Latest News - Filmmaker's Diary


February 1, 2017
The film is still available on DVD for personal or educational purposes and as a digital download. Contact Jill Rytie Lutz to request your copy today.

December 7, 2009
Check out the shout out about the film on the Turkish blog site Hamarat Diva!

October 28, 2009
Become a fan of the film on Facebook!

October 10, 2009
VOICES UNVEILED: TURKISH WOMEN WHO DARE is finished! After a big final push, the film is finally complete and ready to get out into the world. The next stages include film festival submissions, private screenings and lots more hard work. Binnur and the rest of her team want to extend many thanks to those who have supported the film and been rooting for its success since the beginning!

Keep checking back for more updates to the website!

August 5, 2009
We have a new title: Voices Unveiled: Turkish Women Who Dare is the new title of our film! Help spread the word by visiting us on Facebook and becoming a fan. Facebook site up soon!

July 26, 2009
Our slideshow gallery is up - Check it out!

July 5, 2009
You can also view the new High Quality Trailer

May 29, 2009
WWD is proud to team up with Turkish Women's Initiative, started by Sema Basol, to coordinate Los Angeles and SF Bay Area screenings of the completed film this fall. The mission of TWI is to work collaboratively to provide technical expertise, strategic support and culture-specific program development to further the advancement of Turkish girls and women.

May 22, 2009
Women Who Dare is only a few weeks away from being completed. We're making the final tweaks on the editing, the music is in and the sound is soon to be mixed.

May 15, 2009
We're happy to welcome Gail Silva and Bob Hawk to the Women Who Dare team! Both Gail and Bill are respected independent film consultants who will help us devise our plan for festivals and distribution. Check them out at and

March 5, 2009
It's been a while since the WWD news site has been updated, but not to worry - the post production process continues with accomplished film and television editor Eric Grush leading the way in his Santa Monica studio. The stories of the three women are really starting to flourish and the film is beginning the fine cut stage. Meanwhile, in addition to traveling and finishing the film, Binnur has also been busy being a mom to her beautiful 2 year old son, Daniel and developing ideas for future film projects. Jill recently started a job at Karga 7 Pictures in Los Angeles where she will be producing shows for the History Channel.

July 21, 2007
What do you think?
Is Turkey ready to bury Ataturk?

May 22, 2007
Bomb blast in Turkey's capital kills 5, wounds 80. Read the full story.

April 30, 2007
Turkey has unity rally in preparation for upcoming presidential election. Read the article.

April 26, 2007
Eight story apartment building collapses on busy Istanbul street. Read the full article

April 9, 2007
Read this article on the debate over freedom of expression in Turkey and the role the Internet plays.

April 3, 2007
Check out our new photo gallery!

March 28, 2007
We're happy to welcome Kaoru Kim to our editorial staff. Kaoru Kim graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Development Studies. An opportunity to edit a friend's music video led her to further studies in film and video at DeAnza College, and she has since gained further experience editing more music videos, short films and industrials. Her most recent projects include Book of Rules (2003), winner of the best narrative film at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and Mighty Warriors of Comedy (2006), a PBS documentary on the sketch comedy group 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, recently broadcast on KQED Television.

September 28, 2006
Women Gain Expanded Religious Authority in Turkey... read about it here.

September 25, 2006
Read the new article about the Iranian female space tourist inspiring women of her homeland.

And read about the tragic event that recently occurred in Afghanistan where the head of women's affairs was gunned down.

August 31, 2006
Recently, a generous gift was given to Women Who Dare by Beth Athanassiadis of Athens, Greece. Beth is a member of WINPEACE (Women's Initiative for Peace in Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus). Beth writes "This gift has been made in recognition of the outstanding work of Nur Mardin whose continuing efforts to promote peace in the region�have made a significant positive difference in the lives of many."

July 25, 2006
View our most recent PDF newsletter.

July 17, 2006
Click here to read the new article about the growing trend of Honor Suicides in Turkey by New York Times writer Dan Bilefski. It is a chilling story of how with the strengthening of punishment for honor killings in the Turkish justice system have led some families to pressure their daughters to commit suicide if she disgraces the family.

May 5, 2006
We're happy to announce that Women Who Dare is now fiscally sponsored by Women Make Movies! To find out more about the Women Make Movies organization, visit our sponsors section.

February 9, 2006
We have a short trailer that can now be viewed on this site! Click here to view a preview of Women Who Dare.

September 16, 2005
The editing process has begun. The painstaking process of logging our 40+ hours of footage is finished, and now the challenging task of trimming those 40+ hours down to a 2 hour film upon us.

Production photos are ready to be posted! Please check back with us soon as photos from the shoot in Turkey will be featured in this section of the website.

July 27, 2005
We're excited to announce that the filming of Women Who Dare in Turkey is completed! We filmed mostly in Istanbul and spent 8 days in various locations across Cappadocia, Bodrum, Konya and Izmir shooting the landscapes, ways of life and getting to know our main characters better. The schedule was difficult, but thanks to our characters, crew and sponsors, we were able to get the footage necessary to make a great film.

The post-production process will start immediately, and we're still in need of sponsors! Should you have any questions about the film or be interested in donating to our project to help us complete the film, please contact us.

Keep checking back for more updates and photos from the shoot!


We will be periodically updating this website with excerpts from the director's production diary. Read on to get insight into the filmmaking process...

Filmmaker's Diary

JUNE 27, 2005
I am sitting on a plane to Istanbul from Los Angeles. The seats are so tight that it is hard for me to use my computer. I am excited, nervous, thrilled and scared all at the same time. I've been working on this project for a while now, and it's become a reality.

As I fly over the Atlantic, I glance at a Turkish newspaper, the stewardess is handing out.

I spot two news items on the front page that immediately catch my eye. One of them is about a group of UNICEF workers trying to convince a Turkish father to allow his 13-year-old daughter to go to school. He refuses adamantly and says, "What's the point? She will get married at 15 and will do housework. This is our tradition."

The other is the story of the Turkish female volleyball team competing in Spain. The women are dressed in uniforms that look like bikinis. The caption reads "Our girls are defending our secular values."

This dichotomy is what makes Turkey such a unique and exciting place. This is the arena I am walking into...

JUNE 30, 2005
I'm still jetlagged so I get up very early this morning. Istanbul is absolutely pristine, magical and quiet at 6 am. We definitely have to capture this feeling of peace and loneliness in Istanbul.

JULY 1, 2005
The first day of shooting is always nerve racking. No matter how much experience I have, I still get nervous. We also have some extra challenges. Most of our crew is Turkish but our co-producer and production manager are American. Our cinematographer doesn't speak English. Obviously we have to get over the cultural and language barriers very fast.

Our first scene is with Banu at a beautiful bookstore/cafe. Banu is a revelation. Her natural ease amazes me. And she is game to try anything. I am thrilled that she is comfortable enough to speak English during the interviews. The international audience, which is our target, can delve into the hearts and minds of the women if they speak English. I personally do not care for voice-overs even though I am sure that we'll use them in this film.

Our shoot at the bookstore goes well. Many businesses in Istanbul are very accommodating with small film crews. There are other challenges in Istanbul such as the traffic! Getting from one place to another could be tricky.

JULY 2, 2005
The crew is trying to get to know each other. Despite the language barrier, there is a lot of goodwill amongst the group and somehow people manage to communicate with one another.

We are with Belkis today and we have to find a luscious and green area to shoot her with her weaver. We drive for almost 45 minutes to find a green area in the sprawling concrete jungle that Istanbul has become. Belkis suggests that we go the garden of her ex-partner who lives in the suburbs.

Serendipity. The ex-partner happens to be at home and she proves to be a very articulate and eccentric person. We shoot at her garden and interview her too. What she says puts Belkis� journey as an artist into a context.

We rush back to the city and meet with one of my best friends who is now the Assistant General Manager of an investment bank. Tijen represents many successful women in the finance sector. She is fun, smart, attractive and a good example of how far the Turkish women have come. I'm just overjoyed to interview someone I've known since we were 12 years old.

As we continue our filming in the old European quarter of Istanbul, the heat intensifies. I am tired and sweaty but also grateful and happy that I am in the city of my childhood, making a film that I believe in.

JULY 4, 2005
I've never been to Kapadokya and am dying to see this otherworldly place.

When we land in Kayseri, I realize that I've never been to central Anatolia. It's a bustling and modern city. Our driver for the week, Himmet, picks us up and it takes us an hour to travel to Kapadokya. What a strange and exquisite place! Jill and Melinda think that it looks like Sedona, Arizona. This is definitely a mystical place.

We spend the afternoon location scouting. The intense wind and dust present a challenge. We manage to find areas where it is calm and quiet and interview Belkis. She is seeking inspiration in Kapadokya and seems to have found a lot of things that excite her.

JULY 5, 2005
I get up at 3:30 am for our balloon ride. It is an ungodly hour to start working but also the most advantageous time to fly in a balloon because of the gentle winds.

The balloon takes of around 5 am. Belkis is a bit nervous at first but quickly becomes giddy with excitement. The flight is a mystical experience. The balloon glides across the breathtaking landscape. At times we come so close to touching the "fairy chimneys".