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‘The Teachers’ Lounge’ Director Ilker Çatak Reteams With Be For Films on ‘Yellow Letters’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Be For Films has boarded “Yellow Letters,” the upcoming project of Ilker Çatak, whose film “The Teachers’ Lounge” is nominated for an Oscar in the international feature film category.

Set to start shooting this summer in Germany, “Yellow Letters” follows an artist couple Derya and Aziz who experiences the arbitrariness of the Turkish state and lose their jobs and livelihood overnight. The trade-off between their ideals and the necessities of life proves to be a challenge for their marriage.

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Be For Films will introduce “Yellow Letters” to buyers at the European Film Market, which kicks off next week.

The film reteams Çatak with Be For Films. The Brussels-based company sold “The Teacher’s Lounge” around the world, including in the U.S. with Sony Pictures Classics. The movie went on to represent Germany in the international feature film race and won a Lola in Gold for best picture at the German Film Awards last year.

“This story is about people who have lost their employment, their social status and their right to exist in Turkish society due to state arbitrariness,” said Çatak, who wrote the screenplay with Ayda Çatak.

“There are a number of artists who are no longer allowed to be in Turkey and I want to give these people a chance and cast our film with actors who are now or soon living in exile,” Çatak continued.

Çatak, who came up with the story idea with Enis Köstepen, said these artists are not allowed to return to Turkey, which means “filmmaking has to go into exile as well.” As a result, the movie will have to shoot in Germany despite the fact that it’s set in Turkey with Turkish actors,” he said.

The movie is being set up as a German-French co-production between If… Productions Film GmbH and Ingo Fliess in Germany, and Carole Scotta at Paris-based Haut et Court. “Yellow Letters” is backed by ZDF/Arte, Alexandra Staib and Barbara Häbe, among others. Alamode will release “Yellow Letters” theatrically.

“At Be For Films, we’re thrilled to embark on yet another creative journey alongside Ilker Çatak and his producer Ingo Fliess,” said Pamela Leu at Be for Films.

“Their confidence in our abilities highlights the strong synergy between us. Together, let’s bring this ambitious project to life and light up the screen with our shared vision and passion,” Leu continued.

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