Short Documentary, 15 minutes. Language: Turkish, Subtitles: English. Director / Producer / Editor : Müge Bayraktar
Synopsis: Globalization has certainly some effects on culture in any developing country. Is it an outcome of globalization that American football is now played in Turkiye? Is it cultural development or cultural destruction? The Sultans of the Bosphorus takes a close look at the cultural interaction through American football in Turkiye.
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Cinematography: Sinan Muter
Sound: Sarp Çölgeçen / Sinan Muter
Post Production Coordinator: Barış Özkaya
Project Advisor: Ayhan Sümer
Cast: Members of the American Football team of the Bosphorus University, Istanbul
THE ALOHA ACCOLADE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILMMAKING, Honolulu International Film Festival, Hawaii USA 2010
BEST FOREIGN SHORT, Canada International Film Festival, Vancouver Canada 2010
MENTION D'HONNEUR World FICTS Challenge “SPORT & SOCIETY” section, Milano International FICTS Festival, Milan Italy 2009
WINNER “SPORT & SOCIETY” section, Beijing International FICTS Festival, China 2009
International Festival Sports Movies, Official Selection, Moscow Russia 2010
DocMiami International Film Festival, Official Selection, Miami USA 2010
Queens International Film Festival, Official Selection, New York USA 2009
Newport Beach Film Festival, Official Selection, Los Angeles, California USA 2009
Istanbul International Short Film Festival, Special Selection, Istanbul Turkiye 2008
International 1001 Documentary Film Festival, Official Selection, Istanbul Turkiye 2008
International Izmir Short Film Festival, Official Selection, Izmir Turkiye 2008
Middle East Technical University Short Film Festival, Official Selection, Ankara Turkiye 2008
Celebrating Diversity in Culture: The Sultans of the Bosphorus
(Published on www.movingpicturesmagazine.com in April 2009.)
I used to wonder how many of us really think about the cultural changes happening around us in our everyday lives. It happens very slowly but profoundly which makes it hard to notice. For sure, globalization recently made the process quicker and wider. The fact of “globalization in culture” could be seen and perceived from different angels depending upon which country and culture you live in: From the developing countries point of view it’s a matter of cultural changes which eventually diversifies their way of living. From the developed countries perspective, it is to be aware of what has been going on along with the globalization process which wipes out the boundaries. Above all, for everyone on Earth, it is an inevitable fact whether they realize it or not.
Although my mind was busy with all these thoughts, I actually was not planning to make a film out of it. The bell rang when I noticed the young Sultans: The American football players of Bogazici University in Istanbul. Just by chance, I had the opportunity to watch them training. I’m not much of a sports person, to be honest. So, I was not paying attention to what they were doing but was quite interested in why they were doing it. Later during the game, I observed only a bunch of spectators, but no sponsors, no TV cameras. Obviously, the equipment was not good enough. It wasn’t hard to guess that it was not the proper field for the game. But it was impossible not to notice the dedication of the players. The brilliant students of that prestigious university seemed to spend all their spare time for this sport. After a quick search I found out that most of the people in Turkey were not aware that American football has been played in the country for quite a while. On the other hand, many in the know were criticizing the players for being American imitators. If they are only imitating, what is the rest of the country doing? At that point, the film flashed through my imagination even though I had no idea where the Sultans would lead the matter at the interviews.
As a documentary filmmaker I was only hoping to bring a fact into the picture and invite the audience to the awareness. How is globalization changing our culture? Even though we can neither change nor control the reality, we can at least have the privilege and the honor of being conscious.