STFF 2016

The opening gala film for the 2016 festival was Ozan Aciktan's My Mother's Wound. In addition to that, ten feature length films were screened. Short film competition finalists have also been screened, in the third year of the short film competition, opening with Hakan Hücüm's film The Obsolete One.

The festival also hold a tribute night for Tarik Akan, who was among the country's leading actors in the 1970s and 1980s, to honor his memory and contributions to the cinema.

Director:  Ozan Aciktan

Screenwriter:  Ozan AciktanOzan GuvenFethi Kantarci, Uygar Sirin, Mehmet Turgut, Funda Çetin

Stars:  Bora AkkasBelçim BilginMehmet Ergen, Ozan Guven, Meryem Uzerli, Okan Yalabik

Upon turning eight-teen, Salih leaves the orphanage to go on a journey that uncovers bitter truths of a war-ridden past. Click for the trailer.


Director:  Ümmiye Koçak, Yasin Korkmaz

Screenwriter: Ümmiye Koçak

Stars: Seher Çuvadır, Seher Dağdur, Ümmiye Koçak

The life of Elif, who is a Yuruk girl living on the peak of Toros mountains, sticks with in the mountains and her house in which her oppressive grandmother also lives with them.  Click for the trailer.

Director:  Çagan Irmak

Screenwriter:  Ali DemirelÇagan Irmak, Volkan SümbülEmre Özdür      

Stars: Demet AkbagYetkin Dikinciler, Sevil AkiBatuhan Begimgil 

A widow, who recently lost his husband goes back to college to graduate after 30 years.

Click for the trailer.

Director:  Emin Alper

Screenwriter:  Emin Alper

Stars:  Mehmet ÖzgürBerkay AtesTülin Özen 

Amid the intense political violence of Istanbul, Kadir is released on parole two years early on the condition that he become an informant for the police gathering terrorist informations, activities, and searching for bombs on trash cans. 


Click for the trailer.

Director:  Ali Bilgin

Screenwriter:  Siyah Kalem

Stars: Çagatay UlusoyLeyla Lidya TugutluHüseyin Avni Danyal     

Two young people figure out how to shape their future according to love or career. Then one of them finds himself to decide whether to live happily with his beloved wife with a risk of giving harm to her or sacrifice himself for her safe.



Click for the trailer.

Director:  Özcan Alper

Screenwriter:  Özcan AlperAhmet Büke

Stars:  Onur SaylakSofya KhandemirovaMustafa Ugurlu

For Aram, an Armenian painter and poet, life in Istanbul is growing more dangerous by the day. In the winter of 1943, he flees to the Turkish-Georgian border, where Mikhail and his young wife MerEyem give him shelter in a hut in the forest. Here, Aram waits for the papers he needs to escape to the Soviet Union. But the city-dwelling intellectual can't handle life in the woods.

Click for the trailer.

Tarik Akan starred in over 100 films and directed documentaries and television series in a career spanning more than four decades. He was among the country's leading actors in the 1970s and 1980s and earned an Honorable Mention at the 35th Berlin International Film Festival in 1985 for the film "Pehlivan."

Akan was imprisoned for 2½ months following Turkey's 1980 military coup after giving a political speech in Germany. He chronicled his days in prison in a book, "Mother, I Have Lice."

"Yol", which earned the top prize at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, dealt with the coup's aftermath and was banned in Turkey until 1999.

Director:  Emre Sahin

Screenwriter:  Emre SahinInan Temelkuran

Stars:  Cezmi BaskinSinan BengierSelim Erdogan

Takim is the story of a group of street soccer players from all walks of life in İstanbul who come together to enter a tournament to win the prize money. The story taps into a very real phenomenon happening in big cities in Turkey where corrupt construction giants bully the poor out and build immense buildings instead. Turgay and Tufan are up against the wall when they are threatened by the construction companies to sell their large plot of land where they own and operate an hourly rental soccer field.

Click for the trailer.

Director:  Tolga Karaçelik

Screenwriter:  Tolga Karaçelik

Stars: Nadir SaribacakHakan KarsakKadir Cermik     


When the ship's owner goes bankrupt, the crew learns there is a lien on the ship and that key crew members must stay on board. Six men trapped aboard a ship sailing to Egypt.



Click for the trailer.

Director:  Zeynep Kilic

Screenwriter: Zeynep Kilic

A Turkish immigrant in the U.S. explores her identity through her homeland foods in an excursion to Istanbul, Turkey.

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Director:  Yunus Emre AydinH. Ozlem Sariyildiz

'Istanbul Makami' is a cinematographic improvisation with 5 musicians from abroad who fall in love with the Maqam Music (Classical Ottoman Music) and decide to live in Turkey believing that music might best be learned in the lands it was born and performed. Each has different stories but the desire to find their own path despite modern times' obligations intersects their roads. Constructing three layers -music, Istanbul and combination of both in the filmic platform- the film is a modern times fairytale in praise of Istanbul and its classical music; a film about obstinacy, desire, looking for one's own raison d'etre, travelling, being a world citizen and the power of music to understand the other and express oneself in the pursuit of intertwining stories following passion. It tells unique stories about the common dreams we are afraid to approach, and thus, tries to give inspiration to us to free ourselves.



Click for the trailer.


Festival Schedule

Friday, November 4th

6:30pm – Opening Night Gala* – Gordon Biersch Brewery at Pacific Place

8:30pm – Opening Film* – Annemin Yarasi (My Mother's Wound) – Pacific Place


Saturday, November 5th

2:00pm – Yun Bebek (The Wool Doll) – SIFF Film Center

5:00pm – Abluka (Frenzy) –  SIFF Film Center

9:00pm – Nadide Hayat (A Unique Life) –  SIFF Film Center

Sunday, November 6th 

1:00pm – Kısa Film Seansı - Animasyonlar (Short Films - Animation Selection) – SIFF Film Center

4:00pm – Delibal –  SIFF Film Center

7:00pm – Ruzgarin Hatiralari (Memories of the Wind) –  SIFF Film Center

Saturday, November 12th

5:00pm –Tarik Akan Tribute Session – UW Smith Hall

Saturday, November 19th

12:30pm – Kısa Film Seansı - Finalistler (Short Films - Top 10) – SIFF Film Center

2:30pm – Mahalle Askina (Team) – SIFF Film Center

6:00pm – Sofra Sofra Istanbul (Tables of Istanbul)* – SIFF Film Center

8:30pm – Istanbul Makami (Istanbul Notes)** – SIFF Film Center

Sunday, November 20th 

5:30pm – Closing Film – Sarmasik (Ivy)** –  Kirkland Performance Center

8:15pm – Closing Night Gala – Kirkland Performance Center

*Screenwriter and Director Zeynep Kilic attended the Q&A after the screening, together with some snacks from Turkish cuisine and drinks.

**Q&A with Director H. Ozlem Sariyildiz after the screening of Istanbul Notes

***Q&A with Actor Nadir Saribacak after the screening of Ivy.


Festival Director

Emek Eraslan


Film, Festival, and Gala Logistics

Huseyin Erdim, Erol Balevi, Ebru Yildirim, Feral Gokcen, Demet Kitis


Community Engagement, Sponsorship, and Budget

John Gokcen, Huseyin Erdim, Ozgur Koc


Technology and Multimedia

Ozgur Arman


Visual Design

Kerem Ozcan


Social Media

Banu Erdim, Ozgur Arman


Short Film Competition Director

Ozgur Arman

Short Film Competition

Rana San, M. Burak Senol, Ozgur Arman