Never Leave Me / Birakma Beni

After his mother dies, ISA (14) is sent to an orphanage for Syrian refugees in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. There he makes an uneasy friendship with AHMAD (11) and MOTAZ (10). Ahmad’s father disappeared in Syria but he never lost hope they will be rejoined one day. In mean time, Ahmed dreams of becoming success, so that his father can be proud of him. Motaz’s mother remarried and left him in the orphanage. He wants to enter a singing talent show hoping she will notice and take him back.

Although the three boys are very different in their temperament and desires and not particularly fond of each other, they find a common interest: they all want to leave the orphans’ home and start a new life.

To get some money for this goal, the boys start selling paper tissues to visitors around the historic site of Balıklıgöl. At first things start going very well for them, but soon their flourishing small business is threatened by KARACA, a local deadbeat to whom Isa owes some money. In face of adversity, the boys are forced to start relying on each other. The dangers that threatened to ruin their lives will give them a reason to find love, friendship and hope.


Screenwriter and director: Aida Begić Cinematographer: Erol Zubčević Editor: Redžinald Šimek Sound designer: Igor Čamo Production designer: Mirna Ler Costume designer: Sanja Džeba Make up artist: Lamija Hadžihasanović Homarac


  • Filem’On Festival – MUNDI COMPETITION Filem’On Award Feature film
  • FilmFestival Cottbus – DIALOGUE Prize for Intercultural Communication
  • International Film Festival PROlogue – Best film Grand Prix, Best Director Award
  • Belfast Human Rights Film Festival – Feature Drama Award
  • KiKiFe International Children Film Festival – First Prize – Best Film