TURKISH Cypriot director Mahmut Akay’s documentary ‘We’re Home’ is about the Turkish-speaking community living in the UK. Successful director Mahmut Akay, who has achieved significant success abroad, has attracted attention with his new work with the symbolic destruction of the Turkish-speaking demographic that has a large population in the UK. The short film traverses a jumble of Turkish-speaking people living in the UK, capturing the diversity and reflections on their invisibility in the media.
Despite the film’s recent release, ‘We’re Here’ has already been revealed to have been awarded the prestigious Vimeo Staff Pick award. London-born director Mahmut Akay has worked with brands such as Vogue, David Beckham and Wall’s Ice Cream. His movies have been featured in magazines like The Hollywood Reporter, Yahoo, The A.V Club and more.
Akay, who made special statements to the London Gazette about his new movie ‘We’re Here’, used the following statements:
“We’re Here’ was born out of my disenchantment with the British media’s under-representation of the Turkish demographic in the United Kingdom. There’s estimated to be over 700,000 Turkish speaking Brits, yet we seldom see anything about them on the media. If we’re lucky enough see them, then chances are it will probably be about kebab restaurants. The problem with this symbolic annihilation is that it permeates into other areas such as a lack of job opportunities, stereotyping and prejudice. It’s not just about the spotlight but it’s an all-encompassing issue.
My producer Firat and I have spoken about these issues for countless hours and finally decided to make a film about it. Everyone we asked to feature in the film welcomed us to record them with open arms. The positive reaction from the Turkish speaking community made the process even more rewarding for us. Our intention is to try and bring more exposure to this issue and raise enough awareness to bring about changes in the representation of the Turkish demographic on British media. Ultimately, we want this film to tell everyone that; ‘we’re here’.”
Firat Ayas, the producer of the movie ‘We’re Here’, spoke to the London Gazette and stated that they want to reflect the success of Turkish-speaking community members living in the UK through this short film.
“As Mahmut has mentioned, the idea of We’re Here was born from the countless hours of conversations we had in cafes. Conversations about identity, belonging, who are we and what are we? Questions that I have had since my earliest memories as I child growing up in in Tottenham.
With this short film I hope to bring awareness to the hardworking people of Cyprus & Turkey and what they have achieved and continue to achieve through sheer dedication and a relentless work ethic. I want to bring light to their achievements and how they etched a place for themselves in this society that didn’t accept them and I guess is still to a degree blind to their presence and contributions to this beautiful place we call home. They are the proud people who can inspire the future generations and hopefully become positive role models to them.”