Foto: © Filip Van Roe

Foto: © Filip Van Roe

Bülent Öztürk is born in 1975 in Baglarbasi, a small Kurdish village in Southeast Turkey, in a family of thirteen children. In 1995 he flees to Antwerp as a political refugee. In 2011 he receives his Master’s degree Film Directing audiovisual arts at the RITS in Brussels.

During his studies Bülent participates to an intercultural film workshop, conducted by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, where he directs his first film project ‘Tien voor Negen’. He then directs several other short films: ‘Uitgesteld Afscheid’, ‘Dageraad’ and the critical documentary, ‘Zaman Zaman, Talking Stones of Bakacik’, about the return of an old man to his destroyed old town Mardin (Southeast Turkey) after a ‘low intensity conflict’.

After RITS and the dramatic earthquake in Van/Ecis (Eastern Turkey) in winter 2011, he runs his second poetic documentary ‘Beklemek/Waiting’. This film tells the moral conflict from a father between his Islamic beliefs and the love for his lost daughter, and at the same time the hope and survival of two teenagers surviving this chaos. With this approach both doc movies have repeatedly been awarded in Turkey.

His first fiction short film, ‘Houses with small windows’ is a powerful and yet muted portrait of an ‘honour killing’ in a rural and closed community in Kurdish Southeast Turkey. This emotionally shattering issue in this beautiful, desolate images of silence casts a long shadow over the tragedies that unfold, rendering them even more unbearable in a most restrained and yet poetic way. In 2013 this film wins the award for best European short film at the Venice Film Festival and was also nominated for the 26th European Film Awards in Berlin.

Now he is preparing for his first feature film ‘Blue Silence’, for which he received the production support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, and which Bülent will shoot at the end of 2015.