Meet this year’s Moon and Stars Project Grants recipients!

“Ahali” by Can Altay 

Ahali Conversations is a podcast that investigates the future of cultural production, looking at spaces that allow new communities to emerge. Art, design, architecture, and the cultural institutions that host these fields are explored in search of further possibilities for making, talking, and gathering. ‘Ahali’ in Turkish refers to a community defined through contingency without a binding or expressed commonality other than being together. The podcast searches for practitioners and institutions that help generate an ahali, meanwhile forming its own, not only through the conversations but also through live audience participation. For Ahali, Can Altay meets with thinkers, writers, artists, curators, architects, and designers. These conversations map out the territory from which social and cultural change happens. The funds coming from MASP will support the production phase of Ahali.

“Playing for the Birds” by Arzu Goknar

Born in Istanbul, producer and director Arzu Göknar is the co-founder of art, music, film, and multidisciplinary platform Pannonica and its independent education programs. She’s working on the development of new projects for Pannonica. She was one of the members at the start-up operation of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and has worked as the Head of Resource Development.

“Playing for the Birds”, tells the story of “Ali Perret’s DU.DU” jazz ensemble borne out of the long-lasting friendship between New York-born, Istanbul and Bodrum based jazz composer and pianist Ali Perret and of duduk virtuoso Suren Asatryan of Yerevan; the ensemble took on its final form with the participation of Greek double bass player Apostolos Sideris and percussionist Berkan Çakıcı of Izmir, whose family roots extend to Damascus. 

“Playing for the Birds” faithfully records the ensemble’s challenging journey and dedicated work toward a major concert while capturing the distinct lives of these exceptional musicians. Pursuing their passion, will the members of this modest ensemble be able to succeed against the rules of today’s music industry, follow their hearts, and cross the boundaries? 

Funds coming from MASP will support the post-production phase of the film. “Playing for the Birds” pursues the tale of four musicians of different techniques, pasts, and backgrounds with Armenian, Turkish-American, Greek, and Syrian roots, coming together in this jazz ensemble to form an unprecedented musical novelty.

“Kavur” by Firat Ozeler

MASP will support the post-production phase of the documentary, Kavur. The shooting of Kavur will be finished in 2021 and the post-production process will be completed in 2022. In the documentary, Firat traces Ömer Kavur’s life story and his incomprehensible inner world. In an effort to remember one of the most important directors of Turkish cinema, with an extensive archive of work and documents that have not come to light before, Firat wants to keep Kavur’s name alive and ensure that he gets the value he deserves.