By Ozkan Beyer
A filmmaker whose movie is Turkey’s foreign-language Oscar nominee says he is hopeful for an Academy Award as tension between the U.S. and the North Korea rises.
Can Ulkay’s film Ayla focuses on the real-life relationship between a Turkish soldier and a Korean orphan during the Korean War.
Ulkay said when he began making his film U.S.-North Korean tension was not at this point. “Can this help us win an Oscar? Of course, it might. If I say it wouldn’t, I would be lying. It will make a very positive contribution to the film,” Ulkay told Anadolu Agency.
Ayla is based on the real-life story of a Turkish soldier, Sgt. Suleyman Dilbirligi, who took five-year-old Eunja Kim under his wing, protecting her during the Korean War, over 60 years ago.
Turkish forces served under UN command during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 -- 774 Turkish soldiers were martyred in the conflict.
The U.S. regards North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, President Donald Trump announced earlier this week as Washington continues to lead an international campaign to halt Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
“Those most affected by the war are children,” Ulkay said: “We need to make films to raise attention on this [issue]. Ayla is one of those films.”
Although Ayla tells a 60-year-old story, the film represents today’s world, he added.
Reporting by Ozkan Beyer; Writing by Handan Kazanci