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Biopic about Turkey's president screened at birthday gala

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/26/2017
Supporters gather outside the residence of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to celebrate his birthday, in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. Turkey will hold a national referendum in April 16 on expanding Erdogan's powers. Critics say it would concentrate even more power in the hands of a leader they accuse of authoritarian behavior. The reforms would potentially allow Erdogan, 63, to remain in power until 2029. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP) © The Associated Press Supporters gather outside the residence of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to celebrate his birthday, in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. Turkey will hold a national referendum in April 16 on expanding Erdogan's powers. Critics say it would concentrate even more power in the hands of a leader they accuse of authoritarian behavior. The reforms would potentially allow Erdogan, 63, to remain in power until 2029. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)

ISTANBUL (AP) — The producers of a new movie about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have hosted a gala screening in Istanbul to celebrate the film and its subject.

Turkish actor Reha Beyoglu, who portraits Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a biopic titled 'Reis', meaning 'The Chief' in Turkish, poses for the photographers during a gala screening of the movie in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. The biopic, which portrays Erdogan's childhood growing up in an Istanbul's rough neighbourhood and his years as the city's mayor between 1994 and 1998, was presented on the day which also marks Erdogan's 63rd birthday and the 89th Academy Awards scheduled to take place in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) © The Associated Press Turkish actor Reha Beyoglu, who portraits Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a biopic titled 'Reis', meaning 'The Chief' in Turkish, poses for the photographers during a gala screening of the movie in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. The biopic, which portrays Erdogan's childhood growing up in an Istanbul's rough neighbourhood and his years as the city's mayor between 1994 and 1998, was presented on the day which also marks Erdogan's 63rd birthday and the 89th Academy Awards scheduled to take place in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The biopic, titled "Reis," portrays Erdogan's childhood growing up in Istanbul's rough Kasimpasa neighborhood and his years as the city's mayor between 1994 and 1998.

Supporters hold a placard that reads "happy birthday, leader" as they gather outside the residence of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to celebrate his birthday, in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. Turkey will hold a national referendum in April 16 on expanding Erdogan's powers. Critics say it would concentrate even more power in the hands of a leader they accuse of authoritarian behavior. The reforms would potentially allow Erdogan, 63, to remain in power until 2029.(Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP) © The Associated Press Supporters hold a placard that reads "happy birthday, leader" as they gather outside the residence of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to celebrate his birthday, in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. Turkey will hold a national referendum in April 16 on expanding Erdogan's powers. Critics say it would concentrate even more power in the hands of a leader they accuse of authoritarian behavior. The reforms would potentially allow Erdogan, 63, to remain in power until 2029.(Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)

"Reis" means "the chief" in Turkish.

Turkish actor Reha Beyoglu, who portrays Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a biopic titled 'Reis', meaning 'The Chief' in Turkish, poses for the photographers during a gala screening of the movie in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. The biopic, which portrays Erdogan's childhood growing up in an Istanbul's rough neighbourhood and his years as the city's mayor between 1994 and 1998, was presented on the day which also marks Erdogan's 63rd birthday and the 89th Academy Awards scheduled to take place in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) © The Associated Press Turkish actor Reha Beyoglu, who portrays Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a biopic titled 'Reis', meaning 'The Chief' in Turkish, poses for the photographers during a gala screening of the movie in Istanbul, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. The biopic, which portrays Erdogan's childhood growing up in an Istanbul's rough neighbourhood and his years as the city's mayor between 1994 and 1998, was presented on the day which also marks Erdogan's 63rd birthday and the 89th Academy Awards scheduled to take place in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Production company Kafkasor Film Academy hosted the special screening on Sunday, Erdogan's 63rd birthday, The movie, which was filmed in north Cyprus and Turkey, is scheduled to open in theaters on March 3.

The film is coming out just weeks before a contentious April 16 referendum on constitutional reforms to expand the president's powers.

Critics say the changes would leave too few checks and balances on Erdogan's authority.

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