A film by elizabeth lo
In STRAY, a trio of canine outcasts roam the streets of Istanbul. Through their eyes and ears, we are shown an intimate portrait of the life of a city and its people.
Through the eyes of three stray dogs wandering the streets of Istanbul, STRAY explores what it means to live as a being without status or security. As they search for food and shelter, Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life — and their own canine culture. Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on solitary adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds refuge with the security guards who care for her. The disparate lives of Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians who share the streets with them. Whether they lead us into bustling streets or decrepit ruins, the gaze of these strays act as windows into the overlooked corners of society: women in loveless marriages, protesters without arms, refugees without sanctuary. The film is a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing. DOWNLOAD PRESS KITWATCH TEASER
Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor
Elizabeth Lo is an award-winning filmmaker. Her work has been broadcast and showcased internationally, including at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs, True/False, BAMCinemafest, New York Times Op-Docs, and PBS' POV. Elizabeth was named one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film" by Filmmaker Magazine in 2015 and was featured in the 2015 Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase at Cannes Lion. She was selected for the New York Film Festival Artist Academy in 2018 and the Locarno Film Festival Filmmakers Academy in 2019. Elizabeth's work has played at over 100 film festivals and has won numerous awards. Her short films include Hotel 22 (2015), Bisonhead (2016), Mother’s Day (2017), The Disclosure President (2016), Notes from Buena Vista (2016), Treasure Island (2014), and Last Stop in Santa Rosa (2013). In 2017, her collected shorts were released by Video Project as a DVD, The Short Films of Elizabeth Lo, for distribution to educational institutions and libraries around the world. Elizabeth was born and raised in Hong Kong and holds a B.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and an M.F.A. from Stanford University. STRAY is her feature film debut.
Shane Boris is Academy Award nominated producer focusing on films that push the boundaries of conventional forms in order to tell timeless stories. His films have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and Locarno, released theatrically across the world and have been commissioned by streaming platforms such as Netflix and for television programs like PBS’s Independent Lens. His most recent film, the Netflix Original The Edge of Democracy, was nominated for Critics Choice, Gotham, IDA and Academy Awards and was listed by the New York Times as one of the ten best movies of 2019. He also produced the SFFILM’s Golden Gate Award winning The Seer and The Unseen and the scripted Walden: Life in the Woods. Other credits include All These Sleepless Nights (Sundance, Best Directing Award), Olmo and the Seagull (Rio Film Fest, Best Documentary) and Fuck for Forest (Warsaw Film Festival, Best Documentary). Shane was recently an Impact Partners Producing Fellow and was cited by DOC NYC as one of the “40 under 40” working in documentary. He has a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
Ina Fichman is president and executive producer/producer at Intuitive Pictures, a Montreal-based company dedicated to producing quality film, television and transmedia productions. She works with some of Canada’s finest writers and directors in developing innovative projects with a wide audience appeal. For over 25 years, Ina has been producing award-winning documentary and fiction films for television and theatrical release. She was one of the producers of the feature film Mabul (The Flood), directed by Guy Nattiv, winner of the best feature film at the Haifa Film Festival and featured at the Berlinale, as well as the alternative drama Family Motel, which screened in theaters in Canada and the US. Her documentary productions include the acclaimed mini-series Black Coffee, the Gemini Award-winning Undying Love, IDA nominated Being Dorothy, and Partly Private, which was awarded a prize at the Tribeca Film Festival. Ina produced the documentary and interactive platform Dead Sea Living (ARTE, SRC) as well as the transmedia project T-Shirt Stories (Canal D/Bell New Media Fund). Intuitive Pictures also produced the documentary feature The Wanted 18, Hannah and Sturla Gunnarsson’s Monsoon.
Ceylan Carhoglu is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. Her documentary Gardeners of the Forest (2016) was a winner at the 2016 Emmys: College Television Awards and was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 Student Academy Awards and has been the official selection in numerous film festivals such as HollyShorts, Newport Film Festival, and Napa Valley Film Festival. Most recently, Ceylan worked on the documentary series, Kevin Hart: Don’t F*ck This Up. Ceylan graduated from Chapman University with a B.A. in film production.
Zeynep Köprülü is an Istanbul-based filmmaker whose work revolves around displacement, distantness, coming of age and separation. Zeynep received her BA from Galatasaray University Faculty of communication. She then studied filmmaking at Bilgi University and attended FAMU in Prague with Erasmus Scholarship. She entered the Istanbul film industry by working in the production department of many films including Hollywood productions. She founded Periferi Film under which she shot and co-produced short films, documentaries, and web videos. Her short films traveled film festivals including the prestigious Palm Springs International Shortest, International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, !F International Istanbul Independent Film Festival, and alike. Zeynep also co-produced Lucile Mercier's Sans Cheval.
Ernst Karel works with sound, including electroacoustic music, experimental nonfiction sound works for multichannel installation and performance, and postproduction sound for nonfiction vilm [film/video], with an emphasis on observational cinema. His recent solo projects are edited/composed using unprocessed location recordings; in performance he sometimes combines these with analog electronics to create pieces which move between the abstract and the documentary. Recent sound projections have been presented at Sonic Acts, Amsterdam; Oboro, Montreal; EMPAC, Troy NY; Arsenal, Berlin; and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Sound installations in collaboration with Helen Mirra have been exhibited at the Gardner Museum, Boston; Culturgest, Lisbon; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Audiorama, Stockholm; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; and in the 2012 Sao Paulo Bienal. Audio-video collaborations include Expedition Content (2020, with Veronika Kusumaryati), Ah humanity! (2015, with Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel) and Single Stream (2014, with Toby Lee and Pawel Wojtasik). CDs of his often collaborative work, including with the electroacoustic duo EKG, have been released on and/OAR, Another Timbre, Cathnor, Gruenrekorder, Locust, Sedimental, and Sshpuma record labels, and a duo with Bhob Rainey is forthcoming on Erstwhile. From 2006 until 2017 he managed the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, doing postproduction sound for vilms including The Iron Ministry, Manakamana and Leviathan. He developed and has taught a practice-based course in “sonic/audio ethnography” both at Harvard and through the Center for Experimental Ethnography, University of Pennsylvania.
Ali Helnwein has worked on several Emmy-winning projects, as well as having done arrangements/orchestrations on a Grammy-winning album, and his arranging work can also be heard on Florence & The Machine’s No. 1 chart topping album “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.” He composed music for the 13 New York Times “Touch of Evil” shorts featuring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Kirsten Dunst, Ryan Gosling, Gary Oldman, and more. In 2015 his scores for several films by Alex Prager were performed live to the films by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Ali’s music can also be heard on many commercials for brands such as Mercedes Benz, Porsche, NYC Ballet, Michelob, Honda, Macy’s, and many more as well as trailers, such as the OA Trailer. He has created a chamber orchestra which became known for performing where one normally wouldn’t see an orchestra, such as at a skatepark, a Chinatown alley and downtown rooftops. In 2010 they performed a Violin Concerto composed by Ali Helnwein and conducted by conductor/ arranger/ orchestrator David Campbell. Films Ali has scored have premiered at festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and more.
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