Ezel Akay has graduated from Boğaziçi University Engineering Faculty and then has studied
drama at Willanova University, USA. He is not only famous for directing well known advertising films, but also for numerous awards he has won for films he has produced and directed.
You have produced the films ‘Hacivat ve Karagöz neden öldürüldü?’ and ‘7 Kocalı Hürmüz’ which reflect on a time you could not visually see or experience. Was it difficult to re-create these circumstances?
This is the main problem with historical or science fiction films! Only the past and the future is what mentally confuses a person and makes him become truly helpless, and this is what causes him to constantly repeat ‘ideology’; by this I mean creating ‘wrong information’ in this era. If there is no story for these eras, it means the society is in a turmoil of identify and direction. As a storyteller, I, myself, have always been interested in these stories about the past and future. Things that I don’t truly know or see about these times, which are based on stories, give me and my team an opportunity and the pleasure to research the artists of that time, to think and re-create, to make something out of nothing. So basically this is a path full of fun, inspiration and learning. But of course only for the ones that have a passion for researching…
Your creations which mostly involve history are generally very successful. Is this related to your passion of history? If so who or what in history interests you or inspires you the most?
Historical stories, due to its confinements are actually stories that want to determine the tomorrow. I mean I use the distant perspective of the past as a tool to show people of today. So if I am telling a historical story I will intentionally use it to reflect on the political way of thinking of today, I mean I will use this story to show people how to live together by using history as a positive example. There are two people in this historical-storytelling area that have influenced me: One of them, whom I believe is one of the most important historical figures of our country, is story teller REŞAT EKREM KOÇU. The other one is probably one of the only people that has consumed Europe’s and even the world’s history, Italian historian UMBERTO ECO. Of course that does not cover all the people, there are many different people trying to impact the world with historical – story telling on this world! Basically, talent and intelligence is not for self use, its for changing the whole world. It’s these ‘idealists’ that deeply interest me.
The actors in your pieces, successfully matches with their role. How do you determine the actors? Is it hard to pick?
It is not the physical appearance that is important. Of course it is an element but the key thing is is “dramaturgy” which means the capability of that actor to feel and play the designated role. I care about their talent and their level of sophistication in acting. It is hard to determine this part. Therefore it isn’t easy to analyze his level of acting, it needs experience. I earned this over time. I like to work with actors which I can admire while he admires me so we can persuade the audience as well.
You studied as an actor, plus you acted in numerous films. Are you planning to act in any movies as an actor for the future projects?
I am not planning but I wish to. The problem is I couldn’t find a director that understands me yet.
As a director, who do you admire the most ?
I admire old people who are telling us fairytales. I admire kids who are trying to explain their dream. I admire men and women of any kind. I am also inspired by my students who question me and my plans.