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Bircan desires to learn the mother-tongue her grandmother left behind when she moved from her childhood village to Istanbul. The two attempt to find common ground in a language that holds both the promise of legacy and the memory of loss.

Director Bircan Birol

Scottish Documentary Institute presents

Bridging the Gap production​
Producer Tomás Sheridan - DOP Francesca Tosarelli - Editor Kieran Gosney - Sound Design Ali Murray
Colorist Stephen Horne Music Celo Boluz- Translation Çağla Ural
Executive Producers Noe Mendelle & Flore Cosquer
Executive Producer for Screen Scotland Leslie Finlay

"Bircan Birol’s My Name is Anik is, like Breakfast in Kisumu, is another crosscultural recovery mission but this time one conducted with tetchy humour. The Scottish-based, Turkish-speaking director returns to Istanbul to learn Kurdish from her grandmother. Birol sees it as a way of continuing a legacy; her elder questions what future use it could have. Insisting on being buried with childhood locks of Birol’s hair she has kept, brought to tears by Kurdish folk songs, the grandmother’s heart is in the past. The pair end up squabbling on a park bench. A mnemonic Post-it with “dolap” (cupboard) written on it falls off. The takeaway: language, and culture, don’t stick where you want them to."

- Guardian ****

"The Anik of the title is Birol’s grandmother, an indomitable matriarch who lives in Istanbul but whose heart belongs to the Kurdish village in which she grew up. The problem is she’s starting to lose her mother-tongue, which she hasn’t used since she left home five decades ago and never taught to her children for fear they’d be persecuted for speaking Kurdish, as she was.

Birol features in front of the camera as she encourages Anik to pass the language to her, save it be lost forever, and with it the stories and songs that Anik grew up with. The film’s emphasis on language and culture pays off in a deeply moving climax in which Anik encounters one of the songs from childhood that has started to slip from her mind, but it’s the complex relationship between grandmother and granddaughter, at once tender and prickly, that really makes the film sing."

- Skinny Magazine

Festival Screenings

Edinburgh International Film Festival - Official Selection 
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival - Best Short Film Competition

London Short Film Festival - With Warmth & Ecstatic Solidarity

Dublin International Film Festival - Out of the Margins

ReFrame Film Festival - Official Selection 

Bogoshorts - Out of the Margins 
Glasgow Short Film Festival - Scottish Short Film Competition

Aesthetica Short Film Festival - Journeys Into Film Program

Montana International Film Festival - Official Selection 

Chesnok Human Rights Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection 
Inverness Film Festival - Bridging the Gap: Red
Close:Up Edinburgh Docufest - Official Selection - Awarded: Best Scottish Production

Aeon Video - Official Selection 

True Story - Homeward Collection

Community & Cinema Screenings

Govanhill Baths International Women’s Day Film Festival - Glasgow

Eden Court Theatre - Inverness

Migration Matters Film Festival - Sheffield

Plymouth Arts Cinema - Plymouth
Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre - Leicester

​Cinema No.6 - Portsmouth 

​HOME Art Centre - Manchester 

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