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16th ÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival | 2021

Doğuş Özokutan
The Delivery / Teslimat
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Yusuf accepts the job of carrying refugees with his refrigerated meat truck, believing this is the only way to find money for saving his daughter’s life. When the smuggler shows up with the refugees, Yusuf realizes there are also kids that wouldn’t survive in a refrigerated truck, but still keeps on with the job, gambling with their lives.

Hi Doğuş thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during these very strange times?

Hello, thank you for this interview. I have always been a little bit of introvert so staying home is not that hard for me. I watch 2-3 films every day and read more than ever… I just really miss hugging my friends and family. 

Times are strange indeed. Not so unexpected though. All the damage done to the nature is taking its toll. All I hope about this disaster for the whole humanity is, getting out from it with a better understanding about our behaviour creating it.

Has this time offered you any creative inspiration or opportunities?

I am very amazed by my fellow filmmaker friends who managed to finish a new screenplay or two during this time. I shot my recent film just before the pandemic broke out. So I spent the first few months with the post production process. Right after that I started to write my new screenplay but I had writers block at some point… Nothing is coming out so I am trying to get as much in, with reading and watching…

Congratulations on having The Delivery/Teslimat selected for the 16th ÉCU Film Festival in Paris, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing lineup of short films?

So thrilled about ECU! It’s an honour to be part of such a prestigious festival and to be among with these wonderful films. I really wish the festival could be held physically so we not only have the festival experience but also witness the reaction of the audience. 

You have had an amazing festival run so for since your World Premiere at the Torino Film Festival, what has it meat for you to get such a great reaction to your latest film?

So glad about the festival run. It’s always fascinating to have a reaction to something you create. To be selected to world renowned festivals is not only feel validating but also a great opportunity for your film to reach a broader audience.

What is it about the black comedy genre that interests you as a writer/director?

I find life a little bit of absurd. Maybe it’s about being in the Middle East during these crazy times, maybe it’s just about being human… Black comedy perfectly displays the way I see the world.

Can you tell me a little bit about The Delivery/Teslimat, what was the inspiration behind your screenplay?

 

The inspiration behind this screenplay is sadly based on the humanitarian tragedy we witness…Cyprus is placed in the runaway route of the refuges that are travelling to a “better life” in Europe. We frequently read stories about the refugees who are manipulated by human traffickers and drowned in the offshore of Cyprus. In the best case scenario their journey to hope ends up in isolated refugee camps…Being so close to this tragedy I felt the urge to tell a story about it.

 

I interviewed so many refugees, listened to their stories. But it didn’t feel right to tell the story on behalf of them; I really hope one day they will have the chance to speak for themselves. So instead I told the story from the “carrier”s point of view, because I feel that’s the point we stand in this story…

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"Especially with the changes in technology and lifestyle, we should push boundaries more than ever…" 

​What where the biggest challenges you faced brining this film to life?

Since it’s a very delicate subject I was very nervous handling it. Interviews with refugees helped me a lot in that part. Also budgetary restrictions made everything harder but I hope also more creative. 

Looking back is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

If I could have a chance to do this film again, putting an extra shooting day would help a lot.

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?

Raised as a latchkey kid, films were my parents. When I grew up, I wanted to be part of it…

How has your approach of your filmmaking style changed since you started out?

That’s a great question. Something I was also thinking about lately. I guess I was focused more on the story aspect in the beginning. I am getting more and more focused on the film language.

Is there any advice you have been given that has really helped you?

Preparation is crucial…

Do you think filmmakers should continue to push the boundaries of the films and stories they want to tell?

Exactly!  Especially with the changes in technology and lifestyle, we should push boundaries more than ever… 

What tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?

Be confident about your vision.  Choose your crew wisely…

 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from The Delivery/Teslimat?

I would be very pleased even if one person questions, “Do we really have to do the things that don’t feel right, just because we feel we have to?”