My husband’s first feature film, The Long Way Home, has been this year’s biggest inspiration for me. Alphan’s passion and hard work couldn’t be portrayed in a better way. He put his whole heart into making this movie…

As film critic Tim Robey explained so beautifully: “Inhospitable at the best of times, the snow-covered mountainscapes of Eastern Anatolia constituted a fatal frontier for many war exiles after the battle of Sarikamish in 1915, and provides a canvas laced with beauty and threat for this bone-chilling survival yarn, the superb debut feature of Alphan Eseli. Starting out with three characters—a refugee mother and daughter and their grizzled guide—the film traces their daunting trek across this barren terrain to safety […]. Puncturing its aura of ghostly impasse with some shocking narrative reversals, and constantly prickling with the mutual dread of strangers in grueling extremes, the movie stakes out hugely credible ground next to established Eastern Front war classics […] while remaining thoroughly its own beast.”


So far, the movie has won the Montreal Film Festival, has been awarded the International Federation of Film Critics’ Fipresci Award, and has won the Golden Zenith Award for the Best First Fiction Feature film at the 37th Montreal World Film Festival. Furthermore, The Long Way Home will be awarded the New Talent Award at the 10th annual Hong Kong Asian Film Festival and is among the finalists to compete for the Sutherland Trophy at the 57th BFI London Film Festival this week. People who are in London should definitely not miss the screenings at the BFI London Film Festival.


Filming of The Long Way Home took place in the Divrigi district of Sivas—a city in Eastern Anatolia—over the course of 35 days. Much like in the movie, shooting the film on location in the winter of 2012 with temperatures dropping to -20 degrees Celsius proved to be a big challenge…

At Istanbul’74 we had the honor to design and publish the making of the book, The Long Way Home (below).

View the trailer here, and for more information, visit


Photos: Courtesy of Demet Muftuoglu Eseli


Posted By

Demet Muftuoglu Eseli

Creative Director
Demet Muftuoglu Eseli is a boldfaced name in the Turkish art and fashion worlds. She founded ISTANBUL ’74, the first Turkey-based international arts and culture platform, in 2009. Muftuoglu Eseli ...