Cengiz Akaygun Interview for AYSHA Short Film

By 12/01/2022 06:39:00 PM ,

In the short film AYSHA, director Cengiz Akaygun shares a story of two young girls living through a harrowing war, and a choice their mother is forced to make.

I was able to screen the film and was amazed how powerful it was for such a short film. AYSHA offers a look into a family trying to survive in a country, when a war has taken much from them. And still wants more. What is a parent to do to safe guard her child's life and future?

I was so touched by the story-line of a mother's choice, a choice that her child battles to understand and accept. I was able to discuss the message of the film during my interviewed with Director Cengiz Akaygun.

The Take Away Message

Cengiz Akaygun: AYSHA has several ways how you can understand the film. I think one important message is that wars senseless and destroys lives of innocent people, especially children.

Look at how many non-essential wars are still happening, even today in our time.

Process of Filming

Cengiz Akaygun: In total we had 3 filming days and one test day. But we could not use all the days. Normally a shooting days has 8 or 10 hours, but I had two children on set so it's not possible to work with them so long.

And another problem was the sun, we had to work with the sun hours. The sun hours we need are early in the morning to late afternoon. So per day we had 3 or 4 hours. so it was not easy to get what we want.

Cengiz Akaygun: Also from time to time, we had rain. That was the difficult time of working on set. But at the end of the day, we did it.

I worked with a small team because of limited funding, but we had a lot of supporters like friends, family, companies and so on who helped us. Otherwise it was not possible.

Location of Filming

Cengiz Akaygun: In the beginning I had the plan to shoot the movie in South of Italy, there was a little earth quake city from the middle 60's. The city is completely destroyed from the earthquake and is not livable. It was perfect for us.

The plan was to replace this region of Italy with a city in Syria. But the plan failed because the pandemic happened. We couldn't shoot the movie because all the airports and borders were closed.

Cengiz Akaygun: After 6 months later of waiting, I decided to find a location in Germany and shoot with a small team there. Because of that, the biggest challenge was to find a small backyard of a house, which seems like a house in Syria.

At first I couldn't find something like that, but later I had the idea to ask house demolition companies, because I thought these houses are going to be destroyed anyway. So before they destroy these houses, I can do with them what I want.

Cengiz Akaygun: I found a company and a house with plans to be destroyed. The owner of this company was also interested in this story and help us a lot. This man wasn't just the owner of this demolition company, he was also a member of the city council. Coincidentally his part had a candidate for that year, and guess what her name was....AYSHA

I understood why he also loved my story so much! *laughing*

AYSHA Trailer - Short Movie

AYSHA Trailer - Short Movie from Free Monkey on Vimeo.


AYSHA a small, rebellious girl wearing a full-body veil, and her sister are put to a religious test in a backyard in Rojava (Syria) by a covered woman. However, the strong-headed Aysha is struggling with identity and decides to take a stand.

Writer, director and producer Cengiz Akayg├╝n works focus on socially critical themes. He has received numerous awards for his short films. In 2020, he was nominated twice for the Human Rights Film Award in Germany.

For his last short film AYSHA he received the Short Film Award at the 55th HOF International Film Festival in Germany. Currently, Aysha is in the pre-selection for the German Short Film Award. Now, this ground-breaking film is in consideration for an OSCAR®.

The cinematography was created by Kevin Hartfiel and the musical composition is by Conrad Oleak.

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