STFF 2017

The opening gala film for the 2017 festival was Ferzan Ozpetek's Red Istanbul. In addition to that, six feature length films were screened. Short film competition finalists have also been screened, in the fourth year of the short film competition, opening with Tufan Tastan's film Words Fly Away.


Director: Ferzan Ozpetek​

Writing: Ferzan Ozpetek (novel), Ferzan Ozpetek (screenplay), Gianni Romoli​

Stars: Halit Ergenc, Tuba Buyukustun, Mehmet Gunsur, Nejat Isler

Deniz, an acclaimed author, is writing a book about his family and friends. He asks Orhan for critics. The day Orhan came to Istanbul from London, Deniz disappears. Orhan, Deniz's friend Neval and Deniz's lover Yusuf tries to find Deniz. Click for the trailer.



Director: Mehmet Sertan Unver​

Writing: Suzan Guverte, Mehmet Sertan Unver

Stars: Kerim Capli, Yavuz Cetin

A look at the 90's Turkish rock scene, one legendary stage band and its two genius members: Kerim Capli and Yavuz Cetin. Kerim (aka Kim) Capli toured with The Monkees and Hendrix back in 1967, 68. He co-wrote and recorded "Hard to Believe" with Davy Jones. What looked like a bright future for him in US ended abruptly. People thought he died; but did he? Click for the trailer.


Director:  Kivanc Sezer

Screenwriter:  Kivanc Sezer   

Stars: Menderes Samancilar, Musab Ekici, Kubra Kip

Set against the backdrop of construction activity promising to fill in the empty spaces of the urban landscape with entirely new neighborhoods, a story unfolds of an aging construction worker who, unlike his peers, has to drop all plans for the future after being diagnosed with a malignant tumor.


Director: Ayse Toprak​​

Writing: Ayse Toprak

Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Husein, a barber in Istanbul, and Mahmoud, a refugee in Berlin and founder of Syria's LGBT movement, pursue a dream: to participate in an international beauty contest.


Director:  Riza Sonmez

Screenwriter:  Riza Sonmez

Stars: Vildan Atasever, Israfil Parlak, Atalay Uluisik

A popular actor in Turkish cinema, Rıza Sönmez, goes behind the camera for this docudrama inspired by a visually impaired musician he met in Kars. Sönmez improvises a story about a barber who takes photos of people, streets, and objects, much like the character in Orhan Pamuk's novel Snow.


Director:  Yilmaz Erdogan

Screenwriter:  Yilmaz Erdogan

Stars:  Farah Zeynep Abdullah, Hamit Annak, Fatih Artman

Promising a visual feast of colors, costumes, light and locations, Sour Apples will have you simultaneously laughing and crying with its powerful acting performances as well as Yilmaz Erdogan's witty and memorable dialogues.


Director: Soner Caner, Baris Kaya

Screenwriter: Soner Caner, Naz Caybasi, Muge Seviker 

Rauf hopes to win over his big crush, the older Zana, with the help of the color pink. But what does pink really look like anyways, and will he even be able to find it in his snowy little Kurdish village up in the mountains? Meanwhile, disturbing rumors sweep in from the outside world.


Director:  Caner Alper, Mehmet Binay

Screenwriter:  Caner Alper, Mehmet Binay, Ismail Onur Coskun, Tilbe Saran

Stars:  Ece Dizdar, Tilbe Saran, Taner Birsel

Deniz, 33, ends up in a hospital after a traumatic night and has to face the ghosts of her past: Soon after the divorce of her parents, she is left behind at the age of five. Her father's control on her childhood's sexual discovery, drove her into a life full of parties, men and sex. After 25 years of her painful but liberating journey and finally months of hospital recovery, she manages to discover herself and furthermore the hidden secrets in her family drawers.


Festival Schedule

Thursday, November 2nd

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

8:30pm – Opening Film* – Istanbul Kirmizisi (Red Istanbul) – Pacific Place

Friday, November 3rd

7:00pm – Blue – SIFF Uptown

9:30pm – Mr Gay Syria – SIFF Uptown

Saturday, November 4th

2:00pm – Babamin Kanatlari (My Father's Wings) - SIFF Film Center

4:15pm – Orhan Pamuk'a Soylemeyin... (Don't Tell Orhan Pamuk...) - SIFF Film Center

7:00pm – Eksi Elmalar (Sour Apples) - SIFF Film Center

9:15pm – Rauf - SIFF Film Center

Sunday, November 5th 

6:00pm – Closing Film – Cekmeceler (Drawers)** –  Kirkland Performance Center

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

*Actress Cigdem Onat attended the Q&A after the screening.

**Q&A with Director Caner Alper after the screening of Drawers


Festival Director

Emek Eraslan


Film, Festival, and Gala Logistics

Ebru Yildirim, Feral Gokcen, Demet Kitis, Banu Erdim


Community Engagement, Sponsorship, and Budget

Huseyin Erdim, Ufuk John Gokcen


Technology and Multimedia

Ozgur Arman


Visual Design

Lisa Waagd


Social Media

Banu Erdim


Short Film Competition Director

Ozgur Arman

Short Film Competition

Rana San, M. Burak Senol, Ozgur Arman, Lisa Waagd, Senay Cebioglu