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Yeşim Ustaoğlu was born in 1960 in Sarikamis in Eastern Turkey. She studied Architecture, specializing in the restoration of buildings, at the University of Yildiz. After her studies she worked as an independent film journalist and also ran video-workshops. After four short films and her feature film debut Iz (The Track) in 1994, her second feature Journey to the Sun (1999) calls for debate on the difficulties in understandings between Turks and Kurds. In competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 1999, it received the Blue Angel Award (Best European Film) and the Peace Prize. The moving story of a courageous friendship undaunted by political cruelty, Journey to the Sun swept the Istanbul Film Festival by winning Best Film, Best Director, the FIPRESCI Prize and the Audience Award. Her subsequent films have gone on to great international acclaim and have played at festivals around the world.


Read more on Wikipedia   |   Read the Film Comment interview for Araf   |   Filmography on IMDb

Selected Films

Clair Obscur (Tereddüt)  dir. by Yeşim Ustaoğlu (2016, Turkey) In Turkish with English subtitles


Clair-Obscur is a psychological dance of two women who are robbed of and distanced from their natural right to mature and discover themselves, to love and be loved and to be able to sustain a real relationship of their own choice. The social price of these psychological wounds grows from the micro to the macro level, reverberating through society and rotting it from within.


View Trailer     View Film on Netflix

 Clair Obscur
(2016) on IMDb

Somewhere in Between (Araf)  dir. by Yeşim Ustaoğlu (2012, 124 min., Turkey) In Turkish with English subtitles


The tale of two youngsters, Zehra and Olgun, whose lives are stuck in a dull limbo. They pass their days working in a service station where everything seems transient and inane, their banal and monotonous 24-hour work shifts broken only by the sparks of their naive and unrealistic expectations of a brighter future.


View Trailer

 Araf/Somewhere in Between
(2012) on IMDb

Pandora's Box (Pandora'nın Kutusu) dir. by Yeşim Ustaoğlu  (2008, 112 min., Turkey) In Turkish with English subtitles


An estranged family is brought together upon the news of their mother's worsening illness. But the tough-minded mother is not so keen on spending time with her bickering adult children. With her teenage grandson she meets for the first time, she will develop a profound bond.


View Trailer

Pandora's Box (2008) on IMDb

We are currently seeking more links to complete films by this Director:


Waiting for the Clouds (Bulutları Beklerken)  (2003, 90 min.) View Trailer


Journey to the Sun (Güneşe Yolculuk) (1999, 104 min.)


The Track (Iz)  (1994, 116 min.)




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