Pelin Esmer

 // Turkey
 

Caravanserai’s 2013–2014 film residencies showcase Turkish independent filmmaker Pelin Esmer and her award-winning feature Watchtower. A touching personal narrative, Watchtower is the story of a man and a woman who seek refuge from their pasts and the world in the verdant forests of the Turkish countryside. Hiding away from others—one living at a remote forest fire watchtower, the other in a secluded room at a small roadside bus station—their solitude is soon shattered by a series of fateful events. Once their lives collide, they struggle together in a shared test of the human spirit.

Born and raised in Istanbul, writer, director, and independent film producer Pelin Esmer began her career after attending film classes with legendary Turkish director Yavuz Ozkan. While honing her craft as assistant director on several Turkish and foreign projects, she also frequently lectured on documentary filmmaking at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University. In 2005 Esmer founded her own film company, Sinefilm, and currently produces and directs her own projects alongside producing partners Tolga Esmer and Nida Karabol Akdeniz.

Esmer’s first feature documentary, Oyun (The Play), premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2005 and was screened at film festivals around the world, receiving many awards including Best New Documentary Filmmaker at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her first feature, 10 to 11, was one of the six projects chosen by Cannes Film Festival’s Résidence du Cinéfondation in Paris and was an official selection of the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Her second feature film, Watchtower, premiered as an official selection at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and won five awards at the 2012 Adana Golden Boll International Film Festival including Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Cinematography.

Film still from Watchtower
Film still from Watchtower
Film still from Watchtower
Film still from Watchtower
Film still from Watchtower
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Watchtower film trailer
See video
Interview with Pelin Esmer