To mark its opening, the St. Regis Istanbul tapped the iconic Croatian actor, director and producer, John Malkovich to write and direct a short film. The new short was screened earlier this week at the private members club 5 Hertford Street in London on March 3.

Some of the world's most iconic beverages were first invented at the St. Regis New York’s King Cole Bar, and served to the guests that showed up to celebrate Malkovich and the luxury hotel chain's partnership on Tuesday night.

John Malkovich directs film for the St. Regis Istanbul

Nicolas Roeg, John Malkovich and Jeremy Thomas

Along with Malkovich, the film's stars Julian Sands and Turkish actress Belçim Bilgin attended the swanky soirée, as well as Tom Hollander, Bella Freud, Detmar Blow, Martha Fiennes and Stephen Frears.

Malkovich's cinematic creation for the St. Regis tells the tale of a screenwriter (Julian Sands) who travels to Istanbul in a journey to find inspiration and hires a tour guide (Belçim Bilgin). The five minute long film does not feature any dialogue between characters – just the stars repeating “I am listening to Istanbul” in a soothing voiceover.

John Malkovich directs film for the St. Regis Istanbul

John Malkovich

“Istanbul is a huge, massive city and often very noisy, but there are certainly a lot of sounds I do like there and some of them are in this film,” Malkovich said. “What I love about Istanbul is the mix — or even clash — of histories and religions. Visually, there’s always something in movement.”

John Malkovich directs film for the St. Regis Istanbul

Belcim Bilgin and Julian Sands 

John Malkovich directs film for the St. Regis Istanbul

Elizabeth Saltzman

John Malkovich directs film for the St. Regis Istanbul

Detmar Blow and Martha Fiennes

John Malkovich directs film for the St. Regis Istanbul

Julian Sands, Katrina Pavlos and Paul James