Archive of films Istanbul United / Istanbul United

Germany / Czech Republic / Turkey / Switzerland
2014, 90 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2014

If the fans of the three biggest football rivals in Istanbul – Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, and Beşiktaş – were to meet, the resulting mix would be highly explosive. But last year’s mass demonstrations in Turkey disrupted the normal routine. What did the most fanatical football fans think? Will the sworn enemies join together in their common fight?


Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, and Beşiktaş – the three biggest football clubs in Istanbul, rivals come hell or high water. The fans of each team are united by a boundless love for their home club and an indescribably rancorous hatred toward the other two. But last year’s mass demonstrations in Turkey disrupted the normal routine. After the brutal police crackdown, the original disagreement with the renovation of Taksim Square grew into a nationwide statement of opposition to the direction the country was headed in. When the time came for the greatest courage, the core of the three irreconcilable fan clubs stood at the head of the march. Will sworn enemies join together in their common fight? The moving audiovisual component places us in the midst of tumultuous street scenes that create a striking parallel to the abrasive atmosphere of Turkish football stadiums. Moreover, this highly emotive documentary contemplates the mentality of Turks and football ultras, also demonstrating how quickly a fervent desire for open protests can evaporate.

About the director

Olli Waldhauer, Farid Eslam Olli Waldhauer, Farid Eslam

Olli Waldhauer lives and works in Cologne and Tel Aviv. He has been directing and producing commercials, music videos, and documentary films for 13 years. His 2012 documentary portrait of a world-renowned oncologist was an international success. Waldhauer’s work is focused on contemporary society, music, and football. He always tries to get as close as possible to his subjects while presenting a visually powerful story. He has been a die-hard football fan for many years. stanbul United is his feature-length documentary debut. Farid Eslam, originally from Frankfurt, lives and works in Prague, where he graduated from FAMU. He, too, has had a lot of experience working on commercials, award-winning videos, and documentaries which have taken him around Europe and the Middle East. He is currently planning his second feature-length documentary, Yallah! Underground, about underground Arab culture.


Nippes Yard Productions GmbH & Co. KG
Neusser Straße 296-298, 50733, Cologne
Tel: +49 221 222 813 11
Fax: +49 221 222 813 15
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP
International premiere

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Olli Waldhauer, Farid Eslam
Screenplay: Olli Waldhauer, Farid Eslam
Dir. of Photography: Paul Rossaint
Editor: Fridolin Körner, Jörg Offer
Producer: Olli Waldhauer, Tina Schöpkewitz, Farid Eslam, Jan Krüger
Production: Nippes Yard Productions GmbH & Co. KG, Mind Riot Media s.r.o., PORT-AU-PRINCE Film & Kulturproduktion GmbH
Coproduction: Taskovski Films Productions, PiXiU Films GMBH, VOX Pictures, SAM
Contact: Nippes Yard Productions GmbH & Co. KG


Farid Eslam

Film Director, Producer

Olli Waldhauer

Film Director

Tanja Georgieva-Waldhauer


Tina Schöpkewitz


Jan Krüger

Distributor, Producer

Fridolin Körner

Film Editor

Paul Roissant

Director of Photography

Laura Daniel

Film Institution Rep.

Catherine Ann Berger

Film Institution Rep.


© 2023 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. [email protected] +420 221 411 011 All contacts

AccommodationsAccommodations Festival Pass, tickets, reservationsFestival Pass, tickets
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days Programme 2021Industry Days Programme KVIFF Eastern PromisesKVIFF Eastern Promises
VideogalleryVideogallery PhotogalleryPhotogallery
ContactsContacts Posters of the 57th KV IFFPosters of the 57th KV IFF
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide