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A Postcard from Istanbul


Written and directed by John Malkovich and starring Julian Sands and Belçim Bilgin, the film unveils the treasures, charm, and allure of Istanbul, home to the newest St. Regis hotel.

LONDON – March 4, 2015 – St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT), today premieres an original short film written and directed by John Malkovich. Starring Julian Sands and Turkish actress Belçim Bilgin, A Postcard from Istanbul offers sweeping views of Istanbul’s iconic landmarks alongside precious moments capturing the city’s rich culture and historic charm. The cinematic five-minute picture was shot throughout the iconic city in celebration of the debut of The St. Regis Istanbul, which opened March 1st marking the entry of the luxury hotel brand in Turkey.

“A Postcard from Istanbul is based on a concept I conceived on one of my many journeys to Istanbul, a city I have long revered and have grown to love,” said John Malkovich. “Being in Istanbul is like being in a dream cloaked in dazzling colours, intriguing sounds and a cornucopia of flavours. Together with St. Regis, I hope to bring to screen the allure and richness that this remarkable destination has to offer.”

A Postcard from Istanbul follows a screenwriter, played by Sands, who goes to Istanbul with the hopes of finding inspiration to write a screenplay based on a novel he has long admired. A beautiful guide, played by Bilgin, introduces him to the city’s sights, sounds, and flavours. In the end, he walks away with a love of the city and more. This film is set to a specially-produced soundtrack with music by Turkish jazz musician İlhan Erşahin as well as an evocative poem “I am Listening to Istanbul” by Turkish poet Orhan Veli Kanik.

“John Malkovich and the St. Regis brand have a shared passion for the fascinating and enigmatic city of Istanbul, a destination that has so much to offer,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands, Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. “It made perfect sense to work with John on this film which pays homage to the beauty, the mystery, the history and the people of Istanbul as we debut our first St. Regis hotel in Turkey in the heart of this wonderful city.”

A Postcard from Istanbul is produced by Katrina Pavlos and IN-House.

Discover the Filming Venues and Exclusive Events


The St. Regis Istanbul
Located at the center of Istanbul's culture and style, Nişantaşı, The St. Regis Istanbul is surrounded by luxurious boutiques, the very best culinary offerings and the finest of art and entertainment. Mere steps away are attractions such as Maçka Park, Taksim square, and the Bosphorus.
Bosphorus
Explore the cool, clear Bosphorous strait, close by to The St. Regis Istanbul. Forming the boundary between Europe and Asia, this strait is the narrowest in the world. Discover the distinctive waterfront houses, moonlit mosques and the Ottoman palaces which can be viewed from this point.
The Old City
Old city, new spirit. Discover Istanbul's ancient cultures from the Old City. From a 4th century hippodrome to the religious buildings of the Aya Sofya and the world-renowned Blue Mosque. No visit to Istanbul would be complete without a discovery of the city's fascinating story.
Premiere
A Postcard from Istanbul premiered at an exclusive screening in London on Wednesday, March 3rd, with Malkovich, Sands, and Bilgin in attendance.
Midnight Supper
Hosted by Paul James, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, VIP guests at the glamourous event included Amber Atherton, Bella Freud, Amber Nuttall, Meghan Markle, Tom Hollander, Stephen Frears, Martha Fiennes, Detmar Blow, Elizabeth Saltzman and Jecca Craig.
Midnight Supper Istanbul
Celebrating the completion of the film, the owners of Demsa Group hosted John Malkovich, Belçim Bilgin, media members from Istanbul and VIP Guests at the Zarif Mustapha Pasha mansion for a midnight supper.

John Malkovich, Director

Born in Illinois in 1953, John Malkovich did Obie Award-winning stage work before earning an Emmy Award for his role in Death of a Salesman. Malkovich has become a multiple Oscar nominee for films like Places in the Heart and Dangerous Liaisons, in which he portrayed an evil aristocrat. He's also the subject of the surreal 1999 comedy Being John Malkovich, in which he played himself.

Julian Sands, Actor

Julian Richard Morley Sands (born 4 January 1958) is an English actor known for his roles in films such as The Killing Fields, A Room with a View, Warlock, Arachnophobia, and Vatel. On television, he is known for playing Vladimir Bierko in 24, and Jor-El in Smallville. Sands was nominated for an "Outstanding Solo Performance" for the 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards (2013).

Belçim Bilgin, Actress

Belcim Bilgin, born in Ankara, earnt a place at Ankara Art Theatre,  where she studied until 2001. She traveled to Paris for the post-production of director Hiner Saleem’s first film, Kilometer Zero. While working on the film, she learned French at the Sorbonne School of Languages. In 2005, Kilometer  Zero was released and entered in the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, amongst others.