How many little rocks did you collect in your life? Those little ones scattered on a beach or some bigger ones maybe on arid land out there somewhere where you left everything behind? Did you ever put your head to one of them, or maybe onto a collection of them, just to take a little rest on a long long walk you didn’t know where and when it will end? Did you know that, according to the Scriptures, this selfless act of collecting some rocks – like the way Jakob did before dreaming of his Ascension to Heavens on a ladder – means the challenge we face as responsible and conscious human beings to bring order both to our own chaos inside and the earth around – “formless and empty”, and “darkness… over the surface of the deep”? A series of selfless or arbitrary acts made in this fashion are called “the first-time director debut movie journey”: the divine vision and impulse the debutant filmmaker gets at the initiation of his craft to bring order to his/her life and times!
Sometimes you travel the world but find a place right in front of your house where you feel connected with all the world! I just moved to a new home two days ago in La Condesa neighbourhood in Mexico City, but as I went out of the house this afternoon to have a bite, I found a tapas place right in front of my house and the whole menu of tidbits of tapas seemed to me little tastes of a whole new world that I have traveled in the past 5 years or so in the Spanish speaking world! I just felt home so much so that I started thinking how much time it took me to find my place on earth!
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. That’s exactly how you can become someone who gives one thing else more to the world, who can do something more than expected, someone who attains the “awareness of eternity” and becomes in the likeness of God. Once you get there you meet with the One that’s inside of you! You meet with that mind of creation that has shaped you! The One which is in the hidden opens up to you! It’s indeed not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by the Father in heaven.
Because we are so clinched to the visual world, we only live by the cultures. When someone says Christianity, some concepts arise in us like Italy, fanatics, Europe etc. I mean according to whom, according to what?? We never ask this question: “according to whom, according to what?” Our terms of molds and points of views, the sheaths covered upon that, sheaths of cultures.
What does someone like me has to do with all this who offers his life without any prior knowledge of all of this mambo jumbo around this concept?? We don’t even acknowledge this fact! That’s why we have to change our perception of looking at things internally. Not only we do this for our belief, we do this for our nationality, for humanity, for our culture, we do this within subcultures. We do this for our political views, we divide, we divide, we set things apart, we create “the other” in everyone we see, we push them out,… but until when? In the end we’re all going to perish in a 2-foot piece of land.
However the way of the meaning, the way of salvation offered by the Creator in the universe that wonderful functioning of the substance and meaning of our original selves, offers very big changes once we have come to the top of ourselves: changing our perspective of looking at things.
Look, I am here as merely noone, a Turk in Mexico and yet I am so much so connected with my very core of my self as a being that I am at home where ever I go! I have become like water, or air something that everyone needs and shares. To become someone like this needs seriousness in approaching to the Creator . But that kind of seriousness we perceive in certain moulds. That is to say; we think seriousness is not to laugh, to pout, to wear certain clothing etc. But in actuality, it is not attempting to show something in a visual show, but it’s about to become as much as who you really are, to go all the way to find your perfect balance with the universe, to be as normal as possible, to embrace everybody as much as possible, to become the one who gives life, yes just like water and air, to be in the likeness of God has to do with these things. We have to ask this question: where am I and where is the Creator?
When you take approaching to God seriously you become someone who is able to make these things visible in him/herself out of the invisible. We are generally opening the invisible in the appearance of things. That’s our problem! That’s the problem in all the belief systems! Once we reverse this process, we become like water or air which everyone needs, but it’s sometimes scarce or invisible as we don’t ask to become someone like these concepts by just being our true selves.
Is the One something that you dress up as a model of god in your head? Or is it the model of a Creator that you cannot see in the universal dimension? We don’t know this. There are so many illusions in us. The sons of Aaron have died when they tried to offer a different offering than what the Creator asked them for. They were burnt once they reached a point which was not described in their job as priests. When you take in more light than you can handle, you burn yourself. You either need to broaden your understanding of things by changing your perspective of looking at things or you won’t get inclined to things which you cannot handle.
We say that we have received the eternal life with Jesus Christ. What is eternal life? Is it a later promise of things to come, the expectation of things, or the integration of your perception with eternity that starts in the now and continues developing? We make our choices in the visible world. In the history of Genesis there is a tendency to take the fruits of a visible tree between two trees. One of which is visible and the other invisible. When we take what the visible world offers us, we die. Did they die? Yes, they died metaphorically. They got stuck in the flesh and they died spiritually. That’s what humans are. But if you keep offering yourself, the Creator will manifest itself in you! We have to change our perspective of looking at things. The change of inner perspective signals to the offering. Namely, our main angle of looking at things should be the offering of ourselves. Once you become one with the One, then someone else can follow by your example and become one with him/herself too.
Here in Mexico I offer myself to a great unknown both for Mexican and Colombian and Turkish cultures and yet by this I make something visible in the invisible interplay of these three cultures that share a common misconception of things. And that’s what brought me all the way here to make that story visible for all the world. This service is correction of things, but first after you make your own sacrifices. And I make them both for my culture, for Colombia and for Mexico now. That is what it means “denying oneself, carrying the cross and following Christ” to me.
I had no idea where, when and how I would be able to make debut feature film, when I left my home more than 2 years ago. And now I am in Mexico City waiting for a phone call from Blue Demon Jr, the adopted son of Blue Demon, a legendary national hero of Mexico in pancreas fights and two times world champion, if he can take off his mask in my film or not! A face no one but his close circle of friends has ever seen yet.
This is one of those moments in my life where I feel most connected with my true self, attaining the meaning of infinity with my finite. It’s when you realise that you are not alone and there are some people out there like you who have sacrificed their born identities to connect with a higher meaning and are fighting to get through a narrow gate just to attain the awareness to see things without curtains: to be able to see the invisible.
That’s our calling in our lives: to be appointed to a role to see things with a deep foresight after passing a period of “cooking” things. Namely, earning this level through overflowing from your self. How would I imagine casting a world champion pancreas player for my film? That’s simply overflowing beyond my imagination! That is to me “The Eighth Day”, that’s the day which I didn’t think existed. That’s when you make all your sacrifices before entering the Kingdom of Heavens! That’s the day of seeing God face to face! That’s the day of the announcement of the virtues! That’s the day of what God has revealed me a mystery through his Spirit that was hidden from me until this day.
How I got here? A while ago, I wrote a character that was always unknown to me: my Father in Heavens! And went on looking for his face through 3 continents and 2 oceans!
My work in my newly started web series “Secret Portal” is more focused on creating awareness in people who don’t have the chance to travel the world, but who have the desire to see it from a different perspective and meaning. I try to bring meaning to traveling and meeting new people and seeing new places.
In this article I want to talk about how to live your life fully while making cinema in its original sense. The two may sound counterproductive, but it is not, if you know the trick how to realise your daily … Continue reading →
I came to Colombia to continue my location scouting and script development of a feature film project that I was developing as I was traveling through South America for a year. In the mean time I finished one hybrid documentary “When the Ants Dream” (Cuando las Hormigas Sueñan) which I had ironically started filming during the manifestations back in Istanbul one and a half year ago under the trees of a park called “Gezi” in the city center to save it from having turned into a shopping mall and which had its world premier in a film festival in the Amazonas (Mica Film Festival/Manaus-Brazil) in January 2015. I also started with a new one in Chile and finished filming it in Colombia two months ago which is currently in the post-production.
After a month of traveling in the north coast of Colombia (Cartagena, Santa Martha, Parque Tayrona and Palomino) I came to Cali where I was suddenly welcomed with open arms by a short filmmaker friend, Oscar Hemberth Moreno, whom I had met one year ago in Rio de Janeiro while I was filming the Rio carnival for my previous hybrid feature “When the Ants Dream”.
He was a real kindred soul making 8 short films as he traveled South America on bicycle and was also visiting his family here after 2 years. He introduced me to some people from the film industry here and some of them were really helpful in helping me with my current feature film project “Love in Seven Letters”. One of them started translating and adapting my script to Colombia. Others came to help me filming a teaser for the project.
Still other new friends that I met through internet showed great interest in helping me with other needs of the production and offered their expertise and network of friends to even make more contacts for my next feature film project.
So, I then realized that I came to Colombia for a reason: it was my lost paradise now found! At the moment I am trying to set up a team and working program for the upcoming stages of the project and seek to meet new like-minded people to develop and realize this project with these new friends and for these new friends!
I think one finds his/her existence at the point where the mind of the Creator meets its function on earth. Our reason to exist is when the Light embraces your function while you find out your reason to live. I feel like I am falling to a new earth from a new sky and while my body boils into the texture of this new continent found, the hinterland of my existence comes forth to light. I become a new being by leaving behind my comfort zone and embrace infinity by overcoming my finite as I make an offering with my “self” to a higher cause: being “the other”!
Finishing a film always brings me to a different part of the world with the same memories of the past, now revealed in a quite similar setting as to where it all started. I am now in a bistro on a street corner in Pocitos, Montevideo/Uruguay and watching my life on a screen where I am now sitting on the front seat in the movie theatre. This is one of those moments when one realizes that the things that happen to us in life is therefore there that we find the dynamic equivalents of each cultural entrapment to release our souls on our own canvas or screen.
Finishing “When the ants dream” showed me that the collective mind of a group is always bigger than the vision one might have at the outset about the endeavor he/she is getting onto. That’s why allowing space for others to create parts of a larger than life experience was my initial goal to interpret this dream with a project of this proportion stretching over two continents and four countries.
It all started when I was getting ready to shoot the initial scenes for a character that I have been writing over the past 7 years who was a backpacker in soul, but never could leave his home for good and was trying to finally leave it to go for a long journey to find new life in a Brave New World.
Like a butterfly effect of this decade-long wish of intensive screenwriting of a script the greatest social movement in human history broke in a park called Gezi in the center of Istanbul, my home city a year ago on May 31st, 2013.
I was literally connected with the universe in a way that mountains were crumbling in front of me and people coming from quite different origins were marching against systems of ignorance and suppression. Finishing the film on the first anniversary of this so-called Gezi movement now in a quite different part of the world with people who happen to be walking just next to me in the same manner we marched together side by side with people I would normally would not be able to walk in my daily life back in Istanbul showed me again and again that when you truly believe in your dreams and keep walking no matter how long it takes, they one day become reality and you start walking in your own dream in real life.
That’s the sensation I have now after the first public screening of “When the Ants Dream” in a tiny art collective here in Montevideo where some Spanish-speaking people endured a 105 minute film without being able to follow all the subtitles which were in English. They were just there to walk the talk for the sake of the other all the way no matter how long it would take as well. We became brothers and sisters of the road after the screening of the film which everybody interpreted to their own understanding of it, but who were all happy to stay until the end. We were talking then in one language which only we could speak like the people on the Pentecost could do.
With these kind of people I walk no matter where the road will take us. This is the spirit of how this film is made just like in the same manner my last film “The Grenadines Road” was made as well back in Spain two years ago. Making films like this gives one the feeling that we really are not alone and just in contrary that all humans actually seek the one to meet one day who has guts to follow this road which goes through all humanity most of us partly endure to physically walk but just talk about.
But this kind of endurance also has its benefits: freedom in the real meaning of the word, namely to be finally free from your bondage of things that we assume to collect all our lives thinking that they would free us. And in my example to be finally free from thoughts of having so many things arranged to make a film. Actually there was not more than a camera, a tripod, a small headlight, a microphone, a laptop and a certain amount of money to eat and have some simple accommodation necessary to shoot this film alone. The rest was taken care of by itself!
I was just following a dream character Roberto Namık which I played myself this time where ever he wanted to take me next. A dreamer from Istanbul whose real name was Namık, but because there were some intermarriages in his family his friends used to call him Roberto Namık as to alienate him as belonging to a minority group in Turkey namely Christians! In contrary to his friends’ perception of where he really belongs his quest is to find “El Turco” who is also another nick name given by the people to those who immigrated from the parts of world which were once Ottoman Empire just to make sure that the cultural borders are maintained, thus the illusion of this world that we so carefully protect. Roberto Namık is looking in return for a Brave New World where there are no such pre-determined notions or walls separating people from the others.
He finally finds like-minded folks in Brazil where people also live in a country where “nothing is foreign to its inhabitants as everything is” as Paulo Emilio Salles Gomes put it. When he discovers these people, he also sees what needs to be done to bring the walls down: a new language is necessary to be created to overwhelm the feeling of imprisonment in someone else’s wrong interpretation of the world as we know it.
By attaining this character through my travels with the heart of a kid’s purity and the mind of a very very wise man I unraveled a unique language of cinema. The main plot was flowing backwards in time, the little stories that were involved within were all connected to each other in a mysterious web of relationship that initially existed before I even dreamt of making such a film. Everything was talking to me as an open book as I just kept walking on this road although I was only able to read it with the help of many people as if some hermetic people used to group to read through the inherent deeper meanings of ancient scriptures. The only pre-requisite was to keep a mobility in Spirit day in day out and then the film that the film set that I was about to shoot that day was already ready for me and all I had to do was to bring my camera where ever I’d go next and to hit the green button when necessary. That’s how I shot this film!
I would just place the camera to frame the shot from different angles and would have an idea what the scene is about after checking with my script development software as to where to take the story next and would lead the scene with other non-actor naturals sometimes in a conversation or sometimes even just walking al the way leaving them behind in a patio where we made music, but just to find them that they all left the patio after me to follow me to the beach to watch a show of a bunch of dolphins who were now jumping all around the place just offshore. I was merely witnessing a universe taking shape around me as I kept walking in the right direction!
Its a cinema that is neither documentary, nor fiction. It can neither be fully understood in one language only nor fully described of what it is all about. It’s just a quest for finding out what other realities we might be omitting, if we don’t allow space within our hearts for other people of this world, to embrace it again as a whole.