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The Butterfly’s Dream centers on two young poets in the 1940s of Turkey who make a bet on a pretty girl. Whoever’s poem the girl likes will win, and the other will step aside. The poets however have to deal with other problems like disease, poverty, compulsory work in the mines and the Second World War in the meantime. As the story unravels, the poets travel through cities and events in search of happiness. Is it the optimist who’s the bravest or the pessimist? This story will tell.

The Butterfly’s Dream is the end result of a seven-year preparation and work of Yılmaz Erdoğan who wrote and directed the film. The film reached an audience of 2.5 million in Turkey and Europe as it was released theatrically in countries like Germany, Denmark and Austria. The poster and trailers for the movie were created by IGNITION.


The entire production process, including pre-production and post-production lasted two years. Shooting took place in the exact cities the story takes place in; Zonguldak, Heybeliada and Istanbul. Some shooting also took place in a film studio in Istanbul.

A team led by costume designer Gülümser Gürtunca created almost 3000 costumes, shoes, bags and hats at 18 different ateliers in 6 months. In the 18 weeks of shooting in Zonguldak, Heybeliada and Kasımpaşa 10,000 extras took part. Director of Cinematography for The Butterfly’s Dream was Gökhan Tiryaki.  Antoine Moulineau of Avatar and Dark Knight fame lead a team of 60 people for the special effects of the movie.

Art director Hakan Yarkın and his team collected thousands of photographs from collectors and second-hand booksellers. These photographs served as background information in the creation of the 1940s set design.

Heybeliada Sanatorium, which had been incredibly busy between 1940 and 1980 but which has been closed now for the last seven years, was restored for the hospital scenes in the movie. The art director and his team managed to restore the hospital back to how it looked like in 1941 through a rigorous process that lasted six months. A team of 50 people got the sanatorium in shape after working on landscape, wood works and paint. All furniture and accessories including sickbeds, x-ray rooms, dining hall chairs and tables and the security hut for the sanatorium were re-made according to the originals that were found on photographs.



Yılmaz Erdoğan was born in 1967 in Hakkari, in the southeast of Turkey. He began his career as a comedian in theatre in 1987. As well as writing, directing and personally starring in many TV series and shows, Yılmaz Erdoğan – with his partner Necati Akpınar - founded BKM, one of Turkey’s first big film companies. He broke Turkey’s box-office record with his movie Vizontele in 2000. His other movies Vizontele Tuuba, Magic Carpet Ride (Organize İşler) and Jolly Life (Neşeli Hayat) followed suit.

He starred in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which went on to win the Cannes Jury Prize in 2011. He also starred in Bahman Ghobadi’s Rhino Season alongside Monica Belluci and Behrous Vossoughi. Rhino Season was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and was also screened as part of competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Yılmaz Erdoğan is also known for his poems; and is one of his country’s most-read poets.

An audience of 2.5 million in Turkey and Europe viewed his last movie The Butterfly’s Dream. His films have amassed a total audience of 13 million viewers.