Yeşim Ustaoğlu

Yeşim Ustaoğlu
Born (1960-11-18) 18 November 1960
Çaykara, Turkey
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1984 present

Yeşim Ustaoğlu (born November 18, 1960 in Turkey) is a Turkish filmmaker and screenwriter.[1][2]

Life and career

Ustaoğlu was born in Çaykara in eastern Turkey and grew up in Trabzon on the Black Sea. After studying architecture at the Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul, she worked as an architect, then as a journalist and a film critic.[3] Before she made her feature film debut The Trace (Iz) in 1994, she had made several award-winning short films. The Trace was entered into the 19th Moscow International Film Festival.[4]

Ustaoğlu received international recognition for her next film, Journey to the Sun (Güneşe Yolculuk), which told a story of a friendship between a Turk and a Kurd.[1] Her fourth film Pandora’s Box (Pandora'nın Kutusu) won The Best Film and The Best Actress award in San Sebastian Film Festival and is Ustaoğlu's biggest international success to date.[5]


Year English Title Original Title Notes
1984 To Catch a Moment Bir Anı Yakalamak short film
1989 Magnafantagna Magnafantagna short film
1990 Duet Düet short film
1992 Hotel Otel short film
1994 The Trace Iz feature film debut
1999 Journey to the Sun Güneşe Yolculuk Won the Blue Angel Award at Berlin[6]
2003 Waiting for the Clouds Bulutları Beklerken
2004 Life on Their Shoulders Sırtlarındaki Hayat documentary short film
2008 Pandora's Box Pandora'nın Kutusu Won the Golden Shell Award at San Sebastian International Film Festival
2012 Araf - Somewhere in Between Araf
2016 Clair Obscur Tereddüt Several awards including best picture at the 53rd Antalya International Film Festival[7]


  1. 1 2 Kutschera, Chris (October 1999). "Yesim Ustaoglu, Journey to the Sun". The Middle East. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  2. Dönmez-Colin, Gönül (2006). Cinemas of the other: a personal journey with film-makers from the Middle East and Central Asia. Intellect Books. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-84150-143-7. Retrieved November 2011. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. "Who's who: Yeşim Ustaoğlu". Turkish Cultural Foundation. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  4. "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  5. John Hopewell, Jonathan Holland (Sep 27, 2008). "San Sebastian picks 'Pandora's Box'". Variety. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  6. "Berlinale: 1999 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  7. Christopher Vourlias (23 October 2016). "Yeşim Ustaoğlu's 'Clair-Obscur' Wins Top Honors at Antalya Film Festival". Variety.
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