Private Project

Love, Spells and All That

We all believe in some ideas and dedicate our life to them. “Love, Spells and All That” is the story of two women who question their belief in love and metaphysics.

Eren and Reyhan had a love affair when they were 16 and 17, respectively. Eren is the daughter of a powerful member of the parliament while Reyhan is the daughter of the keeper in their summer house in Büyükada, an Istanbul island. Reyhan remembers it as “Rich girl falls for a poor... girl. A perfect melodrama!” When their relationship is revealed, Eren's family force them to separate, and send Reyhan and her father away from the island. They don't see each other for 20 years.

Eren gets back to the island 20 years later. The film starts at this point. Reyhan had been back to the island and started living with a man, younger than her. Eren, apparently, had found her track on social media. She goes and finds Reyhan and tells her she never loved anybody else like her, that she is still in love with her. She wants to get back together.

But Reyhan believes what brings Eren back is not love but a “spell”. She had had a love spell put on Eren 20 years ago. Eren is not superstitious but she can't help questioning if the spell is real. She can't give up Reyhan so she somehow has to get this spell undone.

Two women start a daylong journey in Büyükada after an old love affair and an old spell.

  • Ümit Ünal
  • Ümit Ünal
  • M. Tayfur Aydın
  • Ece Dizdar
    Key Cast
  • Selen Uçer
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Aşk, Büyü, vs.
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 15, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival
    October 29, 2019
    national premiere
    Behlül Dal Juri Special Award
  • International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival

    national premiere
    SİYAD (Turkish Film Critics Association) Best Film Award
  • International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival

    national premiere
    Best Women Actress Award
  • 39. İstanbul Film Festival- National Competition
    July 28, 2020
  • 39. İstanbul Film Festival- National Competition

    July 28, 2020
    BEST ACTRESS- (Selen Uçer and Ece Dizdar Shared the Award)
  • 39. İstanbul Film Festival- National Competition

    July 28, 2020
Distribution Information
    Country: Turkey
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Ümit Ünal

Born in 1965 in Turkey, Ümit Ünal is the scriptwriter for eight feature films including Teyzem (My
Aunt) (1986), Hayallerim, Askim ve Sen (My Dreams, My Love and You) (1987).
His first feature film as a director is 9 (Dokuz, 2001) which won many awards in various film
festivals and was the Official Turkish Entry for the 2003 Academy Award for Best Foreign
Language Film.
He wrote and directed eight feature films including Istanbul Tales (Anlat İstanbul, 2004), Ara
(2007), Shadowless (Gölgesizler, 2008). The Voice (Ses, 2010), The Pomegranate (Nar, 2011),
Serial Cook (Sofra Sırları, 2018), Love, Spells and All That (Aşk, Büyü vs 2019).
He has published five books: A collection of short stories, three novels and an autobiography.
As an artist/illustrator his credits include two personal exhibitions and three illustrated books.

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Director Statement

Büyükada is the biggest of Istanbul islands, where stray cats yawn and nap and where bougainvillea bloom and die away – forever trapped in the 80’s. This island is full of stories. This one is the story of two women who meet again after twenty years and remember their passionate, painful love affair they had in Büyükada.

As a screenwriter-director who honed his craft in the 1980’s, this is my contemporary response to the conventional Turkish cinema and my country's climate getting more oppressive by the day. It is a combination of my formative years in “Yeşilçam” and my recent independent, small scale films with big questions behind them. Love, Spells and All That challenges and queers a genre that has long been heteronormative.

It is a heart-breaking modern melodrama, an absurd conflation of the secular and the superstitious, and a queer nostalgia commenting on today’s Turkey.