Midwood Istanbul Film Studio Complex & Luxury Complex6th March 2021
A GIFT TO THE FILM STUDIO INDUSTRY GLOBALLY, FROM TURKEY TO THE WORLD
“The legendary Hollywood productions will soon be filmed in Turkey.” What would you say? This is not a dream but reality itself! Thanks to Midwood, the foundations of which were laid by Ahmet San, the center of the cinema industry in the world will now be the best town in Istanbul at Buyucekmece, the Beverly Hills of Istanbul.
“Ahmet San is the architect of the largest events and concerts in Turkey for the last 40 years.” When we asked Ahmet San about the projects he said: I have drawn the “boundaries of the sector.” After completing 40 years in the music industry I turned my route to the cinema industry.
The construction of the movie studios will be one of the biggest in Europe and the World and it has just started. He added Midwood Istanbul Film Studios Complex will be a huge support for Turkish tourism and the economy.
How did the transition to the cinema sector happen?
I was a student at the university when I entered the music market. Starting in 1973 until 2000, I tried to create the important details of the [music] sector in Turkey. 20 years after bringing in the world’s greatest stars such as Madonna and Michael Jackson to name a few, I turned to Turkish artists and directed famous artists such as Kenan Doğulu, Burak Kut, Mustafa Sandal, Tarkan, Sezen Aksu, Sertab Erener, at the same time. My job has always been about setting the standards in the industry. I saw that I was doing everything in my field until 2014 and I lost my excitement. I started thinking about what I can do stronger besides music, and I thought I would do something for the cinema sector, which requires collaboration with music.
How did the 2021 project develop?
Our Turkish TV series started selling in 60-70 countries. I evaluated all the market facts. In 2015, I gave life to a very different project in the cinema sector. “This must be what the industry needed, which was an undisputed infrastructure,” I said. I decided to bring professional standards to the industry. I visited major studios around the world, examined how they work, and analyzed what stages they went through. In 2016, I decided to realize a big studio project. Midwood Istanbul Studio Complex: Turkey’s first and only, Europe’s largest project that will be among the few in the world.
When will the construction end?
I hope some parts of it will be finished in a year, and the whole project will be finished in two years.
What will it be like once the construction is finished?
It will be established on 500,000 square meters of land. Designed with advanced engineering solutions, 21 separate sound stages, 17 open sets, 18 production workshops will serve the cinema, TV series, and advertising sector with all the equipment needed for shooting.
Tell us about the luxury component in the project?
A hotel beyond the 5-star standard that will host world-famous artists and a high-end education valley that will train qualified personnel for the sector which will be the only one in the world. There will be thematic entertainment units, high-end restaurants, contemporary designed luxury offices, and two helipads. At the moment we are looking to raise investment to start the luxury hotel project and this is one of the major reasons why Mr. Fares Ghattas the Global CEO of The Luxury Network is our board member and heading this as he is the expert in the luxury field.
Will it have a tourism value like Hollywood and Bollywood do?
One of the promotional programs created by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism that contributes to tourism is the cinema sector. Midwood was not founded to do this, but the subject we are talking about is the natural result of the project. The luxury accommodation facility to be built will host Hollywood artists and filming crews who come here for the shooting, as well as, movie and TV series enthusiast tourists.
Why do you think tourists should visit this place?
One of the features of the closed sets is that they have soundproof areas that allow the shooting to be viewed. You will watch movies and TV series in the sessions allowed by the director and producer. For example, can you imagine people’s interest if a plateau opens while Tom Hanks was filming “Hell” and we had allowed some scenes to be watched live by random tourists? In the future, when such projects are filmed here, the attention of the world will shift in this direction.
Do you currently have any shooting deals?
The interest is great, there are demands from Turkey. There are projects from Iran, India, New Zealand, France, Bulgaria, and the USA. We aim to turn the plateau into an export item. Productions of the world, especially in Hollywood productions, trailed in Turkey. The money that Hollywood leaves to an eastern European country is 750 million dollars a year. We aim to bring this money to Turkey. Our slogan now is “a gift to the world from Turkey.”
What are your thoughts about the COVID-19 pandemic?
Pandemics and prejudice can’t stop us. We have overcome those issues, they were not a problem! I am a person who brought foreign world stars to this country in 1973. These kinds of issues are not a problem for me. We trust our country and ourselves.