As a part of its 2018 Faculty Summer Residency Program, Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul hosted Katherine Dieckmann, renowned writer-director and Associate Professor of Professional Practice at the School of the Arts, Columbia University, for a closed film screening and workshop and a public film screening on June 1 and 2 in Istanbul.
The closed screening and workshop was attended by 20 participants interested in film or currently working in the film industry in Turkey. On June 1, the participants met Katharine and watched her latest film, Strange Weather. The next day, everyone came back together for the workshop. The first topic was “Getting to Know Katherine Dieckmann, Inspirations for Women Filmmakers, Script Formation and Pre-Production of Strange Weather”. Katherine shared her own life experiences that led her to work in the film industry and highlighted the defining moments of her directing career. She underlined the importance of learning from bad experiences and gave her first high-budget movie, Motherhood, as an example. She learned that it was better to pursue her own directing instincts rather than allow other people to interfere with her movie-making style, in order to be a so-called “successful” director. She advised young filmmakers to find authenticity in their own life stories and share them in a unique way.
The second topic of the workshop was “Production, Distribution, Festivals, and Future Path”. Katherine described how she chose the cast for Strange Weather, her experience with Holy Hunter, and how she managed to work within a limited budget in a short time. Further, she shared her drives and thinking process in the making of the movie, with a focus on directing and editing, by underlining her challenges in transforming the real story of a grieving mother into the film’s script. Katherine also gave many suggestions to the workshop participants on how to work with actors and actresses, how to engage and negotiate with producers and investors, and how to do casting. During the workshop, participants had ample opportunity to ask questions regarding their own works and also shared their own experiences, challenges and best practices with each other.
Katherine wrapped up the workshop by talking about her future plans to do a film about her father who fled Germany in the 1930’s and then lived and taught in Turkey for a number of years.
Also on June 2, the Istanbul Center, in collaboration with Soho House Istanbul, hosted a public screening of Strange Weather, which was followed by a conversation between Katherine and Nisan Dağ, filmmaker and Columbia alum (’13 SOA). The screening took place in the Soho House Istanbul screening room.