Last year, Dewi made her directorial debut with the short youth film IDIOT starring the mentally handicapped Rahima Güngor and Emmy award winner Maryam Hassouni. IDIOT is selected for the Cannes Court Métrage 2016 (the Short Film Corner)
Yildiz is a mentally disabled girl of 16 years old. She wants to show everyone that she is just like everyone else. She admires her older sister Semra, who works as a fashion stylist. The fashion world is like a fairy tale for Yildiz and she dreams of becoming a model.
It's the most important day of the year for Semra; the opening of the Dutch Fashion Week with top fashion designer Mini Panini. Yildiz desperately wants to join and concocts a ruse. When Semra arrives at the Dutch Fashion Week she discovers her little sister in the back of her car…..
DEWI ABOUT HER DEBUT FILM ‘IDIOT’.
It all started with my old neighbor Rahima. I have known her for more than 10 years. She is 26 years old, but her mental age is 5. From the early stages of developing the idea for the movie in 2010 before eventually writing it, Rahima was my sole inspiration for this film. I never thought that Rahima would actually play the lead role and that I would direct the film, but I am very pleased it turned out the way it did. For both of us it was a great journey. Rahima can not write or read and therefore I ‘translated’ the script into pictograms which are also used at her special day care. This way she could read the script as she is used to.
We started rehearsing a lot once we decided that Rahima would play the lead role: twice a week for a period of two months we worked together. Almost all the professional actors that appear in the film rehearsed with Rahima before the shoot to assure we would be comfortable on set. I have learned a lot about working with Rahima, especially that she is capable of much more than anyone would think.
Nowadays, outward appearance is getting more important for children then it used to be. 'Idiot' is not about the main character and her being crazy and different, but about the people around her who think they behave 'normal'. The story is about 'see and be seen'- really looking into a person and that at the end the only thing that matters is to be yourself.
I’ve done a short outreach program at elementary schools in Amsterdam prior to the closed premiere. I showed the film to several schoolclasses and then discussed the themes with the children. Combined with a short acting / role-play exercise. It was very well received by both children and teachers. They clearly picked up on the theme and the message of the film. They really liked Rahima as a main character and talked a lot about it. Currently I am working on the final outreach program, which will be presented at several schools in June 2016.
My hope and wish now is to show the film to international audiences. To children all over the world. To learn and see how they respond and to let this film be more than just a film.