Ilkan Devrim Dinç is a ecturer in Fine Arts Faculty of a public University in the City of Troy, Turkey. My area is computer graphics and visual effects. I was born in '89 in Istanbul and grew up in downtown Istanbul mostly in Kadıkoy area. I got my Bachelors Degree in Animation and my University was also in İstanbul. Then, he moved to Toronto, Canada and studies Visual Effects Production in Humber College in my post graduate degree. I have worked in the Industry in Toronto and moved back to İstanbul for my doctoral education in Cinema Studies. he started to work as an academic in 2017 and got my PhD in 2021. For the last three years I am living in Troy and working in Canakkale University. I am also making independent movies and Nicotine was one of them.
When did you discover this was your career path?
Thanks for the interview first of all. I believe I have always known that I was going to be an artist since childhood but I wasn't sure which one. And until this day, I still couldn't choose a specific art branch! So I am trying to experience all of them at once I suppose.
Nicotine is a post-apocalyptic and dystopic science fiction movie that has quite an Avant-garde approach. We found your short to be very interesting, does Covid have something to do with the inspiration for this project?
Actually no. It is about a broader perspective of humanity. It is about everything we do, as humans, since the dawn of time. It is about human nature. It is about the darkness we all have down there somewhere.
Your cinematography is stunning, why did you choose Black and White?
Our cinematography is maybe the most important part after acting. Because our film has no dialogue, we should tell the narrative through the lens and framing. I believe we have used all the chances we had to shout against tyranny and oppression with the power of our cameras. To answer the second question, I may say that everything in the narrative is about a strong contrast; Weak against powerful, people against rulers, slaves against masters, and worshipers against the Lord. So it was the main reason for using black and white color perspective but also the film shows that even though we are going forward in time humanity may destroy everything and may go back in an instant. That is the second point to using black and white and changing aspect ratios in the compositing process.
How did you meet Doruk Sozen, your co-director?
We met with Doruk when I was 9 years old. He is the son of my precious cousin whom I love dearly as a big sister. And he was actually born into my hands. Since the first moment I saw him, I loved him as a nephew and he accepted me as an uncle after he grew up. So we have a very special relationship. But it is not the main reason we made this movie together. The main reason is that Doruk has turned into a highly intelligent, sophisticated, and sensitive person like me, especially during his University education. Our ideological perspective, our search for social justice, and our support for discriminated people of any race, color, religion and/or sexuality are very much the same. We have the same kind of sensitivities in time and it made the film quite powerful in that aspect I hope.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
Catching the chickens! Hahah.
A fun fact about Nicotine?
One day before the shoot, after we have made all kinds of arrangements for the production, the original actor who was supposed to play "The Master" broke his arm, and that very last evening I convinced the Art Director Eser Gun to play the character. The actor who was supposed to play the character had no hair in his normal life, but Eser had very beautiful hair which he takes care of it very thoroughly. So that last evening we had to cut his hair and it was the funniest moment of the production.
You come from Turkey how's the film industry in your country and what would you change about it?
I had a very brief experience in the film industry in Turkey before I went to Canada. And the main thing I saw that, all kinds of very talented people were working in the basic levels but all kinds of untalented and uneducated people were either directing and/or producing. That was the main reason that I turn my interests in the academic world and independent cinema. I also worked in Toronto for almost two years but the jobs were mainly in the subject of digital arts. When I went back to Istanbul, I wanted to become an academic and I guess it has gave me the artistic and financial freedom to make my own Avant-garde art films.
İlkan, you also studied in Canada what was your experience?
The Canada Experience that I had was quite an adventure. I am a kid from a working-class family. so my parents and non of my relatives are actually rich. When I decided to go to Canada, we had quite limited resources. But we somehow managed to be accepted and go to a college in Toronto. I had to find cheap housing, I had to cook and clean of my own and I had to find a job as soon as possible. And I was just a 23 years old young man that was thousands of kilometers away from his hometown all alone by himself. I have done all of it in a relatively fast way. I grew up in İstanbul, so the Metropolitan lifestyle was something that I was used to and Toronto's nightlife was quite fun for me. I am a friendly person so I made friends in no time and saw all over Toronto as soon as possible. the nature, the people and the experience, in general, was very nice. It has become like my second home and until this day I still miss the place very much so.
What was the casting process to find your actors?
The actor who plays the slave character "Melih Karlik" is a very talented acting student from the performing arts department of the fine arts faculty that I am currently working for. I saw one of his performances in one of our faculty's plays. The story about "The Master" character was like I have told just in the question of a fun fact about our short. So the rest of the things that happened to Eser is now history!
What's the best part of your job, what's your favorite step in the process?
To see your dreams and visions come to life in front of your eyes. Making a very complex artwork by using many mediums and technologies and after a dedication creating new perceptions and new realities. It is the closest thing to magic in the world. And there is nothing better to feel to watch that magic happens on the screen. Affecting other people's perceptions like yourself.
What would you say to someone that wants to start this path as you did?
Never give up! Never surrender! And never compromise!
What do you regret and what would you have wanted to know earlier?
I have no regrets. I wouldn't want to know the things that I have learned through the journey.
What's your dream project?
Making a film that has a story that happens in four different countries in four different historical timelines.
Who would you suggest this short to, and why?
I have always been a rebel and I will always be one! So if you are against mainstream ideologies and lifestyles, watch our film. It will spark the flame!!!
What do you expect from the future? What do you hope it will bring you on a professional level?
I hope to tell stories and open minds of the young artists as I do now. But in a broader perspective. More audience and more students!
How is it going with festivals so far?
We shot two films in a very close timeline. And sent our films at the same time. In total, we have more than 20 awards and almost 20 official selections in 3 months. So it is going great.
What's next for you?
I'm planning to make my second feature film in the summer of this year. The script is ready and the pre-production process is going great. I have great casting and this new film will be shot in the ancient city of Knidos, Datca; one of the marvels of Turkey, a paradise on Earth. The peninsula in the point the Mediterranean and Aegean seas meet, our new dream will come true. So as a team, we are all so excited for this new project.
Thank you for your time, we wish you the best for your career and your future projects and we can't wait to see what's next for you!
Thank you very much for everything, best wishes for this great festival, it was an honor!
If you want to contact Ilkan, email him at:
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