feature film, 2014 (release, 2016)
dir: burak babayiğit
türkiye, color, 2014, 96', comedy
In the throes of a relentless pursuit for gainful employment, Hayati finds himself ensnared in the precarious web of life's hardships. His existence, marked by the suffocating weight of financial adversity, is shared with a wife who, too, endures the ceaseless struggle for a better life. However, there exists a stark contrast within their familial bonds, as the brother of Hayati's, the affluent Bekir, thrives in the glittering world of the jewelry industry—a reality predominantly attributed to familial inheritance.
Hayati, constrained by the unforgiving circumstances of his life and the shadows cast by his wife's lineage, embarks on a treacherous journey into the realm of chance. His quest to reverse the tide of misfortune rests precariously on the whims of luck and the allure of gambles yet untaken.
Yet, as Hayati wagers his fate in the capricious world of games of chance, the narrative of his existence takes an unforeseen turn. The capricious hand of destiny, unpredictable and unforgiving, sets in motion a sequence of events that shall irrevocably alter the course of his life.
Total audience: 7 million people. (online views)
I am happy to present "There!" to audiences around the türkiye as its director. This film is a labor of love and artistic expression, a story that explores the intricate tapestry of family dynamics, financial struggles, and the urgent need for sustainability in the face of unchecked urbanization.
At its core, "There!" follows the relentless journey of Hayati, a man driven by an unwavering desire to provide a better life for his family, who finds himself entangled in the complex web of Istanbul's urban sprawl. Through Hayati's story, we delve into the universal theme of financial hardship, an experience that resonates deeply with audiences. But beyond this, we also embark on a poignant exploration of sustainability, particularly in the context of a city grappling with rapid and often unsustainable growth.
Throughout the film, we interlace Hayati's personal struggles with vivid depictions of Istanbul's evolving urban landscape, where the consequences of haphazard construction, traffic congestion, and environmental degradation loom large. The juxtaposition of his journey with the success of his brother Bekir, in the jewelry business, serves as a stark reminder of the choices we make and their far-reaching impact on both our lives and the environment.
Our aim is not only to create a thought-provoking and emotionally charged narrative but also to ignite conversations about the pressing need for sustainable urban development. "There!" underscores the delicate balance between economic progress and environmental preservation, urging us to consider the sustainability of our actions on a broader scale.
Despite the challenges faced during production, including unforeseen setbacks with our producer, "There!" remains a testament to the enduring power of storytelling. It reminds us that in our pursuit of success and progress, we must also strive for a sustainable future that nurtures our communities and protects our planet.
Taking the helm of a project like "There!" at the age of 19 was an exhilarating and humbling experience. I recognized from the outset that I was a young director with much to learn. While the film does touch upon themes like family dynamics and financial struggles, it also served as a platform for my own personal growth.
I fully accept that I have made mistakes during the course of this project. Directing "There!" has been a journey of self-discovery and learning for me. It's important to remember that youth often comes with a willingness to take risks and experiment creatively, but this can also mean facing setbacks and unforeseen challenges.
I want to emphasize that while sustainability is an important theme in the film, it is not the sole focus. Our primary aim was to tell a compelling story that resonates with audiences on a human level. Sustainability, in this context, serves as a backdrop and a point of reflection rather than an overwhelming theme.
As we navigate the world of filmmaking, I believe it's essential to embrace our imperfections and grow from our mistakes. "There!" is a testament to my early journey as a director, and I invite audiences to join us on this cinematic adventure, recognizing that it is a stepping stone in my ongoing artistic development.