Photo: A Thousand Girls Like Me

UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub is launching, with Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul and Koç University, a 3-part film series to explore complex social issues from around the world through the lens of compelling stories.

The ReelLife Film Series will feature screenings of documentary and fiction films, followed by discussions with the filmmakers, UNDP experts and academics from Istanbul universities.

“As everyday citizens and audiences, we are inundated by and oversaturated with information but our knowledge is often limited. Films can move us into new and deeper understanding of issues by exploring social issues through people’s experiences,” said Gerd Trogeman, the Manager of UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub.

The films will include “A Thousand Girls like Me”, the story of a young Afghan woman who was sexually abused as a child and is seeking justice and health, braving taboos and social norms. The second movie will be “Survivors”, an intimate portrait of Sierra Leone seen through the lens of the Ebola outbreak. Finally, viewers will get a chance to see “Saf”, a story of displacement amid the changing landscape of Istanbul.

*** About the movies ***

27 February: A Thousand Girls Like Me

(2018, Sahra Mani, 80 min, Persian with English subtitles)

An Afghan young woman was abused by her father since she was four. She had 1 child, 2 miscarriages and is pregnant with her 4th child when she goes to the law to seek justice. Her family and community blame her.

Discussion with Sahra Mani, Filmmaker; Bharati Sadasivam, UNDP Gender Equality Expert; Ayşen Ufuk Sezgin, Professor, Istanbul University Department of Forensic Medicine

25 April:  Survivors

(2018, Arthur Pratt, Ana Fitch, Banker White, 90 min, English)

An unflinching look through the eyes of a Sierra Leonean filmmaker presents an intimate portrait of the country through the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the sociopolitical turmoil that lies in its wake.

Discussion with Arthur Pratt, Filmmaker; Rosemary Kumwenda, UNDP Health and HIV Expert; Önder Ergönül, MD, MPH, Professor of Infectious Diseases, and İlker Kayı, MD, DPH, Department of Public Health, Koç University School of Medicine

22 May: Saf

(2018, Ali Vatansever, 102 min)

A young Turkish couple is being pushed out of their neighborhood. Looking for work at the construction site, the man undercuts the local workers but is undercut by Syrian immigrants himself. A look at the human cost of urban renewal in a time of economic uncertainty and burgeoning migration. 

Discussion with Ali Vatansever, Filmmaker; Ela Başak Atakan, Professor, Koç University’s Media and Visual Arts Department.

All screenings and discussions will be in English and held at ANAMED, Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, İstiklal Cad. Merkez Han No:181, Istanbul.

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