Turkey’s International Feature Oscar entry Miracle in Cell No. 7 was a major box office hit in its homeland last year and went on to score significant success on Netflix in multiple territories.
Director Mehmet Ada Oztekin’s emotional drama, a remake of the 2013 Korean film of the same name, tells the story of Memo (Turkish star Aras Bulut Iynemli), a mentally impaired father, and his 7-year-old daughter, Ova, who live in an Aegean town under martial law in 1983. When Memo is wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of a child, he and Ova try to reunite with each other.
Oztekin talked during the film’s panel discussion at Deadline’s Virtual Screening Series about how his film diverges from the original, which was more of a comedy. “There were a number of gray areas in the original,” he said. “I wanted to keep the main themes, clarify the gray areas, but make this more of a universal story.”
Iynemli, who lost 10 kilos (22 lbs.) while researching and preparing for the role, told us about how he was impressed by his character’s paternal instincts, saying, “This story reminded us about some of the values we have forgotten.”
Check out our interview above with the director and star for more about Turkey’s International Oscar entry, including how they came up with the movie’s big twist.
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