【Tokyo International Film Festival 2017】Tokyo Grand Prix 'Grain'

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In a dystopic future, the world is beset by food shortages due to poisoned soil. Professor Erol Erin (Barr), a seed geneticist, lives in a city protected from multi-ethnic immigrants by magnetic walls. For unknown reasons, the city’s agricultural plantations have been hit by a genetic crisis. In a meeting at the headquarters of Novus Vita, the corporation which employs him, Erol hears about Cemil Akman, a fellow geneticist who wrote a thesis about the recurrent crises affecting genetically modified seeds. Erol sets out on a journey to find him. A journey that will change everything Erol knew.

'Grain' offers a cautionary tale for a world that is increasingly reliant on genetically modified food. "If you destroy one part of an ant's nest, you destroy the entire habitat," Kaplanoğlu said. "The script started from the premise of many of these things happening in the near future," Kaplanoğlu explained, "but very rapidly this world is changing. What I thought would be in the future became something more immediate," he added.

Grain's stark landscapes were shot on location in Anatolia and Germany, while some of its urban ruins were set in Detroit. Shooting in monochromatic film allowed Kaplanoğlu to maintain a uniform look despite the different shooting conditions. He also thought there would be a new perspective offered by shooting in black and white.

Speaking about the genesis of the project, Kaplanoğlu said, "Needless to say, as you all know, our world is rife with so many problems, and yet we still must live our daily lives. But the situation surrounding us is getting worse and worse. Could it be that we, the very existence of human beings, are the problem? Are we so spiritually misguided, or have we changed so much as a human race, that we've so polluted the earth? Where are our roots and where are we headed? In the film, we're somewhere in between."

Asked whether he had to endure many hardships in the getting the film made, he said, "I think it depends on what type of film you're making, as to whether you can get enough support or not. When it comes to character-driven films, it's very hard for filmmakers to get funding. In my country, there's a ministry, the Cultural and Tourism Industry, which supports 50-60 shorts and features each year, as well as a state-run broadcaster called TRT, which contributed funding to this film. We also got funding from Germany, France, Sweden and Qatar, so that's how we managed to make the film. We're at a time, in Turkish film history, where we have unprecedented opportunities for financing."

Finally, "a lot of cinema today is here for entertainment," said Barr, "and that's great. But like Kaplanoğlu's films, there's a real change of consciousness worldwide."

【Tokyo International Film Festival 2017】Closing Ceremony & Award Winners
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2017】Congratulations Messages for TIFF's 30th Edition
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2017】Special Screenings & Special Program
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】The Tokyo Grand Prix Award went to The Bloom of Yesterday
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Asian Future – EWA -:Q&A
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Asian Future — Salawaku :Q&A
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】The Special Night Event at the Kabukiza
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Asian Three-Fold Mirror 2016: Reflections Press Conference
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】29th Tokyo International Film Festival kicks off
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】ARIGATŌ Award for Contributors to the Japanese Film Industry
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Japan Now
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Japanese Classics
【TIFF】29th Tokyo International Film Festival Unveils Full Lineup
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】The World of Mamoru HOSODA
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Competition
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Kabukiza Special Night! Kabuki+Cinema returns for the third time!
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Special Screening Section!!
【Tokyo International Film Festival 2016】Submit Your Film to the 29th Tokyo Int'l Film Festival!!