Boston Turkish Film and Music Festival5th ANNUAL BOSTON TURKISH FILM FESTIVAL SM
March 30 - April 28, 2006

BOATS OUT OF WATERMELON RINDS ( Karpuz Kabugundan Gemiler Yapmak )

New England Premiere

In Memoriam: Ahmet Ulucay (1954 - 2009)

Directed and written by Ahmet Ulucay

Cast: İsmail Hakki Taslak, Kadir Kaymaz, Gulayse Erkoc, Boncuk Yilmaz, Hasbiye Gunay, Mustafa Coban, Fizuli Caferov, Ahmet Ulucay, Aysel Yilmaz
2004, 101 minutes
In Turkish with English subtitles  
Screening Date: Friday - March 31, 2006 at 8 p.m.  


Festivals and Awards:

  • Seattle International Film Festival, Official Selection (2005)
  • Cologne TV and Film Festival (2005)
  • Ankara International Film Festival, Best Feature Film (2005)
  • SIYAD Film Critics Association, Best Film, Best Director, Best Script (2005)
  • Tribeca Film Festival, Competition for Narrative Features (2005) 
  • Tromso International Film Festival, Norway (2005)
  • Black Sea Film Festival, Best Director and Best Debut Film (2005)
  • Olympia Film Festival (2005)
  • London Turkish Film Festival (2004)
  • International Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece. International Competition: Jury Mention (2004)
  • San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spain. New Director Award Section: Special Jury Prize (2004)
  • Toronto International Film Festival, Discovery Section (2004)
  • Vienna International Film Festival (2004)
  • International Istanbul Film Festival: Best Film in National Competition (2004)
  • Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival: Best Feature Film (2004)
  • Orhan Ariburnu Award: Best Feature Film (2004)



In this autobiographical debut feature, Ahmet Ulucay captures the infinite joys of childhood and the magical hold of cinema on two young boys living in Tepecik, a small Anatolian village, where Ulucay still lives. Working with a watermelon vendor and a barber by day, and trying to build a film projector by night, Recep and Mehmet dream of changing their lives by becoming famous film directors. The village idiot, Deli Omer, is the sole witness to their exuberant nocturnal labors and simple longings. But things begin to change when Recep falls for Nihal. Life, echoing the complicated plot twists of his beloved films, turns out to be quite complicated, as Recep’s feelings are not reciprocated by Nihal, but by her younger sister.

“Self-taught director Ahmet Ulucay persisted for more than a decade to fulfill his dream of making an autobiographical film about his youth in Turkey. The result of his perseverance and ingenuity is the absolutely charming Boats out of Watermelon Rinds, a return to the romance, vigor and sweet dreams of adolescence… Shot entirely on digital video and transferred to 35mm, Boats out of Watermelon Rinds is lushly painted with inspired plays of color and a keen eye for landscape; it conjures up a time and place far away, but somehow completely familiar. This is an infatuating, prodigious debut and a stirring tribute to a lifelong love of the cinema.” -- Dimitri Eipides, Toronto International Film Festival

“The undoubted discovery of 2004’s Istanbul Film Festival, Boats out of Watermelon Rinds is an autobiographical charmer by first-time helmer Ulucay, evoking early teen dreams about girls and movies. Although the combo of first love and movie obsession is hardly new, writer-director Ulucay brings an engaging flavor to the material, aided by an acute sense of period and setting, plus tip-top performances by the whole cast.” -- Variety


About the Director: Ahmet Ulucay

Ahmet ULUCAY was born in 1954 in Tepecik, a village close to Tavsanli, Turkey, and lived there for most of his life. He was passionate about moving pictures since childhood, dreaming of becoming a director one-day. He made award-winning short films for the last 15 years. Boats Out Of Watermelon Rinds was his first feature length film. Ahmet Ulucay passed away on November 30, 2009 after a long illness.
Boats Out Of Watermelon Rinds (Karpuz Kabugundan Gemiler Yapmak, 2004)  
          Festivals and Awards 
The First Morning of Bairam in Our Village (Short, 1999)
Picture of the Feature Film (Short, 1999)
          2nd Cine 5 Short Film Competition, Third Prize
Sea Shell in the Steppe (Screenplay, 1998)
          3rd Esra Film-Kombassan Foundation Script Competition, Best Script
Epileptic Film (Short, 1998)
          10th Ankara International Film Festival, Best Film
Pearl in under the Water (Short, 1996)
          2nd Antalya International Short Film Festival, International Special Jury Prize
          18th Istanbul International Short Film Days, Third Prize
Dream in Microcosmos (Short, 1995)
          7th Ankara International Film Festival, Special Jury Prize
          2nd Cine5 Short Film Competition, Special Jury Prize
          17th Istanbul International Short Film Days, Animation Award
Middle of Our Village is a Movie Theatre (Short, 1995)
          7th Ankara International Film Festival, Best Film
          Ministry of Culture, Honorary Prize
Making Wings from Crutches (Short, 1994)
          6th Ankara International Film Festival, Second Prize
Optical Dreams (Short, 1994)
          6th Ankara International Film Festival, Special Prize


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