Something Useful

Ise yarar bir sey
Director: Pelin Esmer

Turkey, France, Netherlands, Germany, 2017, drama, 104 mins., Turkish with English and Lithuanian subtitles, N-7

Why would someone like Leyla go to a high school reunion dinner? And take an overnight train to get there. After all, she hasn’t been to a single one for the last 25 years.

What is Canan, a student nurse, doing on the train? Reluctantly going to an interview for a nursing job when she would like to be an actress instead.

And Yavuz? He spends all day lying by the window watching the passing hawkers, horse carriages and people. He is waiting for Canan, or maybe Leyla, or maybe a executioner and a poet who meet on a train one night.

2017 FIPRESCI award at the Istambul International Film Festival National Competition
2017 Best Screenplay award in Tallinn Black Nights International Film Festival

About the director

Pelin Esmer was born in Istanbul. She studied sociology and then moved on to cinema. While working as an assistant director in various Turkish and foreign films she started making her own independent films. After her first documentary The Collector she founded her own film company Sinefilm and made her feature films The Play, 10 to 11, Watchtower and Something Useful.

A feature documentary The Play (2005) made its international premier in San Sebastian Film Festival. It has been screened over 50 festivals around the world and received many awards including The Best New Documentary Filmmaker Award in Tribeca Film Festival.

Her first fiction 10 to 11 (2009) was one of the six chosen projects by Cannes Film Festival’s Résidence du Cinéfondation in Paris where she worked on her script. An official selection of the San Sebastian Film Festival, 10 to 11 received many awards in various festivals around the world and was released in cinemas in Turkey, France and Germany.

Her second fiction Watchtower (2012) which was premiered in Toronto and Rotterdam Film Festival.

Pelin Esmer has been invited to Berlin by DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2018 where she is currently working on her new documentary film Queen Lear.

Section: Once Upon a Time in Istanbul...

Screenplay: Paris Bicakci, Pelin Esmer

Dir. of Photography: Gökhan Tiryaki

Producer: Pelin Esmer, Marsel Kalvo

Cast: Basak Köklükaya, Öykü Karayel, Yigit Özsener