Deniz Gamze Ergüven grew up in France and attended school at La Fémis. In 2011, she attended the Cannes Film Festivals Atelier where she met fellow director Alice Winocour. The two began their collaboration on her first feature film, Mustang.
Mustang premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Europa Cinemas Label Award and later played in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Most notably, the film was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.
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.
Excerpt from FF2 Media review of Mustang from November 20, 2015:
Mustang reveals the hidden plight of modern women trapped within the confines of a strictly traditional culture. Each of the sisters serves a role in exploring the different issues that women can face. From issues of female sexual expressiveness, to the unfairness of virginity testing, to the expectations of feminine domesticity and submission, director Deniz Gamze Ergüven tells a genuine and emotional story that never feels forced or pandering.
Ergüven simultaneously breaks your heart and uplifts your spirit as she lets Lale, the most innocent and naive, navigate through the story, watching her sisters and knowing that she doesn’t want to face the same fate. While many of the plot points could seem melodramatic, Ergüven handles the characters with such a tenderness, that they never feel dishonest. There is no emotional manipulation, just the truest expression of the bond between sisters and the battle for true female empowerment.
Read the full review: https://ff2media.com/thehotpinkpen/2015/11/20/mustang/
Read more about Deniz Gamze Ergüven: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deniz_Gamze_Erg%C3%BCven
Top Photo: The girls take a road trip in Mustang.
Photo Credits: Cohen Media Group