< Light Millennium: Synopsis of Seeking the Sultan & Profile of Didem Yilmaz
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Portrait of Didem Yilmaz

by Didem YILMAZ


This is a documentary about a Turkish filmmaker struggling to settle down in a new country. She finds herself remembering vivid images of her childhood concerns for the Ottoman Family, ex-rulers of her country who were forcibly expelled in 1924. She begins to research what happened to them and discovers a connection between her desire to seek them out and her own attempts to establish an identity in a new culture. The beginning research offers the chance to introduce some of the historical and geographical facts about Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. After interviewing many Turks living in New York City she discovers a journalist who has made contact with the man who is the head of the Ottoman family. This man would now have been the Sultan if the Ottomans were still in power, and he is living in New York City! But now she has the challenge of arranging a meeting and we follow her through the tribulations of this process. Finally, the filmmaker is able to film "the Sultan" in his home. The film ends with the filmmaker's reflection on how she has not only settled her childhood concerns of what happened to these lost figures of history but how she has also gained some personal insights about adaptation to life's changes.

Profile of Didem YILMAZ

Didem Yilmaz, began her career in 1990 as a journalist. While pursuing her bachelor's degree in Cinema and Television at Anadolu University in Turkey, she became particularly passionate about documentary filmmaking. Her first documentary, "Tevellut 1340", explored the perceptions of "old age" at a retirement home. Her second documentary "Devrim, Eskisehir", was a group project, about the first Turkish-made car and the engineers who built it. Both of these documentaries won numerous awards and prizes from festivals. After graduation, she worked as a producer/ director for a cable television station for two years. She created, produced and directed over 20 programs, with a particular focus children and women. A number of them received awards.

She received her master's degree in Media Studies and Media Management certificate at New School University in New York in 2003. During her education she produced/ directed short films and music videos. She recently produced and directed her thesis project "Seeking the Sultan", on the subject of the Ottoman Family that ruled the Ottoman Empire, before the founding of the Turkish Republic in the 1920's.

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We can bridge enormous changes in our lives

For more information about Didem Yilmaz http://www.newschool.edu/studentaffairs/intheloop/feb03/profile.html
E-mail: dyilmaz1@hotmail.com

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