Moon and Stars Project is the arts and culture outfit of The American Turkish Society.


May 16 - 25, 2014| 13th New York Turkish Film Festival

May 15, 2014| Young Photographers Award Open Call Application Deadline

April 1, 2014| Deadline for SVA Summer Residency Scholarship

January 16 - March 1, 2014| Private Matters organized by Ceren Erdem, Jaime Schwartz, and Lisa Hayes Williams

November 12-30, 2013 | 2013 Young Photographers Exhibition in Istanbul at The Elipsis Gallery

August 2, 2013 | 13th NYTFF Film Submission Deadline

July 27-28| "Oasis" Presented by NY2Dance at Ailey Citigroup Theater

May 2013| 2013 YPA Winner Announcement

March 21| Deadline for SVA Summer Residency Scholarship Applications

November 30, 2012| Priene Hali Benefit Sale

August 26, 2012| Korhan Basaran performance at the Wild Project

June 27, 2012| 2012 SVA Open Studios

March 30-September 15, 2012| "Films About Conscience" Open Call

April 27-May 10, 2012| "The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey" at The Film Society of Lincoln Center

January 4-17, 2012| "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" at Film Forum 

January 4-15, 2012 | "Lick but Don't Swallow," by Ozen Yula

November 5-18, 2011 | "Young Photographers Award" Exhibition 

November 11, 2011|Kardes Turkuler Music Workshop

November 11, 2011| Asli Çavuşoğlu: Words Dash Against the Façade

November 13, 2011 Kardes Turkuler in Concert with Arto Tuncboyaciyan  feat. Special Guest Ara Dinkjian

October 15, 2011| Application Deadline for Call for Short Films: "Films about Conscience" Project

October 8, 2011|Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan at NYFF

July 13-16, 2011 | "For Rent," by Ozen Yula    

June 2011 | Summer Residency Program at SVA

May 2011 | "Young Photographers Award" winner announcement

April 11 | Summer Residency Program at SVA Application Deadline

March 25&27 | Public Screening of Majority (Cogunluk)

December 3-5, 10-12 | 12th New York Turkish Film Festival

October-November 2010 | Turkish Film Screenings in Ithaca (NY), Madison (MI), Milwaukee (MI) and Seattle (WA)

August 5, 2010 | Summer Residency Program: Open Studios & Exhibition




Open Call for 2014 Young Photographers Award 

The  open call for the 2014 Young Photographers Award is now available. The deadline for the 2014 Young Photographers Award is May 15, 11:59 PM. The application (in Turkish) may be downloaded here. To read the open call in Turkish, please see here.

About The Young Photographers Award

The Young Photographers Award is given annually since 2010 by Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. Administered by The American Turkish Society, it is made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by Haluk Soykan at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. In previous years, instead of an open call, photography department heads of select universities in Turkey nominated two students to participate in the Young Photographers Award. Starting in 2014, in order to give an opportunity to a wider range of Turkish photography talent, The Young Photographers Award will be administered through the format of an open call. The winner of The Young Photographers Award will be determined through a rigorous selection process, be the recipient of a $5,000 award, and have his/her submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. Two Honorable Mentions will also be selected, and each will be the recipient of a $2,500 award, in addition to having their submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. The awards are used to cover the recipients’ tuition and/or photography equipment purchases. Please see below for more information about the application and selection processes.

Application Process

The application procedure and criteria are as follows:

  • The applicant must be a student currently enrolled in a photography or art department at a university in Turkey. Students who are enrolled in departments other than photography or art are not eligible to apply.
  • The application deadline is May 15, 11:59 PM, Istanbul time, and the online application form is available here.
  • The application package requires the following two documents:
  1. A completed application form
  2. A copy of an official university transcript

The two required documents must be sent together in a single email to for an application to be considered as complete.

Selection Process

The winners will be selected by John Goodman from the U.S. and Sinem Yoruk, founder/director of Elipsis Gallery, through a two-stage selection process. The first stage will be through an electronic application procedure described above, and the second stage will be through the submission of physical photo prints. Shortlisted candidates who pass the digital selection stage and advance to the second stage will be notified in early June. All candidates who advance to the second round of selection will be asked to submit the additional following materials via postal mail: high-quality physical copies of their electronically submitted portfolio of photography to be sent to Elipsis Gallery and an official transcript that bears a university seal to The American Turkish Society. The works of all candidates who advance to the second stage of selection will be exhibited at the venue sponsor, Elipsis Gallery in Fall 2014. The final winner and honorable mentions will be announced on August 15.



The New York Turkish Film Festival is Back!



       Tickets will go on sale April 15!
For more information, see



Butterfly's Dream ( Kelebeğin Rüyası) 

Director: Yilmaz Erdoğan
2013; 138 min.

The visually stunning Butterfly's Dream was Turkey’s Oscar nominee this year. Set during WWII, the story evolves around two young poets (Kıvanç Tatlituğ and Mert Fırat) with tuberculosis germs in their lungs and a love of poetry in their heart. They create a competition to gain the attention of the mayor’s pretty daughter (Belçim Bilgin). Meanwhile, the two young men have to deal with disease, poverty, and compulsory work in the mines. Director Yılmaz Erdoğan, a favourite with Turkish audiences, conveys this heartbreaking story with a soothing lightness and a distinct love for poetry.

Yozgat Blues

Director:  Mahmut Fazıl Coskun
2013; 92 min

Yavuz (performed by Ercan Kesal), a musician who sings old fashioned French chansons at shopping malls, decides to take on a job singing in a run-down nightclub in the provincial town Yozgat. His former student Neşe (Ayça Damgacı), who is also in search of a new start, follows him along. They settle in a hotel room and perform together. When they become friends with Sabri, (Tansu Biçer), a local barber, their relationship turns complicated.

Love Me (Sev Beni) 

Directors:  Maryna Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadir Er
2013; 90 min.

Cemal (Ushan Çakır), a young Turkish man betrothed by his family to a girl he has never seen, is dragged to Kiev by his cousin for his bachelor party. In Kiev, Cemal stumbles into beautiful Sasha (Viktoria Spesivtseva), an independent and confident young woman with an agenda of her own. Despite their language barrier, the two soon find themselves falling in love. Love Me is Gorbach and Er’s second collaboration following the celebrated Black Dogs Barking (2009), and had its premier at the World Film Festival in Montreal.

The film had its premier at the World Film Festival in Montreal and came back with three awards from the 34th Oporto International Film Festival.

Blue Wave (Mavi Dalga)

 Directors:  Zeynep Dadak, Merve Kaya
2013; 96 min.

At the end of the summer, 16-year-old Deniz (Ayris Alptekin) and her family close up their holiday house and head back home to Balıkesir - a provincial town. Deniz goes back to school and connects with her girlfriends, talking about boys and what universities they would like to attend. The year brings new freedoms and dreams for the girls as it does new longings and fears, along with plentiful advice from well-intentioned adults in their lives, which will be summarily ignored as these girls chart their own paths into adulthood.


Particle (Zerre)

Director: Erdem Tepegöz
2012; 80 min.

Particle tells the story of a single working woman - a rarity in Turkey’s cinema. Zeynep (Jale Arıkan) is already stretched thin to make ends meet when she gets fired from her job at a textile mill. The beautifully shot film closely follows her in and out of workspaces as she searches for a job to support her mother and handicapped daughter. The film captures the desolate streets of Tarlabaşı - a neighborhood suffering from unruly gentrification -  through Zeynep’s eyes, portraying them as dark and suffocating. Particle is the winner of the Best Film award at Moscow International Film Festival.


Ships (Ferah Feza)

Director:  Elif Refiğ
2013; 97 min.

Ali (Uğur Uzunel), while working for his father as a ship supplier, spends his time day dreaming in shipyards and harbours. He longs for a more satisfying life, taking time to ponder the nature of coincidences. His search for meaning in signs leads him to a graffiti artist, Eda (M. Sitare Akbaş), with whom he will share a journey through Turkey's ports looking for their escape. Ships won the Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI prize at the European Film Festival in 2013.


Stranger (Yabancı)

Director:  Filiz Alpgezmen
2013; 96 min.

Özgür (Sezin Akbaşoğulları) is the Turkish daughter of parents who, following the coup of 1980, took refuge in France. Her mother passed away when she was a child and Özgür was raised by her father in Paris, having never visited Turkey. Özgür is a young woman who is seriously disconnected from life, a “stranger” to everything but mostly to herself. In Istanbul, she finds out that in order to bury her father, who is no longer considered a Turkish by the government, she must overcome almost impossible bureaucratic problems. These problems force Özgür into a journey through Turkish bureaucracy, Istanbul, herself, and her new-found extended family.


Documentary Films

Girls of Hope (Umudun Kızları)

 Director:  Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent
2013; 82 min.

 Girls of Hope is an ambitious documentary that follows five girls from the Southeast Turkey  who are fighting for their education.The film interviews these girls and their families, who sometimes prevent them from pursuing high school, giving us insight into the girls' pursuit of education against tremendous difficulties. Almost half of the girls in this region are illiterate. This inspiring documentary won the Special Mention at RIFF in Italy.

In person:  Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent


My Child (Benim Çocuğum)

Director:  Can Candan
2013; 82 min.

My Child is a documentary that follows a courageous and inspiring group of parents in Turkey who have children who identify as LGBT individuals. They have not only gone through the path of accepting their children for who they are, but have also opened up and shared their experiences publicly by forming a support group called LISTAG. In this documentary, parents intimately share their feelings and tell the story of their experiences, redefining what it means to be a family in a conservative society. My Child is a powerful film that challenges social prejudices against LGBT individuals. It was screened at numerous festivals worldwide and won many awards, bringing previously taboo issues to headlines and into the living rooms in Turkey.

In person:  Can Candan


Short Film Composite Program

After Shave (Dir: Nail Pelivan)

The master has to teach the detail of craft to his assistant. People need justice. If law is not enough, people find the way to sort their problems out in every age.

Alzheimer (Dir: Neslihan Siligür)

The story of a man who is sentenced to be forgotten by his beloved after having lived long and happy years together.

Mesut The Fish (Dir: Hakan Hücum)

The story of Şefik, a traditional Turkish man who is grubby and grumpy, and his wife Nalan. Şefik and Nalan are stuck in a cycle whereby they argue, Nalan leaves for her mother's house and Şefik follows her. But one day when Şefik decides to cook the fish himself, they are able to break out of their old routines.

Scarecrow (Dir: Adem Demirci)

A young woman who lives in a small town is mourning the death of her husband. Although she is by herself now, she still feels as if her husband was standing tall in the centre of her life. She is scared and tries to evade this feeling through a ritual with a scarecrow.

Vanished into Blue (Dir: Abdurrahman Öner)

A commentary on marriage is achieved via a single shot film in which a TV is broadcasting a matchmaking program. Meanwhile, a woman is preparing dinner for her husband. The couple has been married for decades and their marital hostility is contrasted with the ongoing prattle of the matchmaking TV program.


Conscience Films

Sponsored by the Hrant Dink foundation, the project named “Let’s Take a Look Through Our Conscience” invited people around the globe, amateur or professional filmmakers, to take to display the different faces of conscience via short films. The Hrant Dink Foundation was established in 2007, following the painful event of January 19th. Later, in 2009, this project was initiated as part of the foundation’s various activities aiming to ensure freedom of speech, democracy and human rights for everyone regardless of their ethnic, religious or cultural origin or gender. It invites everyone and anyone to make a film of maximum 5 minutes about a topic that touches their conscience. The New York Turkish Film Festival will show a composite of films selected from the submissions by the international jury. These films will move you, educate you, and mostly touch your conscience. For further information you may visit:



Open Call for 2014 SVA Summer Residency Program 


Program Dates: June 2 - July 3
Application Deadline: April 1

This internationally renowned program offers artists an opportunity to work intensively in a private studio, receive individual critiques from faculty, and attend weekly lectures given by guest artists, critics, and gallery directors. The selected participant has exclusive use of a small studio located in the School of Visual Arts Chelsea Building. Faculty visits the studios Mondays through Thursdays. Exposure to the New York art world complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.

Created in 2004 by Moon and Stars Project and School of Visual Arts, the scholarship, to date, has enabled ten artists of Turkish origin to attend the program.

The scholarship is open to active professional artists residing in Turkey who are not represented by a gallery. Different from previous years, current undergraduate students are not eligible to attend. Applications from graduate students are welcome. Applicants should have fluency in English sufficient for engaging in meaningful dialogue with other participants.

For information on the application and selection process, please click here.


January 15, 6-8 PM: Opening Exhibition of "Private Matters"

Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society is pleased to support

Private Matters

an exhibition organized by Ceren Erdem, Jaime Schwartz, and Lisa Hayes Williams
and presented by ApexArt

Opening Exhibition: January 15, 6-8 PM
On View: January 16 - March 11
291 Church Street
New York, NY 10013 USA

Featuring work by:

Becca Albee and Kathleen Hanna, Maria Antelman, Nilbar Güreş (a 2013 MASP grant winner), Trevor Paglen, Stephanie Syjuco, and Pilvi Takala 


In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that the revelation of classified information and confidential documents is no longer the sole province of journalists or mere fodder for Hollywood films. Today, public access to what once was considered privileged information is a social reality, pointing to broader changes in the construction of our relationships and emphasizing the fact that—in our networked environment—virtually no information is private anymore. Private Matters brings together a group of artists who, through individual strategies of sharing various kinds of secure information with the audience, eliminates the boundaries between public and private. In this context, secrets are revealed, security measures of institutions are tested, and myths—both personal and collective—are interrogated. These works share a reliance on technology, which has become an integral factor in the way that we interact with others now; through various media, we share our statuses, moods, and follow each other in an endless voyeuristic cycle.


To learn more about the exhibition, please click here


2013 Young Photographers Exhibition in Istanbul


Young Photographers Award Exhibition
November 12-30, 2013


Opening Reception
Tuesday, November 12, 6:00pm

Elipsis Gallery 
Hoca Tahsin Sokak/Akçe Sokak
Akçe Han, No: 10, Karaköy, İstanbul

Contributing Artists
Osman Demir, Mimar Sinan University- Winner
Çağın Coşkunırmak, Akdeniz University - First Honorable Mention
Melih Cevdet Teksen, Kocaeli University- Second Honorable Mention

Can Boyan
Başak Aras
Berkay Tezcan
Burçin Ayebe
Emel Bayat
Emin Yüksel
Ertaç Er
Ezgi Toral
Melek Karakayalı
Halit Onur Sandal
Merve Yüzük
Müge Mahmutçavuşoğlu
Murat Ekmekçi
Okan Ulusoy
Rafet Diker

The Young Photographers Award is given annually since 2010 by Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. Administered by the Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society, the program is made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by the donor, Haluk Soykan, at Turkish Philanthropy Funds.

The exhibition featuring a total of 22 selected works from 18 participating students will be available for viewing at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul on November 12-30. A winner and two honorable mentions were selected by Anne Havinga, Yousuf and Estrellita Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs, and Karen Haas, Lane Curator of Photographs, both from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The winner of this year’s Young Photographers Award was awarded $5,000 for his photography work. Two honorable mentions were also named, who received $2,500 each. 

For more information:
Facebook Event Page

Special thanks to Elipsis Gallery


Cevizli Görsel İletişim