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Deniz Gamze Ergüven (born 4 June 1978) is a Turkish-French film director best known for her debut feature film Mustang.

Deniz Gamze Ergüven
OIFF 2015-07-18 221422 - Deniz Gamze Ergüven.jpg
Ergüven in July 2015
Born (1978-06-04) 4 June 1978 (age 41)
Ankara, Turkey
Alma materLa Fémis
Years active2006–present

Early life and educationEdit

Ergüven was born in Ankara, Turkey but moved to France in the 1980s. She grew up and went to school in France. She attended La Fémis and graduated in 2008.[1]


In 2011 Ergüven was invited to attend the Cannes Film Festivals Atelier to help develop her project, The Kings.[2] While there she met fellow director Alice Winocour who was there to develop her first feature film Augustine. After Ergüven was unable to find financing for her film Winocour suggested she write a more intimate piece leading the two to begin work on the script for Mustang.[3]

Her debut feature Mustang premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival[4][5] where it won the Europa Cinemas Label Award.[6][7] It later played in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.[8] The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards[9] (after having been submitted by France.[10])

Ergüven was also nominated for multiple César Awards, winning the César Award for Best First Feature Film as well as the César Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Ergüven was surprised by the film's overwhelmingly positive welcome. "During Cannes I was telling this joke: Tuesday we’ll show the movie, Wednesday we’ll talk to the press, Thursday we’ll be old news. But that Thursday never came! We’re still Wednesday and it’s just getting more intense", she said.[11]

In May 2016, Ergüven announced her next feature film Kings, which would star Halle Berry in a lead role and be set during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[12] The film had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on 13 September 2017,[13] where it received extremely negative reviews.[14]

In June 2016, Ergüven was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (directors' branch).[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Ergüven was pregnant while filming Mustang and gave birth to her son on 11 February 2015.[16]


  1. ^ Riousse, Louise. "4 QUESTIONS À DENIZ GAMZE ERGÜVEN, RÉALISATRICE DE MUSTANG". Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  2. ^ "The Projects". Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  3. ^ FELSENTHAL, Julia. "Deniz Gamze Ergüven on Her Stunning New Movie, Mustang". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  4. ^ "The Directors' Fortnight 2015 selection!". Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  5. ^ Justin Chang (21 April 2015). "Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Unveils 2015 Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  6. ^ Rebecca Ford (22 May 2015). "Cannes: 'Embrace of the Serpent' Tops Directors' Fortnight Awards". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  7. ^ Quinzaine des Réalisateurs [@Quinzaine] (22 May 2015). "Mention to "The Exquisite Corpus de/by Peter Tscherkassky #quinzaine2015" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 May 2015 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Sandra Bullock's 'Our Brand Is Crisis,' Robert Redford's 'Truth' to Premiere at Toronto". Variety. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  9. ^ "88th Annual Academy Awards Oscar Nominations Fact Sheet" (PDF) (Press release). AMPAS. 2016.
  10. ^ Richford, Rhonda (22 September 2015). "Oscars: France Selects 'Mustang' As Foreign-Language Submission". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Interview with 'Mustang' director Deniz Gamze Ergüven". Canım Istanbul. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  12. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie. "EXCLUSIVE: Slate also includes Mustang director Deniz Gamze Erguven's LA riots picture Kings, starring Halle Berry, and Westgate terror attack drama". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  13. ^ "The Toronto International Film Festival unveils first slate of films for 2017". TIFF. TIFF. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Kings (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  15. ^ "Academy Invites 683 to Membership" (PDF) (Press release). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  16. ^ Talu, Yonca. "Cannes Interview: Deniz Gamze Ergüven". Retrieved 5 November 2015.

External linksEdit