2022 Moon and Stars Project Grants recipients!

“Garden of Turkish Delights” by Sarp Kerem Yavuz

"Garden of Turkish Delights" by Sarp Kerem Yavuz

Sarp Kerem Yavuz was born in Paris and raised in Istanbul. He previously received the Palm Springs Photo Festival Emerging Photographer Award in 2016 for the Maşallah series. Previous solo exhibitions include “SARP! Projections” at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, “LUNAR” at the Elgiz Museum in Istanbul, and” The Last Orientalist” at Anna Laudel Gallery in Dusseldorf. He was awarded the Leslie Lohman Museum Artist Fellowship in 2019-2020, where he will be included in a forthcoming group exhibition.

“Garden of Turkish Delights” / exhibition preview at Trotter&Sholler Gallery was hosted by The Museum of Photography – Fotografiska New Yorkfor their museum patrons. Mr. Yavuz was part of a panel series organized by the Museum of Arts and Design Luminaries, hosted by Spring Place https://guestofaguest.com/new-york/events/mad-luminaries-pride-artist-brunchon June 25th, 2022.  Mr. Yavuz was invited to be a guest speaker at The Ned for an art talk co-hosted by the MoMA The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art | MoMAon June 27th , 2022.   

MASP supported Mr. Yavuz to hold his exhibition at Trotter & Sholer Gallery, New York  Sarp Kerem Yavuz – Trotter & Sholer (trotterandsholer.com) – where “Garden of Turkish Delights” was on view between June 16th and July 16th , 2022.

“Yurt (Dormitory)” by Nehir Tuna

Nehir Tuna
Nehir Tuna

NEHIR TUNA is a Turkish screenwriter and director whose work combines social commentary and an original visual aesthetic, tackling stories on Turkey’s complex present-day issues, be it masculinity or conservatism. A Sundance Alumni, Tuna was selected to take part in 2019 Sundance Screenwriters Lab and 2020 Directors and Screenwriters Lab. He participated in the 2018 Nipkow Programme’s film residency program. Tuna studied at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program and holds an MFA in directing from Rochester Institute of Technology. He has written and directed seven short films, including THE SHOES, a prequel to his forthcoming feature YURT (DORMITORY).

YURT is a coming-of-age story of a boy forced to leave the comfort of his upper-middle-class lifestyle at his father’s behest. Fourteen-year-old Ahmet is sent to an all-boys religious dormitory where he must navigate familial expectations, his religious obligations, and the childhood to which he so desperately clings.  Ahmet works hard to be the “perfect son”, but it isn’t easy. He has trouble fitting in with rough kids at the Yurt, and feels isolated in his day secular school, where he hides his new home from his classmates. His only solace is a new friend Hakan, a street-smart kid who knows how to work the Yurt system. Together they dream of being older and making their own decisions. Their friendship emboldens Ahmet, who becomes a target for the ire of Yakup Hodja, the dormitory manager. Hodja resents Ahmet’s family wealth, and believes his father has bought his way into the religious leaders’ good graces. His cruel treatment of Ahmet escalates until Ahmet’s father is forced to take action; Hodja is transferred. Only then, Ahmet recognizes he will never meet his father’s expectations. He decides to escape; together with Hakan, they steal a car and run away. What begins as the best day of their lives soon turns dangerous, and Ahmet is faced with a choice. Though neither his previous life nor the oppressive nature of the Yurt feel like home, he has to decide where he belongs.

MASP supports Nehir for the post-production phase of the film.

 “Animalium Istanbul” by Sila Unlu

Sila Unlu

Sila Unlu was born in 1982 in Izmir, Turkey. She had her undergraduate degree on Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design at Sabanci University. She continued her studies on film directing at FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) where she wrote and directed her first award winning short film. She attended the Berlinale Talent Campus as a directing talent in 2009; and took place as a young jury member at the 2009 Nuremberg Turkish German Film Festival.

She completed the Producer’s workshop at Yapim Lab in 2011 and the feature length scriptwriting workshop at the Gotham Writers New York in 2016. In 2016 – 2017 she ran the revitalization project of the Turkish Cinematheque.  Her last short script ‘Shower Talks’ was selected to the Doha Film Institute’s Short Script Lab and was developed with Britta Krause and Matthieu Darras. She continues working on shorts and documentaries under the roof of her video production company Kim Bu Video, which she founded in 2014. 

“Animalium Istanbul” is a documentary about animals living in urban settlements. It focuses on the animals’ adaptation to city life through different aspects such as the physiological and behavioral changes caused by anthropogenic factors, the effects of urban conditions and habitat transformations on animal populations, and the past and today of our communal lives.  In Istanbul, where life rapidly flows, an entirely different order, unaware of the human worries, exists in parallel to our human centred lives. This documentary observes, in addition to stray cats and dogs as part of the daily life of any Istanbulite; many species living in Istanbul and surroundings, while they keep up with the changes in their territories. The main focus throughout the film is kept on the scientific side of things, while those questions are discussed with contributors consisting of evolutionary ecologists, ornithologists, wildlife experts, natural research associations, veterinarians, sociologists and political scientists.

Sakip Sabanci Museum | SSM sakipsabancimuzesi.org  provided equipment for the production of the documentary.  WWF supported the documentary with a boat tour providing an opportunity to observe and film the dolphins in the Bosphorus.  MASP supports Sıla for the post-production phase of “Animalium Istanbul”. 

“Wild Women of Anatolia” by Sedef Ozoguz

Sedef Ozoguz
Sedef Ozoguz

Sedef is a New York based writer, liberation psychologist and documentary maker. Born and raised in Istanbul, she moved to England to study Psychology and holds degrees from University of York and University College London. She is currently residing in New York, completing her PhD in Critical Social Psychology.

As a feminist from Turkey, Sedef seeks to understand what liberation means for the women of Turkey: to ask what “wild woman” evokes for them; to uncover women’s deep connections with mountainous, greeneries, vast dry lands, and the turquoise waters that surround them; to challenge misconceptions about the “passivity” of women and to connect with women across Turkey who are fighting for equality. The purpose of the documentary is to follow five women from Ordu, Istanbul, Mugla, Mus and Ankara, to understand their daily lives, struggles and eventually their freedom dreams. Ozoguz insisted on focusing on “Anatolia” as the name of the landscape, as dominant narratives homogenize “Turkey” without attention to many minority groups residing in the land.

Sedef Ozoguz

The target audience for this documentary “Wild Woman of Anatolia” is primarily young, urban women interested in art, culture and social justice. The purpose of this documentary is to be a project of transnational solidarity; for women to relate to one, two or all women in it, to see the common challenges/hardships women face in the land and to be inspired from these women’s stories who tell their liberation stories despite these challenges, who keep fighting the fight. This documentary also hopes to challenge the misconception that feminism is a “Western construct”, as these women reveal feminism that is rooted in Anatolia. It includes English subtitles for the global audience. Ms. Aslı Erda, Sedef’s sister, is the co-director of the documentary. 

MASP supports Sedef for the post-production phase of the film.