Write: Jülide Karahan Photos: Ahmet Bilal Arslan
Şevval Sam, who spent the spring in Adıyaman for shooting on the film “Kayıp Köpek” (The Lost Dog), tells of the city as follows: “As I look on to the endless plains, the wind starts blowing, forming waves over wheat fields. I lift my head to find swallows flying overhead. I see some storks, too. Crystal clear waters, poppies, yellow flowers, and sweet-smelling air...”
Today is Mothers’ Day, a day on which the sun has shown its face and spring has finally come around. Şevval Sam, in her floral print skirt, has just arrived from Adıyaman. She orders a coffee and starts talking …
What do you do in Adıyaman?
We are shooting a movie. It is a Belgian-Turkish joint venture, titled “Kayıp Köpek” (The Lost Dog), and it is directed by Bülent Öztürk.
Is it about Adıyaman?
No. Although Adıyaman is portrayed in the background, the story is universal; it could happen anywhere in the world. It is the story of a woman… The movie is titled “The Lost Dog”; this is somewhat metaphorical too. The story is developed around a child losing his dog in the village. However, when you look into it, we come across a woman trying to gain her independence and not requiring absolute good or absolute evil to achieve it. Any woman can experience the same feeling anywhere in the world. But Adıyaman’s geography is incredible. Dry steppes are followed by dense forests, endless poppy fields lead to bare peaks. It’s almost impossible to believe you are in such a place.
On Twitter, you wrote, “Adıyaman is very beautiful. There are poppy, daisy, and yellow flower fields everywhere…”
Yes, because it had a great impact on me. I talk about Adıyaman to anyone I bump into. There, I heard the song of a bird that I had never heard before, and recorded it. Later, I saw the bird from a distance. I don’t know what kind of bird it was, but it has a very peculiar, rhythmical call. I have a great admiration of nature. As you move a little out of the city center, you come across several beauties, both historical and local. In big cities, we cannot see that far ahead of us; our vision is limited by the high-rise buildings erected everywhere. Yet the eye also needs to look off into the distance. My eyes are on vacation in Adıyaman. As I look on to the endless plains, the wind starts blowing, forming waves over wheat fields. I lift my head to find swallows flying overhead. I see some storks, too. Crystal clear waters, poppies, yellow flowers, and sweet-smelling air... We shot the movie in Akpınar Village near the dam. The locals serve us fresh eggs, yogurt, cheese, butter, parsley, mint and more. The Governorship and the Municipality are great supporters too. We are very happy there.
Is the team too small?
Yetkin Dikinciler, a little girl from Adıyaman, and I have roles in the film. It is not a crowded team. “The Lost Dog” is a film shot with the producer’s own equipment, and it clearly exhibits our historical and cultural beauties. Although our director Bülent Öztürk has been living in Belgium for the last sixteen years, he is originally from Urfa. We shall also do some shooting in Nemrut. “The Lost Dog” is the director’s first film; it is his master thesis in fact. It should actually have been a short film, but when the script drew favor at the school, it was adapted into a feature film. The screenplay is very strong, the narration is powerful, and I have faith in my director. If I hadn’t believed in him, I would never have taken part in this project. I am a very selective person. I don’t say yes to any project just so I can see myself on the silver screen. Perhaps that is why this is only the second feature film in my seventeen years of professional life, though there it is never too early or too late for an actress. Every time is the right time, as long as the choices are right.
“You Are a Sound Actress”
I sing in many different styles—A la Turca, arabesque, folk songs, songs from the Black Sea region, and songs in various ethnic languages… I guess just a single style is not enough for me. I perceive music in a wide spectrum. One of my friends said, “I guess you are a sound actress.” I like that expression very much. I believe I regard music a bit like acting.
A Member of Our Family
Born on November 11, 1973 in Istanbul, Şevval Sam graduated from the Graphics Department of Marmara University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Daughter of famous singer Leman Sam, the actress entered our lives as Deniz in the series “Süper Baba” (Super Father), and became a member of our family with the series Gülbeyaz (White Rose).
After giving concerts in Essen and Copenhagen in June, Şevval Sam will take the stage in Harbiye’s Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theater in July, together with her mother and sister, in a project titled “İki Kız Bir Ana” (Two Daughters and a Mother). For more information: