LEYLAK was directed by Scott Aharoni and Dennis Latos, and was filmed during the pandemic. The film shares the struggles that frontline workers were going through at that time. This live action short film has been selected to world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

In present day Queens, New York, a Turkish gravedigger is unable to face a shattering truth, and risks losing the dearest connection left in his life. 

Just three days after the New York Times prepared a powerful front page marking a somber and surreal milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States, the directors were sent the first draft of Leylak. Out of those 100,000 deaths, nearly 25% were derived from New York, the epicenter of the crisis. No cemeteries were available when the movie was shot. To catch the zeitgeist of our time, they found an empty field at Upstate, New York and personally dug the 61 holes to create our own cemetery. 

Scott Aharoni & Dennis Latos are a directing duo based out of New York. The DUO have produced a diversified slate of ad campaigns for international brands and have produced several award winning films that have garnered international success under their budding production company, DUO Entertainment. Scott & Dennis were also recently featured on New York’s CBS News Small Business Spotlight to discuss the growth of their production company, and their upcoming projects and goals in the industry. 

The stunning cinematography was created by Laura Valladao, who was also the DP for the Oscar nominated film My Nephew Emmett. Leylak features Nadir Sarbacak as Yusuf who is known from Winter’s Sleep, winner of  2014 Palme d’Or Winner and Sarmasik, 2015 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Dramatic Competition nominee. It’s his first movie in the USA. The story was written by the award-winning writer and producer of Green, the winner of 2019 short film jury award at Sundance Film Festival, on the 61st day of the start of the New York lockdown. 

Leylak can be seen at Tribeca Film Festival in June. This movie is dedicated to those who have lost their lives, the families who have suffered and to the essential and frontline workers who risked their lives during these times of uncertainty.