Present Tense
Simdiki zaman
Film Info
Section:New Directors
Premiere Status:Turkey
Year of Prod:2012
Running Time:110
Original Language:Turkish
Awards:New Directors Prize Contender
dir:Belmin Söylemez
prod:Haʂmet Topaloǧlu
scr:Belmin Söylemez
Haʂmet Topaloǧlu
cam:Peter Röhsler
editor:Ali Aga
Belmin Söylemez
mus:Cenker Kokten
cast:Sanem Öge
Senay Aydin
Ozan Bilen
source:Filmbufe Film Production
Gunesli sk. n32/4
FAX: +902122527255
With the threat of eviction from her apartment, Mina (Sanem Öge, recipient of the Best Actress prize at the 2012 Istanbul Film Festival) becomes restless and desperate. She’s unmistakably guarded in speech and demeanor; a slight hesitancy and prudence can be heard in her voice as she calls employers about job openings from a phone booth on the street. By chance, she stumbles across a flyer looking for an experienced fortuneteller. Pretending to be able to decipher a person’s fortune through reading their coffee cup, she lands the job, putting her one step closer to achieving her dream of leaving Turkey for the United States, although it’s not immediately clear whether she’s running from or chasing after something or someone. Through reading the cups of the fortuneteller café’s exclusively female clientele, Mina begins to engage, not just with the inhabitants at her work, but with herself and her past. Playing like a quiet, contemporary melodrama, Present Tense, the narrative feature debut from documentary filmmaker Belmin Söylemez, could quite easily be described as a Turkish “woman’s film,” but it bares its own unique flair, turning the ordinary into something discreetly magical.
-Joseph Bowman
Additional Information

Belmin Söylemez

Born in Istanbul, Belmin Söylemez began directing short films and music videos in 1999. In 2005, she directed her first feature documentary entitled 34 Taxi, which explores Istanbul from the perspective of various taxi rides. Her 2001 short Waves played at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the City to City program. Present Tense is her narrative feature debut.