Arts and Culture

‘If the possibility of something to happen is one per thousand, then we have to try it thousand times!’

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Emine Dursun founder of New York International Sceenplay Awards told Kaos GL why the ones, who wants to write but says "why should they choose me", should not hesitate.

Emine Dursun; extremely clever, multiple awards winner woman and is right as the rain. She lives in the USA with ‘’the extraordinary ability’’ visa. (And yes; that kind of visa really exists!) She is engaged in drama but her life is far away from dram, she is well organized, rationalist and feather in ours cap. She is also the founder of the NYISA: “New York International Scenario Awards’’

Well, Emine, I am asking for those amateur writers and readers who have stories and ideas in their mind. Do we have that chance in abroad? For instance; does the international festivals give any award for our stories which we write sitting in armchair in our houses?

Of course! If you write it properly and make an application, of course, they may give you an award and even they may produce your story. For example, the director of the movie ‘’Terminator’’ is a Canadian lorry driver. There are lots of examples like that.

Yes, but he is from Canada, we are not. We always think that we don’t live in a universal country. There is a rumour that our stories are not much in good taste for worldwide things.

However, there is no such thing! Any story can be a worldwide as long as the human lie at the bottom of it. In accordance with its history, Turkey has lots of stories and diversities that make it amazing source for the drama... Only, these stories should be told with keeping its soul; without making them too arabesque or exaggerated. And this is all about technique and approach.

You must be mentioning about that famous 11 articles. Note for those who doesn’t know about it; All festivals evaluate the applications with the criteria of 11 articles, ones you pass it, you step into the festival.  Winners come to the fore if their style is suitable for the festival. How can we learn about that process?

It is really easy! There is so many free courses, books and sources in the internet. We should use them. As we know how to write, we should learn to erase them. If these are not enough, we should get help. These days everything can be done easily. In old days, we used to send our documents with postal service in New York. And they went missing or got damaged... However, now, you can take any course while you are sitting at home thanks to Internet.  

While you are talking, everything seems so easy! but not that much; you need to know English, for example...

Generally, both we and the other festivals don’t place so much emphasis to grammar mistakes. There are much more important things. Of course, you have to send as the best as you can but this is not the reason that you should give up. At festivals, so many translations are received and we got used to people from foreign origin.

Who knows what number of Oscar award he won, the Mexican director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu thanked on the stage with his broken English but nobody judge that. My English was not good, too. I’d found this solution: Before my meetings, I wrote down my introduction text and even the answers of possible questions; memorized them then went to the meeting. Sometimes they asked questions that I never understood but I smiled and nodded my head! Who knows I said ‘’yes’’ for what!

I mean if the work is proper, obstacles can be solvable. By the way, there are already solutions to make the work proper.

You are the first Turkish writer who won the famous Remi Award, right? And you were living in Turkey those days?

Yes, I was in Turkey. I wrote ‘’Koca Yusuf’’ for practising. And it was really good. I conferred with producers; they also liked it but said ‘’that can’t be filmed’’. Why? ‘’If that could be filmed, it had already happened’’ Why it didn’t happened? Because its production will cost too much…

Nothing is impossible, everything can be made possible... however, something’s are made possible in a way that we are not used to.

I said ‘’Okay! if production will be cost too much, then it can be possible to shoot it in Hollywood’’ That was the time everybody looked at me like saying ‘’what’s it to you?’’ However, it was obvious that it was up to me! Then I’ve decided to go and see what’s there. I went and saw that every door is open to you and there are many possibilities you can choose. That was the time I’ve decided to apply for festivals. I’ve got my awards, and that was fantastic.

Festivals really help you to draw attention on something, and their aim is already this. With the help of these experiences and the connections I’ve made, I’ve decided to found the NYISA and turn the opportunities towards us, to Turkey. I hope we can start the ball rolling to bring together the Turkish works with the producers here next years.

There is so many ‘’not possibles’’ in Turkey. Looking through that way some of them can have much more chance in abroad. For instance maybe, If I was living in Hakkari, I could have more chance sending my scenario to Nice than sending it to Istanbul. 

Yes, there are some negative sides of this sector. It stucks in same cities and between same groups. That is why many people afraid from ‘’not possible’’ things. However, this is very different in America and Europe and at least we shouldn’t afraid of knocking their door, we should be open to try. 

We should also learn about production, shouldn’t we? I mean Hollywood wants happy endings, comedy festivals wants comedy, France wants something else, Japan wants something else etc. Their rules are specific. Everyone can find information about it even from internet. 

Yes, we have to work our lessons very well in every steps. For example, in NYISA, we don’t mind about the topic. We do not analyse what is told in the story, we analyse how it is told. That’s why we categorize our sections such as long story and short story and our festival is open for every topic. If LBGTQ comes, we’ll be so happy.

There are so many festivals that we follow. They are trying to raise awareness on something; women festivals, LBGTQ festivals etc. They are really important, too. They give importance to real life situations. We just need to try, ones we fail, we should learn our lesson and then move on and try again.

Right, you can not move mountains in one day, of course. However, there are some examples such as Yün Bebek and Arslan köyün Kadinlari which we proud of... There are really few examples because of the fear of the ‘’not possible’’ taboo. Just having a stab on something needs really big courage.

Yes, it is outgrowth. The cinema is settled in the certain district and if it leaves from this district then it become awkward. Why shouldn’t a student from high school or tea maker or a housewife shoot a movie or write a story? That is the meaning of the independent cinema. The more simple and natural movie you shoot the more value it is. Of course it is not so easy, it needs persistency. With a tight budget, the shooting time of the movie can be longer, and it makes you sad. However, what is the best about the independent cinema is freeness and being separate from the big producers. This also helps the cinema to spread and the sector to grow. Thanks to independence cinema, the stories become varied. 

Well, If I ask you what your life motivation is, it is possible for you to answer it, right? Because there is no ‘’not possible’’

Why not! I always think this: If something’s probability of occurrence is one per thousand then we have to try it thousand times; but one per three thousand, then try it three thousand times... 

Translation: Feriştah Senem Yıldırım 

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