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London meets Istanbul


By Ceylan Hassan

We meet at a bus stop near Shoreditch and after a warm embrace make our way to find somewhere to talk. A pub cross lounge- the dictionary to be precise is our destination and after relaxing on the back couches, I ask a very talented young man about his documentary.

Shot in the heart of Turkey and one of the worlds most beautiful cities, Kudret, 20, tells me about his journey of filming it and just how passionate he is about film and directing.

“The documentary itself was set as a project at university, however the brief was to the base the topic on either your best friend, your other life or personal identity.

I couldn’t really decide on one so I thought why not bring them all together. Going to Istanbul to film it was of course not just the main purpose, but also to go on holiday and through the footage you can see the personal side to it.”

Where did you stay? What did you film?

“I was staying in Kadikoy, but there’s only so much you can see and of course capture on film in a week, honestly I didn’t want to leave.

We visited Galata Kulesi, Aya Sofya, Sultanahmet, of course Taksim Square and the famous street there Istiklal Caddesi. I remember at one point I lifted the camera above my head and the view as so many people rushed by as well as the tram passing was amazing- it was like walking down London’s Regent Street.”

His comparison is a reflection of how I like to interpret Istanbul and London’s relationship, unfortunately in my eyes – it’s without the manners. Kudret speaks with such pride about his work I have no problem in staying fixated on what he’s telling me, it’s relaxed making it all the more easier to talk.

“Filming was such an experience, I fell in love with Istanbul, not to be biased, but I honestly found it such a beautiful city. There was so much to see and it’s impossible to see it all in a week.”

There’s music in the background yet our vibe is a one on one relaxation zone, I’ve bought a small box of Baklava (Turkish pastry sweet) which we snack on and the conversation just comes naturally.

So you’ve done all your filming, have you started the editing yet, what’s happening with it at the moment?

“I started editing it last week actually, the thing is it’s only three minutes… “What? three minutes? Is that all? How can you have a documentary in only three minutes?” It’s surprised me and I’m so disappointed, I let Kudret carry on.

“Exactly, but you can, I found while editing it there wasn’t much of me in it. It didn’t have the personal touch I want it to have.

“So I called up a friend and asked him to film me, I’ve included some footage of London too, to show the comparison and more personality..”

What message do you want to give through it?

“How a multicultural society affects a persons perception of how they are seen by others,

“London is like my kryptonite, it motivates me to strive and be better at what I do, where as Istanbul is a door into my heritage of which makes me feel apart of a culture I’m proud of.”

Isn’t even his comparisons and detail enough to draw you in? I don’t tell him this but I’m sure he’ll smile when reading it..

If you could do a documentary about anything about what would it be about and why?

I pop to the ladies at this time and leave Kudret to think.

“It would be about the view and thinking of people, I’d ask them why one thinks one thing and the other thinks the opposite, what makes them, us think like that or not? What’s behind that decision?”

Good answer for a difficult question especially when it’s on the spot.

Film is Kudret’s ultimate passion, he delves into each question like you would a freezing cold pool on a hot summers day- it’s such a pleasure to see and listen to his love for it, but what about his love life?

He didn’t say this, but it’s film. Simple and even more complex then a woman. Maybe. He’s definitely smiling now..

Last but not least, if you could change anything what would it be?

“I wouldn’t change anything. However, I would like to add interviews as well to show comparisons of opinions from both Turkey and the UK..”

For us the doesn’t end there and for you guys, neither does his journey, Kudret Ismail has produced work for Vogue, BBC, Nike and recently clothing store Religion. He’s definitely a name to watch out for.

For more information visit his page at


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