Reports | June 20, 2012 10:03

Checkmate: an award winning short film

Checkmate: an award winning short film

"Jan learns that staying in an asylum can make anyone crazy. He challenges his evaluator to a game of chess to prove that he should be released. The stakes could not be higher in this tense battle of wills."

Checkmate is a short film by Navarro Aydemir, a Turkish director, writer and editor. It is Navarro's second short film, created in 2010 for his University Degree Program.

Principal cast: Gergo Danka, Shakyra Dowling, Daniel Wiltshire, Sibel Unver, Alex Murphy, and Adam Cunningham.

The film was screened at various festivals, such as the Watersprite Cambridge International Student Film Festival, the Malta International TV Short Film Festival 2011, the International Short Film Festival of India, the 16th London Turkish Film Festival, the Portobello Film Festival 2010, the Walthamstow International Film Festival and the Angel Moving Image Festival.

At the Watersprite Cambridge International Student Film Festival, Checkmate won the prize for Best Direction and at the Malta International TV Short Film Festival 2011 it won the Foreign Jury Award.

On the YouTube page of the film, the following short bio of the director is given.

Born in Istanbul, raised in London, Navarro Aydemir is a young award-winning director, growing up he has been bred into a director who synthesizes strong visual flair with bold ideas.

In his short time as a director his films have had success across various festivals, earning him an Award for Best Direction, Foreign Jury Award and several other accolades in national and international competitions.

Although being a new kid on the block in the world of commercials Navarro has already had a bit of success with his Pepsi Viral, which was amongst a selected shortlist of ads at the Shanghai Film Festival. He is currently in development on two ads for the Cannes Lions Competition.

Editors's picture
Author: Editors


Anonymous's picture


Creemer's picture

How refreshing: using chess as clear-cut sign of lunacy. Never made that connection until now...

Lousy short, if you ask me. Neither original nor crafty.

Semana's picture

i saw this on susan polgar's blog yesterday. interesting piece of movie making.

SoundWave's picture


SoundWave's picture


Semana's picture
Pulern's picture
the champ's picture

As always in these films the chess positions reveal that they know nothing about the game.

Aditya's picture

Queen to Play was one movie I liked that depicted chess. It had none of normal cliches like

1) Players trash talking opponents during the game.
2) Players missing checkmate in one.
3) Players with very little material suddenly beating opponents (And they look surprised doing it, so it was only an accident that they won and not sacrifical attacks)

Anonymous's picture

Queen to Play was an excellent movie. The premise of having an affair with Chess is provoking.

I also enjoyed this short film.

test's picture

From a chess perspective: clichéd.

From a psychological perspective: clichéd and probably nonsense. (It's questionable whether it even exists as typically depicted in the movies. The Myth of Multiple Personality Disorder.)

From a movie perspective: meh. (Nothing special, predictable, a bunch of close-ups and then the end.)

Solomon Francis's picture

A very nice short story. The camera shots going back and forth between the two players basically tell the whole story. The final shot of the lady, with a sad face, is very touching.

For all the critics, try telling a short story in 6 minutes.

fen's picture

Well, and that's where this movie really fails. The "grabber" if you will, is that we are supposed to be surprised that the other people were a figment of the player's imagination. But why should we be surprised that he might have some mental health issues when he is already incarcerated anyway?

Also, having a main character in a movie (even a short) imagine other characters that don't really exist has been done before. I found the entire story incredibly predictable, but I did like the acting and the production values.

I hope Aydemir makes more movies featuring chess, but maybe with not such predictable storylines.

Anastasia's picture

it's just an imaginative take - a short story. I cannot understand the criticism. nice acting. an interesting piece of work. The film is not about chess really. It's more about this guy and he has a problem and this lady who feels concern for him. Maybe she even lost on purpose to cheer him up.They could have played poker for all you know. It's a short story made with effort. That's all that counts. It's the writer's imagination that has been picturised well. Definitely effort has gone into the movie - whatever it is. Best of luck to Aydemir.

RickM's picture

Do you think she even lost? I doubt it even was checkmate; I think she just let him say it was to humor him.

Aaron's picture

I make this short film (kasparov tribute) some days ago...hope you will enjoy ! :)

Aaron's picture
Janis Nisii's picture

I've enjoyed it! Congratulations to Navarro Aydemir and to the actors! Good luck for their future projects!

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