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Meet the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers #15 : Onur Tukel Will Drink Too Much As He Promotes ‘Applesauce’

Meet the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers #15 : Onur Tukel Will Drink Too Much As He Promotes 'Applesauce'

READ MORE: Meet the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Filmmakers

TFF alumnus Onur Tukel plays a husband who innocently reveals on talk radio the worst thing he’s ever done. Though his gaffe never makes it on air, it sets off a chain of hilariously uncontrollable events that draw his wife and another couple into an uneasy mixture of infidelities, confessions, and severed body parts. [Synopsis courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival.]

What’s your film about in 140 characters or less?

“What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?” Every Tuesday radio show host Steve Bricks asks this question. When school teacher Ron Welz calls in to tell his story, it unleashes a ridiculously insane chain of events.

Now what’s it REALLY about?

Infidelity. Post 9/11 paranoia. Body parts. Alternate approaches to war. It’ll be whatever it is to whoever decides to see it. It’s a mashup of lots of different themes and genres. Comedy. Drama. Noir. Horror.

Tell us briefly about yourself.

I had a film here last year called “Summer of Blood.” Fantastic, fun week. I often put my foot in my mouth. I definitely did last year during Q & As. I live in Bushwick. I’m a recovering hypochondriac. When I drink, I drink too much, which means that I’ll be drinking too much during Tribeca.

Biggest challenge in completing this film?

Just completing a film, any film, is a challenge. Completing any piece of art is an accomplishment. But for this movie, the first day of shooting was a fucking nightmare. It had the structure of a rugby match. We quickly gained our footing but that first day was ugly.

What do you want the Tribeca audience to take away from your film?

“Applesauce,” like most forms of media, is designed to entertain and distract. But it’s also filled with ideas that I hope more thoughtful viewers will appreciate.

Any films inspire you?

Seeing a really great movie made by someone I know always inspires me. Seeing great movies at festivals is especially inspiring, because the experience seems more intimate. The audiences are usually very passionate and you have opportunities to engage with the filmmakers. There’s a sense of purpose, like it means something.

What’s next? 

It all depends on how “Applesauce” plays out. If I can get another film off the ground, I’d like to start shooting this summer. If not, I’ll do another children’s book or finish up a graphic novel I’ve been working on. Maybe I’ll run around New York playing folk songs like a jerk. I moved to New York to make art in some way, for better or worse. If I can’t get another film made, there are other mediums I’m happy to fail at. And I don’t say that to be self-deprecating in a cutesy way. Failing is everything in the arts.

What cameras did you shoot on?

Two Canon C300s.

Did you crowdfund?
If so, via what platform. If not, why?

I don’t crowdfund. It would be hypocritical since I don’t typically donate to crowdfunded movies. But this could change in the future. Giving to the arts is a worthy way to spend money. Just like buying books from a bookstore. You’re contributing to the culture.

Did you go to film school? If so, which one? 

I double-majored in Journalism and Radio, Television and Motion Pictures at UNC-Chapel Hill. My favorite memory from the film program was sitting in the back of the screening room watching “Rosemary’s Baby” while my girlfriend gave me a handjob. I still have trouble watching that movie with a straight face.

Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2015 festival. For profiles go HERE.

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