Translated by Ege Öztokat

“Emergency Exit” themed 17th International 1001 Documentary Film Festival, screens documentaries from Turkey and abroad. In the “Green Selection” of the festival, the documentary “Kamilet” is telling the story of the negative effects of the hydroelectric power station in Kamilet Valley. The documentary is directed by Istanbul University Radio Television and Cinema Department’s Academician Assistant Professor İlkay Nişancı.

During the interview that took place after the screening of the documentary, Asst. Prof. Nişancı talked about the hard production process and the documentary’s effects. He stated that the filming crew lived together during the production and added “Our film turned out to be an adventurous one. I started with great confidence since I already knew the area. Even though I was experienced, we had difficulties related to not working with beekeeping work clothing. We used a moving camera because of the ramps of the area. Helicopter shots would have been better for the documentary but we needed to raise awareness to the hydroelectric power station right away.”

“Kamilet Valley Constitutes a Tenth Part of Turkey’s Flora”

Asst. Prof. Nişancı informed the audience about Kamilet Valley and the lawsuit about the construction of the power station and said that the construction was stopped for now. He stated that Kamilet Valley should be left alone with its nature because it is one of the 100 places selected by The World Wide Fund for Nature and that it constitutes a tenth part of Turkey’s flora. Istanbul University Faculty of Forestry also has studies about the ecological and biological diversity of the area.

Stating that in Turkey there is a tendency to turn all the areas to cities, Nişancı says Arhavi village where Kamilet Valley is placed should not be a big city. Nişancı added “Arhavi Municipality insists on making a city out of the place. They want more factories and ferro-concrete buildings. They think that this is the way to develop. The locals also believe that urbanization would lead to comfort.” However, Nişancı claims that thanks to the documentary the local public started to object to the power station and that this way, there was awareness and organization among them. Stating that there are other projects about Kamilet Valley, Nişancı says there are a lot of scientific studies and film productions considering the Black Sea Region and the collapse of the Black Sea.