Almost a Turkish Soap Opera

Adel and Kamil, two young good looking Turkish men try to immigrate to North America. Adel’s ruthless grand uncle arranges him to marry Yonka (his spoiled obnoxious cousin) in exchange for his immigration status in Canada. The problem is Yonka and Adel hate each other. The drama heats up even more when Adel has an affair with Nora, his beautiful English teacher which ruins Yonka’s plans. And to add to this, his best friend Kamil has a big secret of his own. How did his life turn into a Turkish soap opera?

“Turkish soap operas are huge in Europe and the Middle East” Turkish soap operas dubbed in Arabic and many other languages have become a hit in the Middle East and European countries since MBC (Middle East Broadcast Center) started broadcasting the shows on their satellite channels. The soap opera storylines are always full of drama and excitement with a mixture of mafia, arranged marriages, affairs, divorce, scandals all within the backdrop of modern Muslim lifestyle in Istanbul. These soaps have caught the attention of men and women, and young and old alike. Families work around their daily schedules so that they are home in time to catch the next episode of their favourite soap. Some Islamic religious leaders blame the TV soaps for injecting Western society’s influence on Muslim family beliefs and traditions. But in most part, viewers find the shows entertaining and they find they can relate to them because they depict everyday life with people who have similar cultures unlike the characters in shows from mainstream American television or Hollywood blockbusters.

The novel paints a vivid portrayal of the lives and struggles of young modern Muslim adults trying to make a life in the West. The story will attract audiences of popular contemporary movies such as the Kite Runner and the Brick Lane. A published author, Anne-Rae Vasquez, wrote the novel, Almost a Turkish Soap Opera (released in 2012), Gathering Dust – a collection of poems, and Teach Yourself Great Web Design in a Week, published by Sams.net (a division of Macmillan Publishing).

Almost a Turkish Soap Opera is a directorial debut, an original screenplay and novel by Anne-Rae Vasquez. Her love of watching Turkish soap opera series (dubbed in Arabic) inspired her to write a story in the style of a modern day Turkish soap opera.

The feature film screenplay was produced by Joseph Khalil, Sababa Emporium Film Productions (sababaemporium.com) with AR Films into an award winning feature film, short film and series.

Season 1 of the Web series, which is a prequel to the feature film, was launched in December 2011 as a weekly one 5 minute episode released on their YouTube channel and has since been syndicated on BlipTV, iTunes Video podcast, Web Series Channel, Mingle Media TV, Open Film channel, Viki Channel, Daily Motion, Web Series Network and more.

The interest in the film and the web series is reflected on the Almost a Turkish Soap Opera Facebook fan page which now has over 8400 fans and their YouTube channel has over 7800 subscribers and 215,000+ views. Sababa Emporium plans to release the feature film on DVD in the winter of 2012.

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