Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay was born in 1987 in Bad Hersfeld, Hesse, Germany. He grew up in the German city of Hagen. He studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne with a focus on film and literature and is a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. He currently lives and works in Cologne.
His previous works include VOR DEM TOR DES IJTIHAD (2013) and EVEN IF (2016). His film ORAY (2019) won Best First Feature Award at Berlin IFF.