Statements

  • “The Chocolate Wrapper” was inspired by the true event of Evren Anil’s fatal incident. He was a healthy, intelligent, promising 23 year old man. On a summer’s day in August 2007, he was travelling in a car with his 26 year old sister Elif, through South London. Whilst waiting at a set of traffic lights, a half-eaten chocolate bar was suddenly thrown through their open car window. When Evren got out to confront the teenagers responsible, a knife was brandished by one of the youths and Evren was punched to the ground.

    From the beginning I was resolute that I did not want to make a documentary or a docudrama. I wanted to make a fictional film which explored Evren, the incident, Elif, the family.

    I decided to make the film from Elif’s point of view.

    My interest and ultimately the focus of the film was how an ordinary happy day suddenly became a nightmare and how this dramatic, sudden and unjust incident affected Elif’s life. Then, through her grieving process, how the small things that Evren left behind, help her to move forward…

    The film not only explores a sister’s grief at losing her ‘angel’, as she described him in court when Evren’s killers were brought to trial but also touches on the way chance can dramatically change our lives. How a seemingly inconsequential chain of events, as shown in the film, led to Evren’s death. We can all think of moments in our lives when chance or fate has played a significant role, when you are in the right place, at the right time or, in Evren’s case, the wrong place at the wrong time. If he hadn’t remonstrated with the youths, he would most probably still be alive today. But as the film captures, he was a man of integrity and action, and his act of challenging this yobbish behaviour seems entirely in keeping with his character.

    Evren was my friend and he helped me with my first short film, “An Eye for A Tooth”. I shot this film two years before his death. He was much younger than me but he always gained my biggest respect by the way he talked, his behaviour  and his politeness. He was an outstanding human being. I would never imagine him being involved in a fight. He was more like a moderator.

    I talked to Evren’s family about my intention to make the film. His family trusted me and shared their feelings and frustrations about the incident with me. His sister Elif tried her best to tell me what happened at the incident and how she felt afterwards. Whilst speaking to her during my interviews she amazed me. How she coped with the situation and how she managed to carry on as best as she could.  I saw a strong woman who was the one to have suffered the most from this situation.

    I began writing the screenplay by myself but soon enough I found the tone of my writing was aggressive. I didn’t want the film to scream and shout, I wanted it to be subtle and calm. I then realised that I was too close to the subject matter and I couldn’t take myself away from being aggressive. So I collaborated with another writer, Rahim Moledina. This worked very nicely in that while I was keeping track with reality, Rahim and I were also able to build a fictional world together.

    It was a previlige for me that some of Evren’s family members, his dad, Niyazi Anil and brothers Bulent and Ozgur, and some of his friends, took part in the project as actors , web designer....

    I was also privileged by the support of my own community. My son Emre’s football team, Storm Lightning, including the players, coaches and parents all played a part in the filming.

    The film ends at Evren's grave. This is to remind us that this is not a story created from fiction alone. I wanted to highlight a pressing social issue of contemporary concern, knife crime and youth violence, but I didn't want this to be the main focus. This film mainly deals with humanity. The people who are left behind when violence strikes, they are the ones who suffer the most when such an incident turns their lives upside down.

    Murat Kebir 25/02/2013

  • When Murat Kebir approached me and told me he was looking for a producer for his next film, I knew very little about the true events behind his proposed narrative.

    The script I read was a very moving story of a woman who tragically loses her brother and has to come to terms with the reality she’s face with.
    A heartfelt drama that I found impossible to steer away from and knew I needed to be involved in some way.

    More so it became clear that I would absolutely have to join forces with this filmmaker to bring his project to the screen, when I was informed that it was based on a true event, an unbearable tragedy that affected a family forever.

    I felt that this filmmaker was very brave to explore complex themes of loss and grief through narrative cinema whilst staying true to the facts of this tragic event and the unjust loss of a young man.

    Almost two years since that first meeting and having gone through many challenges and difficulties in producing this film, a common reality for most independent filmmaking, I am truly thankful to the filmmaker Murat Kebir for approaching me back then and for inviting me to join him in his journey.
    His commitment, dedication and talent have produced a truly poignant film.
    This compelling story can now reach out and connect with so many others who may not have known much about the real events yet I am sure will identify with Elif’s sorrow and pain and hopefully find hope and solace by following her journey to find peace and move forward.

    My gratitude to the family and friends of Evren Anil who have entrusted us with their tragedy and allowed us to produce what I hope you will all find a gripping and moving drama.

    Ioanna Karavela 25/10/2013

  • Evren Anil was one of the extraordinary role models for British youth. He successfully completed his university and dedicated himself to nurture and educate young people apart his work. I had no chance to meet him before he passed away however I heard many impressive stories about his good character.

    My goodhearted friend and director Murat Kebir revealed his passion to me to make an unforgettable piece for his friend, Evren Anil.

    I am really honoured to participate in this project as an Executive Producer alongside with director Murat Kebir and producer Ioanna Karavela.

    Ilhan Gokalp 18/7/2013