Photos with Kutlug Ataman
E. Kutlug Ataman is a Turkish filmmaker and contemporary artist. He lives in Istanbul and London. Ataman's works primarily document the lives of marginalized individuals, examining the ways in which people create and rewrite their identities through self-expression, blurring the line between reality and fiction. His films have been described as combining documentary-style filmmaking with the intimacy of the home-movie genre. Biography Kutlug Ataman studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, graduating with an MFA in 1988. His films and artworks have been exhibited extensively worldwide. Read more... against the beauty of a decaying Istanbul. Scripted and directed by Ataman, this dark murder story grips its audience, taking us into a world where old and new confront. Critics praised the way in which Ataman successfully encapsulates the crisis of contemporary Turkish culture through this skilfully crafted and visually rich film. Serpent's Tale brought Ataman rapid acclaim and was invited to numerous festivals, from Montreal to Shanghai. Its many awards include Best Film, Director and Screenplay from the Turkish Film Critics Association at the Istanbul International Film Festival, plus the Jury Prize at the Ankara International Festival. Ataman's second feature Lola+Bilidikid (1998) was selected to open the Panorama section of the 49th International Berlin Film Festival. This fast moving story is set in Berlin, with main characters from the city's Turkish community. Ataman's film is strong mixture of humor and violence, tackling a society's racial and sexual identity prejudices head on. As well as its successful commercial release in Germany, Turkey, the US and in other territories, the film was a major hit at festivals. It won awards in Turin, Oslo, and Istanbul and was given the Best Film prize at New York's The New Festival, and the Jury Special Prize at the Berlin Festival. His third feature 2 Girls (Iki Genc Kiz) (2005) is an adaptation of Perihan Magden's novel Iki Genc Kiz; with screenplay and direction by Ataman. The two teenage girl protagonists, with their contrasting characteristics and social backgrounds, form close bonds, with strong sexual undertones. Istanbul is again the backdrop for the film - a more stark, contemporary urban landscape than in Serpent's Tale. Ataman directs a well- paced and entertaining look at the fragility of the relationship of the teenagers, and of their dreams and hopes. The film was a commercial and critical success and confirmed Ataman's position in the top rank of the leading Turkish filmmakers. He was awarded Best Director and Best Film prizes for 2 Girls at both the Ankara and Antalya Film Festivals, and Best Film at the Asian Film Festival in India. His more recent film, Journey to the Moon (Aya Seyahat) (2009), was shown in the Official Selection at the 2009 International Istanbul Film Festival. It forms part of the Mesopotamian Dramaturgies series of visual works, first exhibited in Linz, Austria in early 2009. The film is set in a remote village in Erzincan province, Eastern Turkey. The quest of four villagers to travel to the moon is documented with the use of found black-and-white photos and the aid of a local narrator. A wide range of established Turkish intellectuals offer their views of the events that took place in 1957. The resulting film curiously becomes an in-depth study of contemporary Turkish culture, rather than an historical documentary. The film was selected to the "Perspectives" Section at the 31st Moscow International Film Festival, 19 - 28 June 2009. Kutlug Ataman was Chair of the Jury at the Istanbul International Film Festival in April 2009.