When We Leave

North American Premiere

Germany | 119 MINUTES | German, Turkish |


Drama, Female Director(s)

No longer able to stand her husband's ill-treatment, Umay flees from Istanbul with her five-year-old son Cem to seek shelter in the arms of her family living in Berlin. But as the reality of Umay's defiant actions sets in, the family's reputation within the Turkish community at home and abroad is threatened—resulting in her sister's engagement being rescinded and ultimately leaving little Cem's future in question. Love, affection, and loyalty soon become irrelevant as a once caring and close-knit family painstakingly struggle to reconcile Umay's willful self-determination with the patriarchal social system that governs their lives.

Standout performances led by award-winning actress Sibel Kekilli (lead in Fatih Akin's acclaimed Head-On) deliver nuance and almost foolhardy earnestness to an irresolvable situation that teeters between hope and heartbreak. An award-winner at the Berlinale, Austrian actress Feo Aladag's compelling directorial debut wrestles with the question: What sacrifice is independence truly worth?

Winner of The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature and Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film Sibel Kekilli as Umay. Click for Showtimes

Co-presented by


Directed by Feo Aladag and Feo Aladag

Feo Aladag studied acting in her hometown of Vienna and in London and has a PhD in communications and psychology. She wrote about film and TV for newspapers in Austria and has written several scripts for television. She continues to work as a commercial director and film actress. When We Leave is her feature directing debut.
Make Up Artist
Monika Munnich
Feo Aladag
Feo Aladag
Costume Design
Gioia Raspe
Max Richter & Stephane Moucha
Feo Aladag
Andrea Mertens
Director of Photography
Judith Kaufmann
Primary Cast
Sibel Kekilli, Florian Lukas, Derya Alabora, Settar Tanriogen, Alware Hofels, Nursel Köse
Production Design
Silke Buhr


Press Contact
Irina Ignatiew
Telepool GmbH
Munich, 80331
Phone: +49 895 587 6275
Director's Manager
Frauke Ahlers
Independent Artists Filmproduktion
Berlin, 10557
Phone: +49 302 804 4707
Print Origin
Nurhan Özer
Istanbul Film Festival IKSV- Istanbul Kultur Sanat Vakfi
Istanbul, 34433
Phone: +90 212 334 07 00
Print Source
Julia Radke
Independent Artists Filmproduktion
Berlin, 10557
Phone: +49 30 28044706