North America Premiere


Passed by Censor - Gorulmustur - Serhat Karaaslan


Cast: Berkay Ateş, Saadet Aksoy, İpek Türktan, Füsun Demirel, Erdem Şenocak, Müfit Kayacan, Ercan Kesal, Serdar Orçin

2018 / 95 min. / with English subtitles

Zakir works in a prison as a censor. His days are spent reading other people's letters, carefully blacking out everything not meant for the eyes of those serving time. In order to escape the stress of his job, he signs up for a creative writing course. One day, however, he is given a tricky assignment - to select a photograph and write a fictional account inspired by the picture. He decides to use a photo he finds enclosed in one of the letters. But Zakir's interest in the woman depicted shifts beyond the assigned task and becomes a compulsive preoccupation to help her, regardless of whether her cruel fate is real or just a figment of his imagination. A psychological study of a man who succumbs to his obsession, unable to distinguish fantasy from reality.

Selected Festivals and Awards

  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic (2019): FEDEORA Award
  • Athens Panorama of European Cinema, Greece (2019): Best Film, FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film
  • International Film Festival of Kerala, India (2019): Opening Film
  • Singapore International Film Festival (2019): Special Jury Prize
  • Istanbul Film Festival, Turkey (2019): Best Screenplay (Serhat Karaaslan), Best Editing (Ali Aga)
  • Adana Film Festival, Turkey (2019): Best Editing (Ali Aga), Best Supporting Actress (Füsun Demirel)
  • Ankara Film Festival, Turkey (2019): Best Actor (Berkay Ateş), Best Screenplay (Serhat Karaaslan), Best Supporting Actress (Füsun Demirel), Critics' Award
  • Istanbul Independent Film Festival, Turkey (2019): Jury Special Award
  • SIYAD Turkish Film Critics Association Awards, Turkey (2019): Ahmet Uluçay Award for Best First Film, Best Supporting Actress (Füsun Demirel)
  • Duhok International Film Festival, Iraq (2019): Best Director, Best Script (Serhat Karaaslan)
  • Braunschweig International Film Festival, Germany (2019)
  • Mons International Festival of Love Films, Belgium (2019)
  • Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, France (2019)
  • Taipei Film Festival, Taiwan (2019)
  • Würzburg International Filmweekend, Germany (2020)


Tankut KilincSerhat Karaaslan (1984, Varto) moved to Istanbul to study at the Faculty of Pharmacology at Istanbul University. After his graduation, he made his first short film. He was then accepted to the master's program for Directors of Film & Drama at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. He made two more shorts, Bicycle and Musa, while still studying for master's degree. His short film Ice Cream premiered at the Toronto Film Festival Short Cuts Competition in 2014. His short films won more than 50 awards and screened in major film festivals, including Toronto Locarno, Thessaloniki, Montpellier, and Istanbul.

His debut feature film, Passed by Censor (Cannes Cinéfondation Residence), premiered at the 2019 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it received the critics award, and won several awards at festivals around the world. His latest work is The Criminals, World Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2021 which received Special Jury Award for Screenwriting.

Serhat Karaaslan's films met with Boston Turkish Film Festival's audience through our Documentary and Short Film Competition since the beginning, and received numerous awards:
Bicycle / Bisiklet: Best Short Film Jury and Audience Awards (2010)
Musa: Best Short Film (2012)
Ice Cream / Dondurma: Special Mention (2014)




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