Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Deniz Gamze Ergüven is a Turkish-French film director best known for her debut feature film Mustang.

Early life and education

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.


In 2011 Ergüven was invited to attend the Cannes Film Festivals Atelier to help develop her project, The Kings. 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.
Her debut feature Mustang premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Europa Cinemas Label Award. It later played in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was nominated for 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.
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.
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. The film had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on 13 September 2017, where it received extremely negative reviews.
In June 2016, Ergüven was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Personal life

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