally, referring to the Iranian-Turkish film Beautiful Jinn by Iranian filmmaker Bayram Fazli as an instance of regional co-production.


In the final section of the panel, Kambuzia Partovi, a prominent Iranian director and scriptwriter, said that he believed there has been no joint film production in the country. He noted that there have been made some efforts toward co-production, both before and after the Islamic Revolution, but no case can be regarded as a joint film production.


He defined co-production as a joint venture of two or more investors from different countries, who decide to make a joint film in order to have a larger number of screening.


“Given the definition, therefore, there have been no co-production in Iran,” he said.


The panel was one in a series that are being held on the sidelines of the IFFCY.



PUKmedia - Mansour Jahani


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