Semih Kaplanoglu was born in Izmir, Turkey, in 1963. He studied filmmaking and worked for several years as an assistant director before making his first feature film, Away from Home in 2000. It won many awards at the film festivals in Istanbul, Ankara and Singapore. He established Kaplan Film studios in 2002. The company's first production was Angel's Fall. His next film, Egg, was also a hit and won many international awards. It won the best directing award as well as the best artistic and technical achievement awards in last year's festival in Tehran. However, he couldn't be here to collect his awards as he was making his next movie, Milk.
This is your first time at Fajr Film Festival. Last year, your film was here, but you weren't.
I am glad that this year I had enough time to travel to Iran and see all these films for myself including my own film which was in the competition section. Last year, Egg was welcomed and I am glad that it did well.
You know a lot about the Asian cinema. What is your opinion about the Iranian cinema?
Iranian cinema looks absorbing to me for various reasons. I began to know this cinema with films of directors such as Kiarostami and Makhmalbaf. Their films left a great impact on me. However, the Iranian cinema has become less impressive in comparison to two decades ago and it has changed a lot. Recently, I have been watching films from some Iranian filmmakers who have been relatively newcomers. They are directors such as Bahman Qobadi. The two films I have seen from him were good ones. But no one knew him. Not being known has led to a reduction in international interest in Iranian films.