Aşk, Büyü, vs.

East Coast Premiere


Love, Spells, and All That - Ask Buyu Vs - Umit Unal

Directed by ÜMİT ÜNAL

Cast: Ece Dizdar, Selen Uçer, Ayşenil Şamlıoğlu, Emrah Kolukısa, Uygar Özçelik, Damla Ersan, Murat Toprak, Tonguç Radar, Şirzat Bilallar

2019 / 96 min. / with English subtitles

We all believe in some ideas and dedicate our life to them. “Love, Spells and All That” is the story of two women who question their belief in love and metaphysics. Reyhan believes what brings Eren back is not love but a “spell”. She had had a love spell put on Eren 20 years ago. Eren is not superstitious but she can't help questioning if the spell is real. She can't give up Reyhan so she somehow has to get this spell undone.  Two women start a daylong journey in Büyükada after an old love affair and an old spell.

Selected Festivals and Awards

  • Antalya Film Festival, Turkey (2019): Dr. Avni Tolunay Jury's Special Award, Best Actress (Selen Uçer), SIYAD (Turkish Film Critics Association) Jury Award
  • Istanbul Film Festival, Turkey (2019): Best Film, Best Actress {Selen Uçer and Ece Dizdar), Best Screenplay (Ümit Ünal)
  • Mardi Gras Film Festival, Australia (2020)

Director's Statement

"Büyükada is the biggest of Istanbul islands, where stray cats yawn and nap and where bougainvillea bloom and die away – forever trapped in the 80’s. This island is full of stories. This one is the story of two women who meet again after twenty years and remember their passionate, painful love affair they had in Büyükada.

As a screenwriter-director who honed his craft in the 1980’s, this is my contemporary response to the conventional Turkish cinema and my country's climate getting more oppressive by the day. It is a combination of my formative years in “Yeşilçam” and my recent independent, small scale films with big questions behind them. Love, Spells and All That challenges and queers a genre that has long been heteronormative.

It is a heart-breaking modern melodrama, an absurd conflation of the secular and the superstitious, and a queer nostalgia commenting on today’s Turkey."

Director ÜMİT ÜNAL

Umit UnalÜmit Ünal (1965, Turkey) is the scriptwriter for eight feature films including Teyzem (My Aunt) (1986), Hayallerim, Askim ve Sen (My Dreams, My Love and You) (1987). ​
His first feature film as a director is 9 (Dokuz, 2001) which won many awards in various film festivals and was the Official Turkish Entry for the 2003 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

He wrote and directed nine feature films including  Istanbul Tales (Anlat İstanbul, 2004),  Ara (2007), Shadowless (Gölgesizler, 2008). The Voice (Ses, 2010), The Pomegranate (Nar, 2011). Serial Cook (Sofra Sırları, 2017). His latest film is Love, Spells and All That (Aşk, Büyü vs).

He has published five books: A collection of short stories, three novels and an autobiography.





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