Hundreds of thousands of cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. For thousands of years they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, these animals live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame – and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could.
Includes a post-film conversation with Director/Producer Ceyda Torun and Producer/Cinematographer Charlie Wuppermann, moderated by Anne Thompson, Editor at Large, IndieWire.
Born in Istanbul, Ceyda spent her formidable early years among the street cats while her mother worried she’d get rabies and her sister worried she’d bring home fleas. After her family left the country when she was eleven, Ceyda lived in Amman, Jordan, and ended up in New York for her high school years, never encountering a street cat. Ceyda studied Anthropology at Boston University, returned to Istanbul to assist director Reha Erdem and then off to London to work alongside producer Chris Auty. She returned to the US and co-founded Termite Films with cinematographer Charlie Wuppermann and has since directed her first feature documentary. She still misses her feline companions, gets excited whenever she sees a cat on the streets of Los Angeles, but they rarely feel the same way about her.
Charlie never imagined that he would one day by lying on the streets of Istanbul getting on eye level with cats, human shoes, and car tires in order to shoot a documentary. But after founding Termite Films with his producing partner Ceyda Torun, it became clear that a film had to be made about the Cats of Istanbul. Before this adventure, Charlie graduated from the London Film School with an MA in cinematography, after which he began shooting music videos, commercials, and documentaries in his native Germany and all over Europe. In 2009, he moved to Los Angeles permanently and has since shot the narrative feature films BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN, BLOOD MOON, and A COUNTRY CALLED HOME. He loved every minute of shooting KEDi and can’t wait to go back to Istanbul.