An interview with Şahin Yiğit, director of “Bahur”

Şahin Yiğit


«There is no one-person hero painting in the art we call cinema.»



Şahin Yiğit was born in 1980. He started his sectoral journey as a camera assistant. He worked as the first assistant and cameraman of important cinematographers of Yeşilçam such as ErdoğanEngin, Metin Erdoğdu, Erdal Kahraman and Kemal Şanlı.

He made his first cinematography in a TV series in 2002. . He directed TV series, movies, and documentaries for 10 years. He started his directing career with a feature film he shot in 2016. He also is a director of advertising films in Turkey’s major advertising agencies in the advertising industry. Şahin Yiğit, who received his first international award with a festival film he shot in 2017, has been an honorary cultural ambassador for more than 60 awards. He also serves as a jury member at the world’s leading film festivals.




“Bahur” is a comprehensive journey into the fascinating and mysterious world of incense and its history. What prompted you to realize this vision? What was the first spark?


Thank you for this good question. Apart from directing documentaries, I support international brands in advertising consultancy and marketing strategy. One of my brands was a perfumery brand. Of course, to understand a brand, you must first have knowledge. You can’t make up your mind about it without knowledge. My research took me back to the early ages of civilization. scent and incense rituals give the codes of humanity and spirit. It was like walking on a foggy road. The information, documents and research I gained and gathered over time pushed me to make a documentary about this subject and present it to the service of humanity. we started by setting our budgets and bringing the technical team and experts together. This is how the incense documentary was born.




Your documentary brings together various detailed information about incense related to history, religion, and mythology, along with reenactments. How did you manage to ‘script’ all of this?
Actually, I didn’t do everything alone. I brought the right people together. I received advice from professors who are experts in the subject. We extracted the animation scenes shot in the movie from the stories told by our consultants. In fact, I think that I am a good editor with hard work. We have included a script team in my team. for the right texts to come together. Finally, I ignited a topic that appeals to all humanity.



What are your sources of inspiration, in your cinematographic and authorial research?


I have always had an interest in history. For example, an archeology team who found the Nefertiti perfume recipe in ancient excavations was able to reach 12 perfume notes in the tablets that came out. The 13th perfume note preserves itself as a secret until today.
I wonder if Nefertiti wrote 12 notes on purpose and kept the 13th perfume note for herself, which is still a matter of curiosity for me. In the fragrance workshops of our consultants, we reproduced and experienced the scents of that time with recipes dating back to ancient times. These experiences took us to the stories of people who lived thousands of years before us.


What was your artistic path? And what advice would you give to young directors who approach the world of cinema for the first time?


The most important thing in cinema is the story. If you don’t have the right story, even if you gather the best teams in the world and use the latest technological equipment, there is no way you can get a way. Our first priority is choosing the right story. Another important detail is that your story and the cost of the project balance each other. If the budget of your story and the budget you allocate to production are not equal, your scenes will not be magnificent and if you cannot meet the expectations, the audience will not pity you. but this sentence should not be understood. don’t bridle your dreams. don’t stop dreaming. Cinema somehow finds its way. There must be a language of expression.
I always support young filmmakers. I’ve been down these roads too. I started taking photos at the age of 9 and cinema drew me into its world. My technique thus increased by researching and experiencing on-set. but the main subject and most importantly is to research and read and interpret. In the era of art history, when renaissance cinema was not invented yet, famous painters packed a narrative onto a canvas in a single frame. but now we have countless frames right in the cinema. We cannot reach that depth of art without reading. Please read a lot and improve. Sienma will definitely find a way.


What are you currently working on?


In fact, we are in a constant state of production. I don’t limit myself to a single project. I am developing many projects at the same time. Whichever project will come to life, that project puts itself forward and says to us, “Here I am. Come on, what are you waiting for, we’re going to work right away. Now we have given the start of a project related to hair science, whose scenario is about to end. It’s called trichology. I mean hair science. A project where we will get lost in the streets of history again. hair tells us everything and gives clues about civilizations. A status in some civilizations, a perception of beauty in others, a class distinction in others… I’m looking forward to getting started. You made me very happy by doing this interview. thank you all.