based down south
DE/TR (2010), 88min, XDCamEX

Direction: Martina Priessner
Editing: Bettina Blickwede
Sound: Robert F. Kellner
Production: Claudia Wolf, pangeafilm
Production partner: mpool, Telefactory
Programme Manager: Frank Seyberth

DVD Sales: absolut medien

Nominated for the German TV Award Grimme Preis 2011

World-Premiere: 29th International Filmfestival Istanbul 3.-18. April 2010
Germany-Premiere: 54th International Dokfestvial Leipzig (German Competition) 21. and 23. October 2010

They answer the phone as Ralf Becker and Ilona Manzke. Friendly, patient and competent, they work for a company based »down south« as they explain to customers enquiring as to the business location. But these call centre agents who speak perfect German with endearing regional accents are actually based a little further south than their customers might imagine, namely in huge, open-plan air-conditioned offices in Istanbul. German companies from Lufthansa to Neckermann have come here to find qualified staff for low wages.

Bülent (30), Murat (39), Fatoş (43) and Ciğdem (33) share memories of their childhood and youth in Germany. Now they all live in Istanbul, three of them against their will. Fatoş and Murat were forced by their parents to go to Turkey; Bülent was deported five years ago. Only Ciğdem, the young manager with a German passport freely opted for a life in Istanbul. But even after decades in their parents country of origin, the other three have never really managed to make it their home. Instead, they have constructed a »surrogate Germany« for themselves.