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August 3, 2015

This September, the Freer Gallery of Art launches “Close Up,”a new film series focusing on work by leading Turkish and Indian filmmakers. The inaugural weekend Sept. 18–20 features two films by prominent Turkish director Çağan Irmak: Are We Ok? Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., and Whisper If I Forget Sunday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Meyer Auditorium. Irmak will be present at each screening to meet members of the audience and for a Q&A session.

The museum’s curator of film Tom Vick expects audiences will experience the same thrill of discovery that he did when they see Irmak’s films, and he hopes that local Turkish-Americans and Turkish expats will turn out to welcome a beloved compatriot.

“It is one of the pleasures of my job to discover talented directors whose work I was previously unfamiliar with, and perhaps an even greater pleasure to be able to share their work with the public,” Vick said. “This is certainly the case with Irmak, whom I was unaware of until just a few months ago. Now I am hooked. He makes popular entertainment of the most satisfying kind: films that balance humor and sadness, that address serious issues without becoming heavy handed and that aim for a broad audience without insulting anyone’s intelligence.”

The “Close Up”seriesis sponsored by Turkish Airlines. Up next is “Close Up: India”Nov. 6–8, showcasing director Anurag Kashyap in his two-park blockbuster, Gangs of Wessaypur.


Are We OK?
Friday, Sept. 18; 7 p.m.
Followed by Q&A with the director
Mixing joy, sorrow and a touch of magical realism, Are We OK? is an inspiring story of two men as they discover strength in each other. (92 min., Turkish with English subtitles)

Whisper If I Forget
Sunday, Sept. 20; 2 p.m.
Followed by Q&A with the director
This touching portrayal of love and reconciliation tells the story of Hatice, a former singer and pop star in Turkey who returns to her childhood home to make amends with her older sister Hanife and uncover a long-hidden secret. (123 min., Turkish with English subtitles)

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Ave. S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day (closed Dec. 25), and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries and their exhibitions, programs and other public events, visit or follow or For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000.

This series is sponsored by Turkish Airlines. It is organized in collaboration with TAFF Pictures, Istanbul; and Seagull Films, New York.