Archive of films SIVAS / SIVAS

Turkey / Germany
2014, 97 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2015

Could this story about a boy and his dog differ more from the gentle tale of the famed dog Lassie? Kaan Müjdeci’s feature debut, set in Turkey’s rough and isolated central Anatolia, earned two awards at Venice.


Getting along with Aslan is a tough proposition, but that seems appropriate enough for a boy whose name means lion. At age 11, Aslan is no longer an adorable child forgiven for every peccadillo, but neither is he a teenager able to entertain feelings of basic responsibility. Aslan feels wronged when his teacher assigns him the part of a dwarf in his school’s presentation of Snow White. Fortunately, he is temporarily able to unwind at the local dog fights. There he witnesses the defeat of an old scrapper named Sivas, who is then left to die in the mud by his disappointed owner. And, of course, Aslan saves Sivas’ life. Yet he doesn’t consider the pooch his new best friend, more as a means of gaining respect. SIVAS is German-based Turkish director Kaan Müjdeci’s feature debut. His forte is revealed in his ability to transform individual scenes into eloquent, deftly composed film images. Moreover, SIVAS is engaging for the mood of authenticity engendered by the harsh Anatolian winter. The director also succeeded in casting superior child nonactors and (it goes without saying) the excellent dog who plays Sivas.

Šimon Šafránek

About the director

Kaan Müjdeci

Kaan Müjdeci (Yozgat, Turkey) moved to Berlin in 2003 in order to study film direction. Instead, however, he first opened an illegal open-air movie theater, a bar, and a fashion boutique. At the same time, he continued filmmaking. The short movie Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit, 2010) was bought by several TV channels, while his school film Jerry (2011) was presented as part of the Berlinale Talent Campus. The documentary Fathers and Sons (Babalar ve Oğulları, 2011), about central Anatolian dog fighting, later served as a springboard for writing his feature debut SIVAS. The picture screened at the Venice festival where it won a Special Jury Prize and the Bisato d’Oro Award for best actor (Doğan İzci).


Coloured Giraffes
Oranienstr. 34, 10999, Berlin
Tel: +49 163 861 8591, +493 061 659 002
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Kaan Müjdeci
Screenplay: Kaan Müjdeci
Dir. of Photography: Armin Dierolf, Martin Hogsnes Solvang
Music: Cevdet Erek
Editor: Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Art Director: Meral Efe Yurtsever, Emre Yurtsever
Producer: Yasin Müjdeci
Production: Coloured Giraffes
Coproduction: Kaan Film
Cast: Doğan İzci, Ozan Celik, Muttalip Müjdeci, Okan Avci
Contact: Coloured Giraffes


Kaan Müjdeci


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