My short bio: Born and raised in Istanbul, I had more cat friends than human ones, a fact I'm quite proud of now ;) I made this movie as a tribute to those cats and the people who love them. Hope you get to see the movie opening in NYC this weekend at the awesome Metrograph theater! My Proof: Check out the trailer here:

Thank you everyone for the questions! Hope everyone gets a chance to see KEDI when it comes to a theater near you :) Mrrawwwwww

Comments: 90 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

here_kedi_kedi18 karma

I love the movie and have so many questions! Biggest one - how long did it take to shoot, how many hours of footage did you have, and what was it like extracting a story from all that footage? Or did you go into the project knowing that you wanted to follow certain cats and create a story based on what they do?

ceydatorun26 karma

Hi! Thank you!!! :) We shot for two months, all day, every day :) Ended up with 180 hours of footage but we knew we'd have to edit the individual cat stories first, that part was easy... The hard part that took a while was how to string those stories together, what transitions to edit together so that the over all film would be an emotional journey... There were a lot of stories we had to abandon either because we didn't get enough material or because they didn't fit into the overall theme... :(

darkmion14 karma

Merhaba Ceyda Hanım Hoşgeldiniz

I have two questions for you

-Which part of istanbul have best kittens(my favourite places are Heybeliada and Cihangir)

-I think that it was hard to direct this,you said "Pisi Pisi" many time when you are directing ? How did you decide make a movies about cats ?

ceydatorun12 karma

Merhabalar! Hmmm... that's a hard question, but we saw more kittens in areas of town where there was less neutering - more in Kumkapi area (where the fishermen are in the film) and in Galata Tower area too! And there was a lot of psi-psi'ing throughout the shoot. Actually, often we didn't talk with words with even each other, started meowing and psss'ing the whole time! The decision to make this movie evolved over time, but I had felt a debt to my feline friends growing up but it was the recent internet cat obsession that allowed us to get funding and realize this dream :)

darkmion5 karma

I want to watch it, i cant find on if festival list,

ceydatorun11 karma

Ne yazik ki gecen sene iF Istanbul'daydi film... Elimizden geleni yapiyoruz, cok yakinda sizlere haberlerimiz olucak :)

webgirly10 karma

Hi! Is there going to be a general release in the UK? I'm in Manchester and I'd love to see this film

ceydatorun11 karma

We're definitely planning on a release in the UK but not sure what the details are yet... If you like, do sign up to our mailing list on - contact - so we can let you know directly :)

hydrosaure9 karma

When will Kedi be released in France?

ceydatorun12 karma

We're working on it as best as we can! We would love to bring KEDi to France and all over the world :) We will have news for you soon - if you like, you can sign up to our mailing list on - contact. <3

OrangeLimeZest9 karma

Saddest Kitten-related experience?

ceydatorun15 karma

During filming, the closest we came was with a kitten who had been attacked by a bigger cat but we rushed him to the vet and as far as we know, he's ok now. But of course, a lot of kittens don't make it, both because it's a dangerous city, but it's also not nature's way for all of them to survive... When I was a kid, taking care of the offspring of my street cat friend, I saw some kittens go naturally (bugs, illnesses, etc) and because of cars... It's never easy, it's always sad, but I guess it's always a part of life...

ilovecatsmeow39 karma

How did you decide which cats to follow since there are so many?

ceydatorun13 karma

Hi! We did a research shoot the previous year where we met a lot of cats and people we knew we wanted to follow. Then, three months before we started filming, we had a team of researchers who helped us by going neighborhood by neighborhood and we ended up with leads to 35 cats which we then ended up being able to film only 19 of, and in the edit trimmed down to the 7 that's in the film.

Redshadow869 karma

when did the cats come to istanbul historically?

ceydatorun17 karma

As far as we know, they came as early as the people, sometime in the paleolithic age. I interviewed a zoologist at the Uni of Istanbul who had been given the task to catalogue the animal remains that they encountered while digging the tunnel across the Bosporus. He showed me a fossilized cat remain from 3500 years ago that had a break in his leg that indicated that a human had helped heal. Quite amazing!

sasquatchshaman8 karma

Cats are such interesting creatures... do you have a favorite "cat fact" that most people don't know?

ceydatorun10 karma

Agreed! When I first began my research years ago, I was surprised to find out about a Uni of Berkeley study where the sequenced cat genome and found no genetic difference between 'domestic' cats and their wild counterparts. Then I googled the 'wild' small cats around the world, the norwegian forest cat, the north african and the asian cats and saw that they looked just like the street cats of Istanbul... Though less cross-bred :)

64Dork647 karma

Would it be possible to get a paw printed poster from any of the stars of KEDi?

ceydatorun5 karma

Yeah maybe! That's a brilliant idea ;) We'll keep you posted!

forava76 karma

did you have a favorite cat? and did you start naming them to remember which was which? if you did, what was your favorite name?

ceydatorun7 karma

The beautiful thing was that they all had names already! Some of these names are human names, which makes it even more adorable, and some were the traditional cat names - like Duman means smoke and I guess that's the universal name for a grey cat :)

sasquatchshaman5 karma

Did you bribe the cats with treats to get them to behave on camera? And if so, which treats are most popular on the streets of Istanbul?

ceydatorun3 karma

Hi! Originally we set out with treats in our pockets but soon decided it was best not to 'bribe' them, but often coaxed them our way with psss'es or helped them into staying in the frame by petting them and quietly leaving the frame :) We did feed them occasionally separate to the filming, if we ever encountered a malnourished cat in a far corner of the city, and it was often fresh little fish or chicken. But it's crazy how they can eat pretty much anything, from rice to pastries!

lawtalkingguy235 karma

Hello, first of all congrats for this lovely documentary. As a cat lover, how did you manage to direct these independent creatures :) Also we'll be able to see the film in Turkey or at least on dvd or digiturk? Thank you :)

ceydatorun5 karma

Hi! Thank you :) I have to admit I never 'directed' them :) They simply allowed us to follow them around, so we never had a conflict... We did call to them often and pet them and made sure they felt comfortable with us, they did the rest :) We're doing our best to get the film to Turkey as quickly as we can. One way or another, soon :) Keep you posted, but do sign up to our mailing list on - contact - so we can let you know directly.

bananap33lz4 karma

Do you have a favorite cat in the film?

ceydatorun7 karma

That's such a hard question to answer because I got to form bonds with all these beautiful cats and they were so wonderful to get to know. Having said that, Bengu was truly the most loving and affectionate one so it was a pleasure to work with her. Psycho and Gamsiz and Sari were a lot of fun to chase around too!

here_kedi_kedi4 karma

What's your favorite moment from the film?

What was the funniest thing that happened while filming?

How did the cats, and the culture of Istanbul, impact your life?

ceydatorun10 karma

Hi! I love Psycho's relationship with her 'husband', just because she's so mafia! I do love the cat at the end of the film who walks against eh sunset on the rooftop, performing without being cued, like a professional actor! We had so many funny moments while filming, mostly it was how often cats would start grooming - often in inappropriate ways - just when we had our cameras ready :p I feel truly grateful for having grown up in Istanbul with those cats, cause the chance to communicate with an animal that's not a human teaches you so much about yourself and life, it's a little hard to explain. Istanbul being the timeless city that it is, also helped form my appreciation for how small we are in the grand scheme of things, and hopefully it makes me a more humble person :)

ilovecatsmeow34 karma

Happiest kitten-related experience?

ceydatorun11 karma

Encountered a kitten who we thought had sat on the wet cement from the construction nearby, took him to the vet only to find out that it was a large amount of dried poop! EEEK! But a thorough cleaning by the courageous vet left him relieved and when we brought him back to his location, he was happier than ever :p

LNBel4 karma

I travel to Istanbul often and also look after community cats here in NYC. Most of us practice TNR here's a good resource Do you think that TNR (trap neuter and release) could be practiced in Istanbul? Do you think that there might be support for such a movement?

ceydatorun5 karma

Hi! It is being practiced, and has been for some time. Pretty much all stray dogs have been neutered and tagged, and a lot of the cats have been neutered and returned by the people who care for them on the streets. There are organizations that run TNR but it's also offered at a discount by the municipalities vets. Not all Istanbulites agree to TNR however.

Bruce_Farnsworth3 karma

Hi Ceyda! As someone who was lucky to see the film early, I was struck by how the camera cuts around the cats like a narrative film. A cat jumps up, and we cut to the cat landing. How was this achieved?

ceydatorun8 karma

Hi Bruce! That's wonderful you've seen the film ;) We always had at least two cameras - canon 5d's on hand to follow the cats as best as we could. We were keen to make the film as true and real as possible. :)

pcpcpcpcpc23 karma

Hi Ceyda,

Did you ever consider talking about some of the more practical, day-to-day ups and downs of being surrounded by so many strays? I watched your film with someone who kept saying that there must be so many fleas on these cats or there must be cat waste everywhere. Obviously you are directing the film with other aspects in mind, but did you ever think about including those smaller details?

ceydatorun4 karma

Hi! Yes of course, and it's not all fun and games for everyone in Istanbul. There are those who don't like the cats, some who are allergic... Fleas weren't a huge problem though it's a seasonal issue of course, and the illnesses they have only really affect the cats. Having said that, I explored all these aspects of cat life in Istanbul, as well as the historic/scientific elements but in the end, the film shaped into a poetic, emotional experience rather than a cerebral one. Which suited me fine, because the best part of a relationship with a cat is that they make you stop thinking with your head and get you to feel with your heart :)

lilDoodad3 karma

Do you get updates of about the stars of the film?

ceydatorun3 karma

Hi! Yes, I try to get updates from the humans of the cats and try to visit them too :)

Burow3 karma

Are there a lot of pure turkish cat breeds on the street?

ceydatorun2 karma

That's a challenging question because the idea of a 'pure breed' is a difficult concept... The cats on the streets in Istanbul are often born and raised there, to parents that come from the streets and are a 'breed' of their own... Occasionally you come across a more distinct breed of cat on the street if they've run away or been abandoned but the turkish Van cat for example, with the two different eye colors, is also deaf and never survives on the streets...

PantherCoffee723 karma

Hello Ceyda, I'm a high school student and I love to make films myself as well. Along with skits and things, I make little documentary shorts about my friends. One of my favorites is my [60 Second Stories](60 Second Stories: Season One: series which I made on a whim one day. I'd like to hear what you think of them!

Perhaps out of place, but I was wondering what your opinion is on lighting for talking heads interviews. I film mostly outside, and I don't know whether to use 5600K or 3200K.


ceydatorun5 karma

Hi! That's wonderful that you're making doc shorts, it teaches you a lot about filmmaking and you can do it all by yourself :) Well done! I consulted with our cinematographer Charlie Wuppermann for your question and he suggests 5600K :) Hope that helps!

whinyslob3 karma

I live in the United States, and would love to see this film. Will it be showing in any city other than NYC?

Also, there are a lot of strays in my area. Do you have any tips on how I can help them? Its always so tough seeing cats without homes, especially during the cold winter months.

ceydatorun3 karma

Hi there! Yes, we're scheduled to screen in many more cities across the US! You can see the list of cities on our site,, and let us know if you don't see your city. As for the strays in your area, I think it's already a great start that you care and I'm sure you've already checked out your local stray cat associations for help. I think if you can open your home to them, especially in the winter, they will be grateful. Otherwise, you can try to place cat 'houses' near where they are so they can seek shelter if they're too shy to come near you :)

64Dork643 karma

Depending on how things go, would you consider making "KEDi 2" in a city with a similar street cat population? Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, for instance?

ceydatorun2 karma

We'd love to do that and have been working on various ideas for a series ;) Will keep you posted! Would you say that people in San Juan are involved in the lives of the cats? What's the general attitude there? I'd love to visit and see :)

teddysblackhat2 karma

Do you hold any animosity to They Might Be Giants?

ceydatorun3 karma

Not at all :) Love their remake of Istanbul not Constantinople... In fact, we thought we could name the film 'Catstantinople, not Istanbul' at some point :p

tamb0r2 karma

Merhaba, do you plan on releasing the movie in Turkey?

ceydatorun3 karma

Merhabalar! Elbette! Elimizden geleni yapiyoruz fakat tarihler belli degil. Size en yakin zamanda haber yollariz, bu arada mailing listemize katilin ki size direkt haber yollayalim :) - contact. Sevgiler! <3

asduh3kjnbq3r1 karma

Couldn't find how to enter the mailing list, can you help?

ceydatorun2 karma

Hi! So sorry I didn't see this until now! The mailing list can be reached on the contact page on Click on the 'contact' tab on the front page of the site and it'll take you to a form that says 'join the kedi community'.

melekzek2 karma

Any new projects you are working on right now ? How about street dogs of Istanbul, before they disappear completely...

ceydatorun1 karma

Hi! Merhaba :) Yes, more projects, and some that involve Istanbul again :) As for the dogs, I believe there have been a few very touching short documentaries already made about them and I know of someone else working on one too. So keep an eye out :)

melekzek3 karma

Followup, is it harder for a film crew to operate in Istanbul nowadays, compared to a couple years ago ?

ceydatorun2 karma

Yes, it probably is... :( But it's no reason to stop filming and documenting! :) The good thing is we can use - as we did for Kedi - cameras that look like stills cameras... so as not to attract unwanted attention.

MisterWonka2 karma

Congrats on he NYC premiere. Don't want to blow my Reddit anonymity, but I do work with cats and I would love to chat about possibly teaming up for an event/screening. If you are interested, sent me a PM and I'll let you know more.

My question is who is your favorite celebrity cat?

Thanks again for your great work!

ceydatorun1 karma

Hi! Sorry for my delay in writing back - I'm quite new to Reddit :) We'd love to discuss an event/screening idea - I'll pm you now :)

Burow2 karma

My cat takes craps in a pink kitty litter box with no sand in it. Is she special and am I harming her?

Side note: she doesn't seem to mind, but what does she know

ceydatorun2 karma

All I can say is that they instinctively like to cover up their poop and I noticed that they get distressed if they can't do that but maybe your cat has learned to do it differently... and as long as you feel she's well, I think you're ok :)

NYColette1 karma

I was at the 7:00 show at the Metrograph tonight and ADORED your movie! As we were leaving, a guy out front (big macho type, beard like an angry hedgehog) was saying "That was the best hour and a half of my life!" Are you doing any screenings in Chicago? I want to recommend to friend there!

ceydatorun1 karma

Hi! Thank you so so much for your note and for that sweet note about the guy ahead of you - love the detailed description by the way! It's beyond heartwarming for us to hear that people are feeling the love :) As for Chicago, I believe we're opening at Music Box Theater on 2/24 and I think tickets are already on sale!

lilDoodad1 karma

Hello Ceyda! Outside of the stars of the film. Do you have any Feline friends of your own?

ceydatorun2 karma

Hi! I currently don't live in Istanbul and have a very disjointed schedule where I have to be absent for weeks at a time and feel that would be unfair to any animal who I bring to my home... It's hard enough on my family :p But I've set up to foster cats and we often host our friends animals as a temporary home :)