Eren Aybars Arpacık: A documentary filmmaker seeks truth

Women living in Etrim Village of Bodrum have been weaving carpets for generations. Grandma Gülsüm, 87, is connected to life with the carpet that she has woven. While her 65-year-old daughter Ummuhan carries the burden of the house but she gets rid of all her troubles when she takes over the carpet bench. Ummuhan’s Daughter Belgin, took care of her 3 daughters at the age of 32. She teaches her daughters to weave carpets. These 3 women are closely tied together like the carpets they weave.

What are the most formidable challenges inherent to the profession of filmmaking?

A documentary filmmaker carries the burden of truth. This is a burden that burns the bearer like fire. Because most of the time the truth is painful. That’s why no one wants to pay for the truth.

Could you elaborate on the wellspring of your creative inspiration for this particular short film?

The wellspring of my creative inspiration is Bodrum, where the story of the documentary takes place. The life of the local people living in the interior of the peninsula is inspiring. These people were able to preserve their local characteristics
The Golden Girls of Etrim | Poster
Eren Aybars Arpacık

Could you elucidate on the central thematic underpinning of your film?

There are three women at the core of my documentary. The trinity also corresponds to a mythological archetype which known as three grace. They are complete, meaningful and whole within themselves.

How do you navigate the task of strategizing cost-effective promotional efforts when operating within a constrained budget?

Film Festivals are the starting point of this process. The awards received during this journey, the professionals we met, and the audience who liked my documentary are the positive outcomes of this promotion process.

In today's dynamic marketplace, how pivotal do you consider the role of film distribution?

Reaching more audiences sounds good to me as a director.

For individuals contemplating the path of self-distribution, what counsel or insights can you offer?

I advise people not to ignore the importance and impact of film festivals. They should send their films not only to the film festivals of their own country but also to the film festivals of other countries. This is now very easy with websites like Filmfreeway and also enjoyable process in itself.

In your estimation, what level of significance do short films hold for aspiring filmmakers seeking to embark on a career in directing?

Those who make short films have already embark on a career in directing. It is very important for a director to see that she/he is able to achieve in the final cut of the film what she/he intended to do on the film set. Short films are also the best way to gain this habit.

Reflecting on your professional journey thus far, could you share an instance of the most formidable challenge you encountered and how you surmounted it?

I produced cave documentaries. While making these films, I confronted the most basic human fears which is dark, narrow space and acrophobia. Under these conditions, I had to produce quality and meaningful work while ensuring my own and equipment safety. I achieved this thanks to good teammates.

What, in your view, are the critical factors that contribute to the creation of a cinematic masterpiece?

The most critical factor is your dedication to your film and your profession and a team that is committed to the film with you. . Also, as a director, you need to be able to combine the entire film in your mind while shooting it. Also mythology is a source that the storyteller must know.

If you could revisit the inception of your career, are there any aspects or decisions you would choose to alter in hindsight?

It’s hard to say, but there were days when I wished I had never gotten into this profession. But there are many decisions in this process that I am glad I made. One should focus on “I’m glad I did it” rather than regrets.
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