Levan Akin

Retired Georgian teacher Lia travels to Istanbul in search of her estranged niece Tekla. She is accompanied by her young neighbour Achi. Roaming the Istanbul streets, they meet many outsiders in this daring and touching trans drama.

Lia, a retired teacher, has made a promise to find out what happened to her long lost niece, Tekla. When Lia learns from a neighbour, Achi, that Tekla might have left their Georgian homeland and is living in Turkey, Lia and Achi set off together to find her. Arriving in Istanbul, they discover a beautiful city full of connections and possibilities. But searching for someone who never intended to be found is harder than they expected. But then they meet Evrim, a lawyer fighting for trans rights. As Lia and Achi weave their way through the city’s backstreets, Tekla starts to feel closer than ever.

Levan Akin’s fourth feature film is filled with an impressive emotional immediacy. Two initially hesitant strangers overcome not only ideological but also internal boundaries on their mission. Istanbul’s topography plays just as important a role in this ode to humanity as the array of characters that live within it. 

Credits film still: © Photographer Haydar Tastan


Levan Akin
Mathilde Dedye
Country of production
Sweden, Denmark, France, Turkey, Georgia
105 minutes
Spoken language
English, Georgian, Turkish
Production company
French Quarter Film
World Sales
Totem Films
Dutch distributor
Imagine Film