A city whose history has roots reaching deep into the past and which is founded on a significant geography determines the future of civilizations and the destiny of society. Just like Istanbul... Connecting two continents and two seas, Istanbul has been the center of the world and powerful empires - it is also the hub of Turkish Airlines which flies to more countries than any other in the world. This city is where the global carrier’s story began 85 years ago, flourished over time, and reached the rest of the world.
The month of October, when Istanbul Airport was opened, is a milestone in the journey of Turkish Airlines which began in 1933 and continues towards the future. On October 29, Istanbul hosted the world’s biggest airport under one roof.
On its 85th anniversary, Turkish Airlines also made a short film for its main hub, Istanbul. Created as an expression of its commitment to this historic city and an homage, this six-minute film was directed by renowned director Ridley Scott. Nominated for Oscars three times, Scott is one of the most watched directors of the 20th century. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, the British director’s career is filled with many unforgettable films. The Duellists (1977) received the Best Debut Film Award at Cannes Film Festival. While Alien (1979) is hailed as one of the most beloved sci-fi series of all time, Scott became one of the most praised directors in the world. In 1982, he directed another sci-fi legend Blade Runner. In 2000, he directed Gladiator.
Having so far collaborated with Messi and Kobe from the world of sports and Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner from cinema for its commercials, Turkish Airlines’ short film for Istanbul portrays two famous actresses: Sylvia Hoeks and Aure Atika.
Featuring locations such as Istanbul Airport, Çırağan Palace, Şerefiye (Theodosius) Cistern, and Ortaköy Square, the movie was filmed in four days. Enamored by the atmosphere of the cistern, Scott made some references to some of his movies during the scene he filmed here. For the Bosphorus scene, the City Line ferry rides were stopped, and a Bosphorus shared taxi and a helicopter were used. For Galata, they preferred busy traffic sequences. Istanbul Airport hosted the shooting participated by a cast of 250 people while the film in general starred a total of 500 actors and extras. The scenes at the airport feature Turkish Airlines’ cabin personnel wearing their new uniforms and innovations in inflight cabin design.
The short film, which portrays the story through action-based visuals instead of dialogue, will be released on all social media platforms. To this end, there are four promotional versions of the film in different lengths.
A Riddling Scenario
This film is a production about the promotion of Istanbul, but, instead of using a cliché narrative of a series of the city’s landmarks, it follows a chase story filled with the intricacies of detective movies. A beautiful and blonde woman in her 30s (Sylvia Hoeks) flies as a Turkish Airlines Business Class passenger to Istanbul. Hoeks is watching the mysterious brunette (Aure Atika) who is sitting diagonally to her right and doodling something in her notebook.
After the landing, as passengers head towards the exit, Hoeks takes the notebook Atika has left on her seat, and is surprised to see her portrait on one of the pages. The following scenes will portray Hoeks as she follows Atika based on the hints she finds in the notebook. During the pursuit, Hoeks is seen walking in the wide corridors of Istanbul Airport. She sees Atika get on a hotel’s VIP shuttle and realizes that these places have all been drawn in Atika’s notebook and starts following her according to this plan.
Featuring the city’s iconic locations and monuments from Bebek to Ortaköy, Şerefiye Cistern to Çırağan Palace, Galata Tower and the Bosphorus in addition to Istanbul's symbolic elements such as Turkish coffee, the film once again visits Istanbul Airport in the end. As to what happened to Hoeks… She has already hopped on a Turkish Airlines plane to Bali to catch up with Atika.
The director and actors trust the audience to solve this mystery, but they have answered our questions about Istanbul and the movie with candidness.