KUALA LUMPUR: The man behind 2012's award-winning movie Istanbul Aku Datang may have wrapped up the love story set in Istanbul, Turkey, and made no provision for a sequel set in neighbouring Greece.
However, director Bernard Chauly, whose other movies include Goodbye Boys (2006) and Manisnya Cinta Di Cappadoccia (2014), has come up with a "sequel of sorts" to Istanbul, and its title Eropah Aku Sampai pays tribute to the 2012 movie.
Their similarities stop right at the surface though - while Istanbul was a feel good film, Eropah is a moving tale based on real events which have tugged at Chauly's heartstrings.
"I was touched by the humanitarian crisis that's brewing at the border of Greece and Turkey, where Syrian refugees are braving the seas and risking their lives to enter Europe and escape the civil war back home," said Chauly at the launch of Astro Citra's filmmaker showcase Karya 12 at GSC Pavilion Cineplex in Bukit Bintang here yesterday.
The refugees' plight prompted Chauly to create his latest telemovie and he has roped in Bront Palarae to play Bukary, a compassionate humanitarian aid worker stationed at the refugee camps on the island of Leros, the main Greek entry point for the Syrians.
Making good use of his contacts in Turkey and Greece developed during the filming of Istanbul, Chauly roped in Greek actress Lila Baklesi to play Dafni, a Greek humanitarian aid worker who becomes Bukary's best friend.
Also in the cast is Turkish actor Aziz Capkurt who plays Baran, a Syrian refugee whose wife and daughter drowned while they were crossing the Aegean Sea.
"While protagonist Bukary is doing a good deed helping the refugees, he wants to own land on the beautiful Greek island. But as his work with the refugees progresses, Bukary learns that friendship, family and meaningful relationships are the keys to happiness and health."
The telemovie also stars Nur Fazura Sharifuddin, the lead actress of Manisnya Cinta Di Cappadoccia. She plays the wife of Bukary.
"We shot the telemovie over 10 days late lat month, and in some scenes we had real refugees in action," said Chauly.