Boston Turkish Film and Music Festival11th ANNUAL BOSTON TURKISH FILM FESTIVAL SM
March 22 - April 28, 2012

Somersault in a Coffin - Tabutta Rovasata

Turkish Film Classics


Tabutta Rövaşata

Written and Directed by Derviş Zaim

Cast: Ahmet Uğurlu, Tuncel Kurtiz, Ayşen Aydemir

1996 / 76 min. / with English subtitles


Sunday, April 1, 2012, 3:15 p.m.

Alfond Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston


The winter nights are bitter cold in Istanbul, and Mahsun steals food and cars in an attempt to survive. A gritty portrait of Istanbul, the film captures a mood of frustration and disenchantment with authority, and questions what constitutes a crime.



  • Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey (1997): Special Prize of the Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
  • Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, France (1997): Critics' Award, Golden Antigone Special Mention
  • Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece (1997): Silver Alexander Prize, Best Actor
  • San Francisco International Film Festival, USA (1998): SKYY Prize
  • Torino International Festival of Young Cinema, Italy (1997): Jury Special Prize, Audience Award
  • Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Turkey (1996): Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Ahmet Uğurlu), Best Editing
  • Ankara International Film Festival, Turkey (1997): Best Actor (Ahmet Uğurlu)


Dervis ZaimDerviş Zaim was educated at Namık Kemal Lyceé and graduated in Business Administration from Bogazici University in 1988. He attended a course in independent film production in London and made an experimental video, Hang the Camera (1991). He subsequently wrote, produced and directed numerous television programs starting with the documentary Rock around the Mosque (1993). He completed his masters degree in Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick in 1994. His first novel, Ares in Wonderland (1995), won the prestigious Yunus Nadi literary prize in Turkey. Somersault in a Coffin (Tabutta Rövaşata, 1996) was his debut as director and screenwriter, which won many awards and brought the director international recognition. It was followed by two other award-winning films at international festivals; Elephants and Grass (Filler ve Çimen, 2000) and Mud (Çamur, 2003). Derviş Zaim co-directed the documentary Parallel Trips (2004) with Panicos Chrysanthou, in which the two directors, from opposite sides of the divided island of Cyprus, recorded the human dramas that unfolded during the war of 1974 and the legacy that remains today. He later produced the Greek Cypriot director's fictional feature debut Akamas (2006) about a love affair between a Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot. Zaim also made a trilogy of films, themed around Ottoman arts, consisting of Waiting for Heaven (Cenneti Beklerken, 2006), Dot (Nokta, 2008), and Shadows and Faces (2010). Derviş Zaim also teaches at Bilgi University and Bogazici University.

Derviş Zaim was presented the Boston Turkish Film Festival Excellence in Turkish Cinema Award in 2011, and the first retrospective of his films in North America was co-presented by the Boston Turkish Film Festival and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2012.



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