Documentary film-making and the experience of life itself seem to dance together, co-existing in a strange parallel universe, each one stimulating and influencing the other. They also share a common unpredictabilityno matter how carefully you plan, once you embark on either a life or a film, you never know exactly where it will take you.|
Like many people who work in documentary film making, Savaş Karakaş also found it hard to think of it as a careermore a state of mindso he decided to take this opportunity to reflect on the interweaving of both aspects of his personal journey.
His journey started when he first begin to read the diaries of his beloved grandfather Hafiz Hilmi, a WW1 and War of Independence veteran of Turkey. In his diaries, he has written the brutal campaign in Gallipoli, touching the hearts and memories of the mankind. Hafiz Hilmi, named his grandson as "Savaş" (means "War" in Turkish) as if he would like him to remember lost lives of thousands of young men; a name which started Karakas "a journey through depths of the history".
Till 1997; Karakas has been a TV host in entertainment and live television programmes where he started to discover his own mission, a mission which will soon rediscover the lost memories of the past and create a vision for the future.
"There ought to be more things in life... valuable than being famous or rich... a desire to create something permanent. I didn't want to host a TV project, but to create a project where I can find my real personality, a project that will help me to understand the real "Savas" and make others to get to know me."
After returning back from the military service, Karakas decided to evoke the memories of his grandfather, Hafiz Hilmi.
His underwater diving profession helped him to discover once more the legendary Campaign, for the very first time from the deep waters of Dardanelles. An unforgotten warship graveyard, untouched for almost 85 years, waited Karakas to salute and narrate the Campaign through a monumental touch of the depths. Karakas first but lasting
performance, "Gallipoli: History in the Depths" was the remembrance to his grandfather, those lives past over in Gallipoli and Dardanelles and there began his journey.
"Gallipoli: History in the Depths" his first documentary film production, broadcasted by Turkeys major televisions in 5 episodes; 35 min each. The documentary, which showed the first ever underwater shootings of sunken warships of Gallipoli, aroused a rightful of world's attention. In 1999, Karakas produced a 58 min. version of documentary for SBS TV of Australia. "Gallipoli: History in the Depths" aired on SBS TV in 2001 and was cherished by the viewers as one of the most popular 50 programs.
In 2000, the worldwide distribution of the film has been licensed by the Powersports-Powerdocs a US based international distributor. Today, "Gallipoli: The History in the Depths" can be found in all e-stores as well as a documentary on-the-shelf in most of the European and US cities.
In 2001 and 2002, a part from the Gallipoli scope, he has also been involved in the production process of a railway story of the 19th century - "Berlin-Baghdad Railway" of Kaiser Wilhelm's. There he has contributed the project as the Fixer.
In 2003, he has accomplished with the media sponsorship of CNNTurk, a documentary series with two episodes on sunken Turkish submarine "Dumlupinar", which have brought a reputable award of encouragement of the Turkish Journalists Association in the Television Category.
Karakas' works have disseminated through various occasions to European producers and broadcasters. From 1998 to present, he has contributed, hosted and co-produced various documentaries. In 2002 he worked for Granada Television for "Battlefield Detectives Disaster at Gallipoli and in 2003 worked for Timewatch/BBC for "Gallipoli The first D-day". In 2005 he was again in front of camera as the Turkish host in the Australian, Irish, Welsh, New Zealand and Turkish co-production "Revealing Gallipoli, to mark the 90th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign.
In 2005 The Sea Hunters from the National Geographic TV joined forces with Savas Karakas to dive and film HMS Goliath and HMS Triumph in the Dardanelles. These expeditions increased his passion in the depths of Gallipoli even to a higher pitch. Savas Karakas started to search for the lost and forgotten submarines of Gallipoli. The fruit of this passion was "Gallipoli: War beneath the Waves, an 85 minutes documentary, produced with the support of Turkish Ministry of Culture and Turkish Institute of Nautical Archaeology (TINA).
Savas Karakas currently works for Iz Tv, a respected Turkish documentary channel. He hosts and produces his own show, "Traces on water which focuses on maritime affairs, naval and historical issues. With his enthusiasm and great heart Savas Karakas is one of the youngest history tellers of today.