We are proud to announce TurkishFilmChannel is now the digital distributor of acclaimed filmmaker Kutlug Ataman‘s films. Mr Ataman is known for his work with strong characterisation and humanity. He is also an established and renowned artist who uses the moving image as his main medium of expression. Kutlug Ataman was the 2011 laureate of the third European Cultural Fund ‘Routes’ Princess Margriet Award for cultural diversity.
Kutluğ Ataman’s first feature, Serpent’s Tale (Karanlık Sular) (1994) is a drama set 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) and 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 humour 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. A Director’s Cut version of Lola+Bilidikid is later released that year.
His most recent feature, 2 Girls (2 Genç Kız) (2005) is an adaptation of Perihan Mağden’s novel İki Genç Kızın Romanı 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.
A cinema version of his Journey to the Moon (Aya Seyahat), an element of his 2009 art-work Mesopotamian Dramaturgies was screened during the festival. The film was in competition at the 31st Moscow International Film Festival (2009) in ‘Competition Perspectives’. It was screened at the BFI 53rd London Film Festival (2009), and was shown in Brussels and Rotterdam in 2011 as part of the public programme for the ‘Routes’ Award.
Kutlug Ataman also reaches audiences in museums and galleries, using his skills as a filmmaker to cross over into the contemporary art world. His work has been shown at the most important events in the contemporary art calendar – including the Venice, Sao Paulo, Berlin and Istanbul Biennials, and Germany’s Documenta – and in galleries worldwide including MoMA New York, Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum and London’s Tate.
He won the Carnegie Prize in Pittsburgh in 2004, was one of the four shortlisted artists for the 2004 Turner Prize, and in 2009 won the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. In 2003 the UK’s Observer newspaper selected him artist of the year. His works are in public and private collections worldwide, including MoMA New York, Tate Modern, London, Thyssen- Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, the Dimitris Daskalopoulos Collection, Athens, the Istanbul Modern and the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh. In 2009 new works were given their first showing in Linz, European Capital of Culture 2009, and in London at the Whitechapel Gallery and Thomas Dane Gallery. His work was also exhibited in Istanbul, Lille, Basel, Gothenburg, Paris, Malmo and Cologne during 2009. In 2010 he exhibited in Istanbul, Rome, Sydney, London and Berlin and in 2011 he had exhibitions in Bilbao, London, Istanbul and Brighton. His work led ArtAsiaPacific to include him as one of their 5 Artists of the Year in their 2011 Almanac.
Soon you will be able to enjoy Mr Ataman’s films online. Cheers!!!