As I mentioned in my previous post, the isolation imposed for the COVID-19 pandemic is deeply affecting the film and entertainment industry. At the beginning of the lockdown in Italy, many agencies and consultants in the marketing and communication sector wondered what they could do to help their community go through this difficult time and make the most out of it.
Connecting from home through a variety of platforms, they started offering free training, online courses and web seminars. So I decided to do my bit and set up complimentary consultancies for filmmakers, producers or distributors with a project now stuck in a limbo. They could either have a full script or at least a completed treatment, or a completed film “frozen” due to the circumstances. Depending on the status of the project, we were going to discuss marketing approaches to the film, especially on social media; creative angles through which develop a communication strategy; and audience engagement ideas.
Projects from Italy, Turkey and the UK, at very different stages of development, got in touch with me. And that’s how I had the chance to discover new stories, unusual characters and historical figures, among which the 19th century Istanbul-born female painter Mihri Rasim. She is the protagonist of Berna Gençalp’s documentary Kim Mihri – Who is Miri? and was recently featured in an article by The New York Times. Her life is a captivating story that stretches from Turkey to Rome, Paris and New York, told by Gençalp through the lens of women’s empowerment in a predominantly patriarchal society.
Kim Mihri is also an intriguing tale of missing paintings. Besides those currently on display in museums and private collections, some of Mihri Rasim’s work got lost during the artist’s voyages across countries and is yet to be located. As such, it offers the opportunity for further research into the life of “a migrant painter of modern times”, as she was defined in the exhibition devoted to her in 2019 at the SALT Galata arts centre in Istanbul.
Berna Gençalp and I had a stimulating conversation, and I truly hope that this promising documentary will soon find a way to get screened. To know more about the film and upcoming news, check its official website.