Monday, Dec 24, 2007
A Turkish-American actor who has been residing in the United States for more than 20 years has said, if our presence in Hollywood becomes established, no one will be able to do movies like Midnight Express that upset us
Murad Demira?, known as Alex Demir in the United States, is the only American actor of Turkish origins to make it big in Hollywood.
My manager told me when Hollywood casting directors and filmmakers see the name Murad Demira?, they are not even going to consider you as a possibility for anything other than a role as an Arab terrorist or some foreign guy who has an accent, said Demir, explaining why he adopted a stage name.
Demir, who appeared in movies like Smart Money, Sweet Underground, Three Wise Women," "Talk to Taka, was speaking at the Turkish Cultural Center (TCC) in New York over the weekend.
If we, the Turks, are strong in Hollywood that is the most effective way to inform the American public as well as the world about our causes, he said.
Starting on off-'Broadway
Demir, born and raised in New York, lived in the Bronx until his family moved to upstate New York. After graduating with a degree in political science he began taking acting classes at H.B. Studios and taking parts in off-Broadway plays.
Later, Demir moved to Los Angeles where his film career started to soar. As well as movies he took roles in some of the most watched TV shows in the U.S., like Diagnosis Murder, V.I.P., Silk Stalkings, Brooklyn South, The Young and The Restless and Passions.
The reason why I wanted to talk at the Turkish Cultural Center is because I believe if the number of Turks in Hollywood increases, then we will have a chance to talk about the topics that are important for our country. After many years Turkey is still trying to change the image created by Midnight Express,' Demir said, adding, I will do my best in helping Turkish actors to become successful in Hollywood.
The 1978 movie Midnight Express is based on Billy Hayes' book of the same name, adapted for screen by Oliver Stone. Hayes was a young American student sent to a Turkish prison for attempting to smuggle cannabis out of Turkey. The film deviates from the book, especially in its portrayal of Turks, to such a level that many have criticized the movie version, including Hayes himself.
Later both Oliver Stone and Billy Hayes expressed their regret about how Turkish people were portrayed in the movie.
Demir said he rejected the role of a Turkish general who betrays Americans that was offered by the TV show NCIS last year: Although my managers were really upset that I turned down the offer, in principle I cannot take a role that is anti-Turkish.
Demir a role model
Demir, as a second generation Turkish-American, is a role model to many others in the community, the executive directors of the TCC said in explaining why they invited Demir to speak.
The TCC, a non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of Turkish Culture and Language in New York, works to bring successful Turkish-Americans to the forefront.
Demir said he would like a role in a Turkish movie one day. However the actor has not been in Turkey for over 20 years and now speaks Turkish with a broken accent. Drawing attention to this himself he said he should strengthen his Turkish immediately, adding that the new Turkish American generation should have a command of Turkish as well as English.
Saturday, Jun 23, 2012
The Second "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival" launches at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 for a one-week celebration of Kazakh cinema and culture, including musicians.
The festival is a stellar opportunity for directors, producers, location scouts, and the general public to get an understanding and appreciation of this exotic locale without leaving home.
Sweeping from the Caspian Sea on its Russian border to the Altai Mountain range on the Chinese border, Kazakhstan has a rich nomadic history as well as a powerful current tapestry of cultures. Since gaining independence in 1991, the Central Asian Republic has embraced its remarkable filmmaking past that dates back to the 1930's, when Sergei Eisenstein made his classic Ivan the Terrible in this mystic land, and has even given rise to several "New Wave" movements.
Opening night on Aug. 3rd begins with a reception at 7 pm, and includes a program of live entertainment until 11 pm, at the DGA Theater.
Sponsored by Kazakh Geographic Society (KazGeo.kz ), helixfilmsinc.com , the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Los Angeles, the festival includes Advisory Board Members Steven-Charles Jaffe (GHOST, K19), David Marconi (Screenwriter, ENEMY OF THE STATE), and Ambassador Erlan Idrissov.
Tickets cost $10 (including free parking) can be purchased from the festivals website. "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival 2012" will be held Aug. 3 - 9 at the Directors Guild of America on 7920 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, California
For more information, please see www.kazakhfestival.com - KazakhFilmFestLA@gmail.com
Source : HelixFilmsInc.com
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The 65th Festival de Cannes drew to a close tonight with the closing awards ceremony hosted by Academy Award nominated actress Berenice Bejo.
The top prize was captured yet again by Michael Haneke for his portrait of an elderly couple Amour. This is the second time he has bested Jacques Audiard who was also in competition with De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone). Haneke becomes one of the few two-time Palme d'Or winners alongside Alf Sjoberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and only the second after August to win with consecutive films his previous Palme d'Or was for his 2009 film Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon).
Matteo Garrone picked up his second Grand Prix for his film Reality. Previously, he had won in 2008 for Gomorrah.
The surprise winner for the Jury Prize was Ken Loach with The Angels' Share. He previously won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Another previous Palme d'Or winner won Best Screenplay. Cristian Mungiu who made 4 luni, 3 săptămâni ?i 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) returned with După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), and it also shared the Best Actress for its stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.
In spite of the heavy American representation in the selection, the only American film to win a prize was Benh Zeitlin's Un Certain Regard entry Beasts of the Southern Wild which won the Camera d'Or for first film. Last night, it had won the FIPRESCI international critics' prize.
Complete list of winners for the 65th Festival de Cannes
Amour, Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria)
Reality, Matteo Garrone (Italy-France)
The Angels' Share, Ken Loach (U.K.-France-Belgium-Italy)
Carlos Reygadas, Post tenebras lux (Light After Darkness) (Mexico-France-Germany-Netherlands)
Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Mads Mikkelsen, Jagten (The Hunt) (Denmark-Sweden)
Cristian Mungiu, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (U.S.)
PALME D'OR FOR BEST SHORT FILM
SESSYZ-BE DENG (SILENCE), REZAN YE?YLBA?
Source : www.ensonhaber.com