Turtle Shells

European animal protection laws, German Armed Forces foreign operations and a seized turtle, whose shell was painted with the flag of the Syrian rebels. All converge at a reptile rescue centre in Munich, headed by Dr. Markus Baur.
A German army specialist is learning how to deal with dangerous reptiles – he must keep calm, catch, neutralize. Meanwhile, Baur informs the turtle's Syrian owner she's unlikely to get her animal back under European species protection law.
A multi perspective film in the midst of glass terrariums exploring the connections between animal, man and war.

  • Tuna Kaptan
  • Tuna Kaptan
  • Tuna Kaptan
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Schildkröten Panzer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Human rights, War, Migration, animals
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 31, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
    Arabic, English, German
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • DOK Leipzig
    October 31, 2017
    World Premiere
    Healthy Workplaces Film Award
  • Short Film Week Regensburg
    March 18, 2018
  • Short Film Festival Landshut
  • Istanbul Film Festival
  • Go Short Nijmegen
  • Short Film Festival Cologne

    WDR Award
Distribution Information
  • donaukapitän
    Country: Germany
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Tuna Kaptan

Tuna Kaptan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Theatre and Romance Studies. He studied at ENERC Film School in Buenos Aires and is currently enrolled at the University of Television and Film Munich in film directing. His documentary films won several awards at international film festivals, among them „Turtle Shells“ at Dok Leipzig and "Two at the border" at IDFA.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I found it challenging and interesting to contrast two totally different biographies within a miniature of a peculiar reptile rescue centre in Munich, where so many universal subjects drop in and tell stories about the status quo of this world. Esthetically between Essay and Direct Cinema it was also an attempt how far in historical depth we can go without losing the ongoing story lines of the interesting protagonists. The subjects bureaucracy and power structures within armies and animal protection laws made me think a lot about how we organize our lives and how exclusive and unfair (!) it can be at an individual level.