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Winner — Best International Feature Documentary, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

Nominee — Truer Than Fiction Award, Independent Spirit Awards


This beautiful film from director Elizabeth Lo brings us into the world of Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal, three stray dogs living life on the streets of Istanbul. As they search for food and shelter, the dogs go on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society, taking the audience to seemingly impossible places, all while staying quite literally grounded. Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on solitary adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds refuge with the security guards who care for her.


Deceptively simple and wonderfully touching, Stray is a tour-de-force of documentary filmmaking. Just when you think you have settled into the rhythm of the film, the brilliance of Lo’s vision becomes clear, as her camera begins to focus not just on Zeytin and her ragtag bunch of fellow strays, but also the young Syrian refugees that inhabit the same streets as these dogs. A memorable journey that won’t be easy to shake, the film allows its soulful canine protagonist to command the screen and, in the process, become visible in a region where so many marginalized individuals are forced to remain unseen.

  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    73 minutes
  • Language
    Turkish, English
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Elizabeth Lo
  • Screenwriter
    Elizabeth Lo
  • Cinematographer
    Elizabeth Lo
  • Editor
    Elizabeth Lo
  • Composer
    Ali Helnwein