Screenwriter and filmmaker, Azra Deniz Okyay has filmed various shorts, documentary and video art projects, fashion videos, commercials and music videos. Incorporating elements of video art and documentary in her work, she is committed to telling stories of her generation.

From the age of 12, she developed a passion for photography and got her first job two years later as an assistant to photographer Dora Gunel. She trained with a French production company, and started making her own short films, Cengiz (2002) and La Sepa-ration (2004).

Mapping Istanbul’s urban transformation, Okyay’s debut feature Ghosts (2020) depicts contemporary issues such as urban transformation, Syrian migrants, femicides as well as the blockade and rebellion in the city with a colourful visual style. The film received several awards, including Best Film and Best Director at Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (2020); Human Values Award in International Competition Thessaloniki Film Festival (2020); and Grand Prize Venice International Critics' Week, Venice Film Festival (2020).

She holds a BA and MA in Cinema from the Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris (2002 and 2006 respectively).

Okyay was born in 1983 in Istanbul, where she continues to live and work.

SAF Participation:
Sharjah Film Platform 4 (2021)

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Azra Deniz Okyay

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Azra Deniz Okyay

Sharjah Film Platform 4

Sharjah Film Platform is an annual festival organised by Sharjah Art Foundation to support the growing film scene in the UAE by celebrating and sustaining the work of local, regional and international filmmakers.

A limited number of Festival Passes and tickets to individual screenings are now available for purchase online. To book your SFP4 Festival Pass or tickets, click here.