Turkish Actor, director, and scriptwriter Muzaffer Özdemir is attending the 37th edition of FIFF as a jury member of the International Competition (Cinema Salvation) Section.
He has worked as a contractor at restorations of historical buildings. He acted in three Nuri Bilge Ceylan films: The Small Town (1997), Clouds of May (1999) and Distant (2002). Özdemir won the Best Actor Award from the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 for his performance in Distant. He wrote and directed his first feature Home in 2011.
A short interview follows:
You’ve studied geological engineering. Why now cinema?
I really liked cinema since I was a kid. But at that time there was no cinema university in Turkey that I could go to study. I studied geology because I liked it too. At the same time I have continued to study and work in cinema.
You’ve acted in three Nuri Bilge Ceylan films. How did it happen?
It happened accidentally. I worked in his first film The Small Town.
How is his style?
His style is very similar to Iranian filmmakers and he let me to improvise.
You won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 for your performance in Distant. Did it change your career as an actor?
No. The prize that I received from Cannes did not have any effect on my acting career.
You are a director as well. What was your motivation to become a director?
There were a few issues that kept my mind busy at the time. So I decided to make movies.
How do you pick your screenplays?
Story is especially important to me. Overall, the film’s atmosphere is very important.
What is your take on Iranian cinema?
We are the people who feed on Iranian cinema. The cinema industry in other countries may have good and creative films, but Iranian cinema is closer to our moods and feelings.
What kind of movie can attract you as a jury?
I think the universal perspective of its director is very important and decisive.
Presided over by award-winning writer and director Seyyed Reza Mirkarimi, the 37th Fajr International Film Festival is underway in Tehran until April 26. For further information, please visit our website at www.fajriff.com.