wednesday 26 march


(Benim Çocuğum)

(dir Can Candan, Turkey, 2013, 82 min, Turkish w/English subtitles)

Through weekly meetings in their Istanbul homes, parents of LGBT children share their struggles, interrogating the meaning of parenthood, family, and activism in contemporary Turkish society. Official selection, Montreal Film Festival.

The director Can Candan and co-producer Hasan Metehan Özkan will be present for Q&A.

Event made possible with support from The Center for the Study of the Middle East at Indiana University.

UPDATE: My Child celebrates its New York premiere on May 18, presented by the New York Turkish Film Festival and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. [More...]

screening with



(dir Tanju Özdemir, Turkey, 2013, 6 min, b/w, no dialogue)

A widow’s quotidian life brushes against the infinite in this spare yet lush short film. The director will be present for Q&A.



(dir Bade Uysaler, Turkey, 2013, 15 min, in Turkish and Kurdish with English subtitles)

An allusive portrait of destruction and renewal, filmed in the wake of Turkey’s campaign of village evacuations as a response to the ‘Kurdish problem.’ The director will be present for Q&A.

Introduction by Emir Benli, UMass.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management



“What these parents have been able to do in a very short amount of time in Turkey is something that activists struggle to do for years of political activity. In this basic struggle for human rights, we have a lot to learn from these courageous and inspiring parents.” — Can Candan [Official website] | Event poster]

Event made possible with support from The Center for the Study of the Middle East at Indiana University.

CSMI Indiana University


screening with...


“A cup of life in my hands, a bitter taste on my lips, looking for my water.” — Tanju Özdemir


Set against the backdrop of Van Lake and the majestic mountains of Eastern Anatolia, Sansara traces chapters in the lives of a group of Kurdish villagers who were violently displaced from their villages several decades ago and are migrating back. [IMDb]

Can Candan bio [view/hide]

Photo of Can CandanCAN CANDAN is a documentary filmmaker and an academician. He holds a BA from Hampshire College in film and video, and an MFA from Temple University in film and media  arts. His works have been screened internationally at festivals, conferences, in galleries and on television. His documentaries include Boycott Coke (1989), Exodus (1991), DuvarlarMauernWalls (2000), 3 Hours (2008). He has taught film and video courses and workshops in universities and media education centers in the United States and Turkey. From 2000-2005, he was a faculty member, department chair and director of the MA program at Istanbul Bilgi University’s Film and TV department. From 2005-2009, he taught at Sabancı University and, since 2007, holds a faculty appointment at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. He is also a founding member of docIstanbul - Center for Documentary Studies. My Child is his third feature documentary film.

Hasan Metehan Özkan bio [view/hide]

Photo of Hasan Metehan ÖzkanHASAN METEHAN ÖZKAN graduated from Marmara University’s Department of Political Sciences and International Relations in 1998. He received his MBA from Yeditepe University and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology there. Between 1996-2000 he worked for the Istanbul Office of International Immigration Organization of the United Nations. Later, he was involved in Civil Involvement Projects of Sabanci University. He is writing his dissertation on the families of LGBT individuals, which is at the core of the organization LISTAG (Families of LGBTs in Istanbul), where he works as a volunteer.

VIDEO: My Child trailer [view/hide]
Tanju Özdemir bio [view/hide]

TANJU OZDEMIR is a Turkish filmmaker, photographer and scriptwriter living and working in Amherst. He received a B.S. in physics from Bogazici University in Istanbul. After working as a design manager for an international company, he eventually turned to developing a career in filmmaking. He has been shooting photos as a photographer for seven years and writing short film scripts for three years. He serves as a volunteer for the organizational committee of LATFF (Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival). He is currently in the application process for several graduate programs in filmmaking for fall 2014.

Bade Uysaler bio [view/hide]

BADE UYSALER is currently a Political Science Doctoral student and teaching associate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is a native of Istanbul, Turkey where she grew up. A nomad in spirit, Bade has traveled expensively in the past decade and held positions in the public sector, private sector, academia and the civil society. It was during her recent post in a non-governmental organization where she co-designed and oversaw the implementation of a rural development program that she shot the footage for her film, Sansara. Bade’s first film, Sansara premiered at the Boston International Film Festival in April 2013.

VIDEO: Sansara trailer [view/hide]
Emir Benli bio [view/hide]

EMIR BENLI, a native of Istanbul, Turkey, received his B.A in English Language and Literature from Bogazici University, where he also worked in the Mithat Alam Film Center and wrote articles for the film magazine Altyazi.  He is currently a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at UMass completing his dissertation entitled “Subjects of Fatih Akin’s Melodramas: A Genealogical Reading through the Films of R.W. Fassbinder, Yilmaz Guney and Atif Yilmaz.”   In addition to German film and literature, his research interests include adaptation and film studies, particularly with regard to national and transnational cinemas and within the context of Turkish and Kurdish cinema.  He has recently served in an advisory capacity for Turkish and Kurdish film projects in pre- and post-production stages, and as a collaborator with several festival organizations, including the 1st International Conference in Kurdish Cinema.