Colors of Turkey

Festival Program

Contemporary Turkish Documentaries

Directed and written by Tolga Örnek 
Narrated by Jeremy Irons 
with Sam Neill
2004, 120 minutes
In English
Friday, November 25, 2005 at 9:00pm
Harvard Film Archive
Main Auditorium
Carpenter Center for the Arts 








Gallipoli is unique in world history: it is not just a battle; it is also an epic tale of courage, self-sacrifice and stubborn endurance. It is also a story of enemies who displayed mutual respect during the battle and who became friends after it. No battle has forged such strong comradeship and everlasting peace in its aftermath. On the shores of Gallipoli, Australia and New Zealand became nations and Turkey embarked on its journey to become a republic from the ruins of an empire. The documentary revolves around few soldiers: Turks, Anzacs, and British. It traces their lives before, during, and after the war, but particularly during. The whole battle, its effects on world history, the general strategy and the leaders of both sides are portrayed around the personal stories of these six soldiers.
Tolga Örnek has written, produced, and directed six major documentary films both in English and his native language of Turkish. His first feature length documentary, Atatürk, on the founder and first president of Turkey has received third place in the US International Film and Video Festival and was a finalist in the San Diego International Film Festival. The film has been screened in more than 45 universities in the United States and has been broadcast on SBS Australia, SCN Saskatchewan Television (Canada), AB Sat (French-speaking Europe), UAE (pan-Middle East) HISTORIA CA, and Planeta-BECA (Spain). 
In 2000, he directed a 52-minute English language documentary entitled Mount Nemrud: The Throne of the Gods which traced the story of the most spectacular ancient monument in Turkey. The film has won first place in the history/biography category of the US International Film and Video Festival in Chicago and the Avsa Film Festival in Turkey. It also received the RAI Television Award in Torento Film Festival in Italy. This film has been sold to CNN-TURK in Turkey, Discovery Channel in Canada, RAI in Italy, ZDF in Germany, and Portugal and Spain.
In 2003 he wrote, produced and directed, The Hittites, a two-hour docu-drama narrated by Jeremy Irons, which has become the first documentary to be theatrically released in Turkey. The film has been broadcast on or sold to Channel 5-UK, Discovery Europe, ABC-Australia, FoxTel-Australia, and RAI 3 Italy.