Director: Mert Gökalp

Turkey, Greece,  2023



My first visit to Kalymnos Island was fascinating, especially the sterns and heads of the tall boats and the Greek Tirhandils. The auxiliary air tanks, propeller protection cages, diving stones, surface observation mirrors, and other sponge equipment inside these boats… I was almost dreaming in a sponge museum as I walked around the Tirhandil boats. Various types of sponges, children running to the harbor to announce the arrival of the sponge fleet, the crew on the masts, divers posing on the boats… 8 years later I was on Lipsi Island, waiting for the seafood boat to sail, when Niko, curses Skevo: “Take these oysters and take them to Maria.” Skevo, opens his mouth and mockingly shouts: “Nikolas!” Then he grabs the basket with the day’s catch and runs away, leaving Niko cursing, “Vreee Rasputin”, “Kerala”. I was watching these men, thinking about how to film them.

Community Center

13.10.2023 – Friday – 16:00

Director Bio

Mert is a marine biologist and underwater documentarist based in Istanbul. He is known for his work as a director, cinematographer, photographer, and underwater cameraman for various advertising projects and NGO promotions. In 2012, Mert’s book on Mediterranean species was published by İnkilap Publishing House, and his “Istanbul Sea Creatures” was published as a guidebook in cooperation with Istanbul Municipality. He has four individual and one joint photography exhibition. He works as a freelance writer and nature photographer for Magma magazine. In addition to his award-winning short films “Irme” and “Mancorna”, he has directed feature-length documentary projects such as “Bluefish”, “Dusky Grouper”, and “Invaders”. He is working on a feature documentary on coral reef restoration and climate change and producing a television documentary for BeinTV called “Azmavi”.


Camera: Volkan Çalışır
Editing: Mert Gökalp
Sound: Efecan Toker
Production: Mert Gökalp