Kemal Yildirim has released the trailer to his dark and gritty indie film WASTELANDS. Not wanting to see the same story told over and over again on screen, Kemal has aimed to make a movie that will make you uncomfortable and think about mental health in a different way.

Written and Directed by Kemal Yildirim, the film stars Natasha Linton as Alice, Sean Botha as Wilhelm, Kemal Yildirim as Tris and Nicola Wright as Dolores. Produced by Kemal Yildirim and Mol Smith (Abduction).



Alice is lonely and self-isolated, her reverent and compulsive behavior keeps the door shut to her demons. Then one day her father is thrust back into her life. Wilhelm is suffering from a terminal illness and is completely dependent on his daughter, as time and memory begin to merge into one another, Alice unable to cope allows her lover Tris back in her life. Alice and Tris’ co-dependent relationship begins Alice’s journey of self-destruction and ultimately her self discovery.



Kemal Yildirim had the following to say about WASTELANDS:


Wastelands and the character of Alice has been a story I have been waiting to tell for some years. A very personal story that exposes my own struggles, as well as struggles I have witnessed from people close to me. Alice represents the lost souls who find it difficult to navigate a world they do not understand. Wastelands for me was a way to explore a fractured mind and broken parental bonds. I am an avid fan of what I call pure cinema. Films that use its material as a way to explore themes, thoughts, ideologies and nuanced ambiguity as a way to let us interpret the story.

Wastelands started out as a short film idea which was made back in 2017 called ‘Saudade’ The short did well on the festival circuit picking up multiple awards and nominations.



The feature film was always the intention I like to test out the idea with a short film first to test my ideas and see if the story is one that’s worth exploring for me. I began developing the script and thematic ideas as soon as the short was complete. The writing process was relatively easy as the story has been developing for a number of years. With the support of ONVIEW Films LTD Mol Smith and Lesley Evans (Film makers) who co-produced the film with me we began on long journey ahead.

We began casting WASTELANDS early 2018 and spent seven months searching for the right actor to play Alice our central character. Casting for me is one of the most crucial elements as my films focus more on people than story. We auditioned some great actors but I still wasn’t convinced I had found the right person who could commit to both the character fully and also my way of working which is very immersive and intensive for any actor. On our last round of castings in walked in Natasha Linton and straight away she understood the character and in her audition she focused on what for me was the elements of the character I wanted to explore most. The casting of Wilhelm, Alice’s father was cast before the script was fully written Sean Botha played the character in the short film and his performance in that role showed me he was the perfect person to explore the character further. The rest of the casting was straight forward. Being an actor myself has meant I have worked with some great actors in previous projects.



The filming began in February 2019. The filming of Wastelands was an intense experience as the film deals with tough subject matter it was one we didn’t take lightly. We filmed mostly long weekends which resulted in long shoot days. My own particular way of working relays on long takes and the characters exploring the space and the hard job is for the camera operators to adjust to this way of working. The shoot although tough was for me the most enjoyable experience so far in my career as I felt free to create and explore the character’s journeys. As each shoot passed I would be editing in the free periods so I could see the film develop and see if we were missing elements which we would then pick up in the next shoot. Principal photography wrapped in late July 2019, knowing we still had one shoot left I then began the task of shaping the film in the edit which for me is another chance at directing my story as editing is the most powerful tool a film maker has at their disposal.

The edit was 90% complete by December 2019. We then came back together to film our last scenes as I wanted a season change in the story, we filmed for a long weekend and we officially wrapped production in January 2020. had a chance to go behind the scenes on the making of WASTELANDS. View the behind the scenes video below.



Below are two interviews with Kemal Yildirim. Interviews by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins of HorrorScreams VideoVault.



With WASTELANDS now complete the film is ready for its film festival run ahead of its official release to wider audiences.


For more on WASTELANDS visit the website:




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