The Bus To Amerika

Project information

Talent Derya Durmaz
Role of participant Director
Director Derya Durmaz
Producer Nefes Polat & Marsel Kalvo
Screenwriter Derya Durmaz
Status in development

Production details

Running time 95 min
Genre Children's Film
Year of production 2017
Country of Production Turkey
Production Company
Mars Production


For a Syrian Yazidi refugee boy, eating the forbidden vegetable leads the way to entering the grown-up world where he will find the courage to own his sin and face his community.

still / picture for The Bus To Amerika
still / picture for The Bus To Amerika
still / picture for The Bus To Amerika


Sefran is a 10 year-old Yazidi boy living in a refugee camp in Turkey. Him and his family are from mount Sinjar in Iraq, by the Syrian border. They fled from their home when news broke that ISIS was approaching their town.

One of Sefran’s favorite things is watching the suburban bus he calls, “The Bus to Amerika” pass by the camp. He dreams about taking off on it to America and becoming a pop star. He also likes the social activities resident camp NGO provides.

After participating in a theatre workshop, children are rewarded with a dinner outside the camp. At the restaurant, waiters get warned not to serve any lettuce -- it’s sacrilegious for Yazidis. Yet, some cabbage disguised in red color finds its way to the table and into the tummy of Sefran, who just loves it. Sefran’s girlfriend Corcina, who is afraid of being kidnapped and sold by bad people if they don’t follow what their religion says, realizes that he ate cabbage. Sefran’s culinary joy is interrupted by Corcina panicking and shaming him for eating the forbidden vegetable.

News spreads among children. Wherever he goes, Sefran hears whispers about the horrible things that will happen to him because he sinned. His daydreams turn into nightmares where a giant man eating cabbage appears wherever he turns. He can run, but he cannot hide…

Kids start talking about how his family will be banished and cursed because of his sin. Sefran has no choice but to leave the camp to save them. One morning while everyone sleeps, he runs away on the Bus to Amerika. The bus does not take him to America, but to downtown, where he meets other lettuce eating people, and finds the courage to own up to his sin and face his community.



Director of PhotographyMeryem Yavuz