In very exciting news, we have come to learn that “Birdie” the short film written, directed and produced by Cagatay Ulusoy has been selected at the 27th Palm Springs Shortfest 2021 which will be California’s first in-theater film festival since the start of the COVID pandemic. A prestigious and well known event, it is designated as an awards qualifying event by the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences (AMPAS), BAFTA, The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) and the Goya Awards. Over its 26 year history, more than 100 of the festival’s curated movies have gone on to receive Oscar nominations.


Birdie is one of 295 movies selected out of a pool of more than 5,500 submissions from 104 countries. It will be competing in the Best International Short category and, not only that, Birdie will also be playing as one of six movies on the opening night, which is a great honor for any festival entrant. Birdie is the only movie on opening night from a non-English speaking country.

At 20 minutes, Birdie is “The story of a lonely fisherman whose relationship with life, nature and human being is fair. For him, life is about living with a full belly until a goldfinch hits his window. Will his relationship with the goldfinch change the fate of the fisherman?”. Working with his little brother Atalay who was editor of the film, and cast members Turgay Tanulku and Ersin Arici, whom Cagatay worked with in Paper Lives, Birdie is an introspective short that makes us question our place and aspirations in the world.

There is a second Turkish film (The School Bus) playing at the festival by Ramazan Kilic, which will be competing in the Best Student International Short category.

In 2017, director Can Ulkay’s film Ayla had won the audience award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Unlike Birdie’s earlier appearance at the Oxford Film Festival, where the movie was available for virtual screening for fans in the United States, Birdie will only be shown in theater, with passes and tickets to be purchased. Even media professionals will not gain automatic access to the screening on opening night.

We are very excited for the Ulusoy Brothers on their maiden journey as a powerful filmmaking duo. As Mr. Ulkay said in his interview with North America TEN, “Cagatay wants to work behind the cameras as much as he works on-screen. He has an intense interest in the process behind the cameras. His biggest strengths will be his tenacity in trying, acquiring knowledge, learning, thinking and questioning about the process behind the cameras. Soon we will see him filming his own movies or producing them. I’m sure he will contribute greatly to the movie industry and Turkish cinema. May he have an amazing career.”

Birdie’s international tour, already at its fourth festival, shows great promise in fulfilling Mr. Ulkay’s prediction.


For those of you who missed our earlier review can read it here:

For those of you who missed our video with highlights of the movie can view it on our YouTube channel here:

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