Hundreds of thousands of cats roam the streets of Istanbul, neither wild nor tame. This is the story of seven of them.
For millennia, cats have roamed the city of Istanbul. Granted freedom and respect, they wander in and out of people’s lives, an essential part of this rich and proud city. Claiming no owners, they live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame. They bring joy and purpose to those they choose to adopt, acting as mirrors to the people of Istanbul and allowing them to reflect on their lives in unique and touching ways.
Observing the lives of seven very different cats, and the people who know them, Kedi is an enlightening and heart-warming examination of one of our oldest animal companions, and the ways they enrich our lives.
Director Ceyda Torun and cinematographer Charlie Wuppermann travelled to Istanbul to gather footage of the cats themselves, not knowing if it was possible to capture the essence of what it means to be a cat in Istanbul.
Along with local researchers, they gathered stories and searched for people who seemed to have extensive knowledge of the street cats of their neighbourhood; who’s the alpha, who’s fathered by whom, which cat steals from the fishmonger, which has a habit of breaking into the neighbour’s house. The stories they heard got them even more excited to make this film and to document these one-of-a-kind animals in action.
In an effort to get as close to the cats as possible, the filmmakers designed and experimented with various ‘cat-cameras,’ followed the cats into dark alleys and deserted basements, flew drones over the rooftops, and pretty much stalked them in order to capture cinematic visuals like over-the-shoulder shots as the cats navigated the city streets. It was dedicated work, returning to shoot the same cats day in and day out which resulted in capturing their unique characters and interaction with their communities.
Composer Kira Fontana creates an ethereal sound world that reflects the role cats play as both mirrors to the main human characters, and as observers of the city’s ever changing nature.
KEDI will open in cinemas nationally from JUNE 15 (JUNE 22 IN WA)