Denise, a botanist, who is studying and breeding a local plant, has moved to a village on the Black Sea coast of Turkey after a traumatic loss and a failed marriage. Being a foreigner and much older, she has a secretive relationship with her lover Hamit. Denise does not (yet) know that Hamit is a human trafficker. Both keep secrets from one another, Denise about her past and Hamit about what he does. The tension builds as Denise encounters traces of a group of immigrants who are to be taken on a dangerous journey by Hamit and meets a young refugee girl, Sonya. The sense of approaching storm dominates the film. The film is narrated in three chapters: The Shore, Ashes and Water, which are non-chronologically arranged and focus on different aspects of events by moments of overlap. Each chapter relates a different aspect of the events from the perspective of a certain character.
Melisa Önel was born in Izmir in 1980. After studying International Relations at Tufts University, she completed her Masters degree in Film Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University. A filmmaker and a photographer, Önel is a member of the photographers’ initiative RecCollective. In the past two years, her work has been exhibited in many international exhibitions including “Uncanny Encounters” (Istanbul Modern Art Museum 2011), Photomed (Sanary, France, 2011), “Not a Lens But a Prism” (Portugal, 2010), “Women Who Run with the Wolves”(Stimultania Gallery, Turkish artists in Strasbourg, 2009). Her first short film Omega Fox (2007) was selected to the Hisar Short Film Selection, a collection of the ten best short films of the year in Turkey. Her medium length documentary Me and Nuri Bala (2009) received Best First Documentary award at the 46th Antalya Film Festival. Currently Önel is working on her first feature Seaburners.