I was overjoyed when I received an e-mail from a student director that I have worked with in the past, telling me that he was back from Turkey to finish his Master's degree in film direction, and that he wanted me to be part of a script-in-hand reading of his thesis. In this program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, (RIT) the thesis is a full-length film that he will eventually shoot in his native Turkey, but he needs to have it read in front of his professors first as part of the process.
Ali Vatansever is an incredibly talented guy. I worked with him two years ago in a short film he made during his first year as a grad student, then did a voice-over character for one of his other films. He and his sister have their own film production company back in Turkey, and his story about how he got to RIT is really something.
Ali was originally slated to attend the University of New Orleans in 2005. Hurricane Katrina forced him to change his plans, and as he was studying on a Fulbright Scholarship, this was something that had to be done quickly. He chose to come to Rochester, and talking with him a little over a year ago, he told me that in many ways he was glad he wound up here instead of New Orleans.
Apparently, if he would have gone to N.O., the number of foreign students attending would have been significantly less. RIT has a large number of students from other countries in attendance, and Ali feels pretty good about that. Also, he is incredibly impressed with the acting talent here in Rochester, which is no surprise to anyone that has lived here for some time. As I have mentioned before, the theatre community here is quite extensive. He has been able to accomplish things that he might not have been able to do elsewhere.
He will be returning to Turkey, and his dreams are to make his home country the next Bollywood, without, as he puts it, "all the glitzy stuff," and make "serious films." I feel very privileged to be part of it, and hey, if he needs an American for one of his films, he's got my number and e-mail.
spring flowers - I am quite fond of this series of Wildflowers of Canada that came out in 1977 and try to collect as many as I can from my stamp dealer to use for Postcross...
4 days ago