Azra Deniz Okyay

Azra Deniz Okyay

Turkey

As a fiction director you should observe people in detail before writing about them. Making documentaries first helped me observe and film people without exploiting them.

Born in Istanbul, Azra Deniz Okyay started photography at the age of 12, and became an assistant at 14 to the photographer Dora Günel. After finishing high school in Lycée Français Pierre Loti of Istanbul she moved to Paris to study cinema at Sorbonne-Nouvelle where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s. She worked in Michel Gondry's Partizan Production company. She returned to Turkey in 2010 and became the first female director at Depo, an advertising production company of Istanbul. She has made various shorts and music videos. Her works on Video-Arts were selected to international exhibitions and galleries. GHOSTS (2020), her feature film debut, won the grand prize at the Venice International Film Critics’ Week and was recently awarded at the Antalya Golden Orange FF.