Derya Durmaz studied Economy, Human Rights Law and Acting. Her 1st short film “Ziazan” she wrote and directed, received Armenia Turkey Cinema Platform’s Best Project Award, participated over 40 international festivals, won 11 awards and received full coverage in the Washington Post and Monocle magazine. Her 2nd short film “Mother Virgin No More (Gri Bolge)” premiered at the 65th Berlinale Generation 14plus Short Film Competition, participated in over 25 international festivals and was screened at the Berlin based institut ngbk’s ’77-13 Political Art and Resistance in Turkey’ series of events. Both films’ world sales and distribution were acquired by Kurz Film Agentur Hamburg.
She was the 1st director from Turkey to be selected to Toronto Film Festival’s TIFF TALENT LAB 2015. In 2016 she was selected to BERLINALE TALENTS. With her 1st feature film project ‘The Bus To Amerika’, she was selected to FIRST FILMS FIRST, GOETHE INSTITUT YOUNG DIRECTORS ACADEMY SOUTH EAST EUROPE in 2016 and to GLOBAL MEDIA MAKERS Program of LA based FILM INDEPENDENT in 2018. The project received grant from GERMAN TURKISH CO-PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT FUND, got selected to 14 international coproduction markets and platforms and won TALENT HIGHLIGHT AWARD of BERLINALE CO-PRODUCTION MARKET in 2017.
Her interdisciplinary performance project “Con-sensual” which she wrote, directed and is one of the performers of, was selected to the EXPO 2020 Festival of English Theatre Berlin. In 2021, she received ‘Innovative Arts Project Funding’ from the BBK Bundesverband, with her interdisciplinary research-oriented workshop and performance project "DDS! Discipline, Dominance, Submission”. The performance was included in the program of PAF (Performing Arts Festival Berlin) 2021.
As an actress she worked with Persona Theater from Athens and took stage in Greece, Turkey and Iran, with their plays “Clytemnestra’a Tears” and “And God Said”. She acted in over 10 feature films - such as “Blue Wave” which competed in 64th Berlinale - and many Turkish TV dramas which aired internationally.
In line with her degree in human rights, for over 10 years she has been working with international NGOs, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) on projects related to refugees. She also takes part in NGO projects related to human rights, youth and arts. Most recently, she designed and coordinated the EU funded “Project for Human Rights and Film Making for Children” which reached over 300 vulnerable children from 14 cities in Turkey and in Amsterdam, and was a consultant for the EU Human Rights Film Days organized by the EU Delegation to Turkey.
Berlinale Talent Portrait of Derya Durmaz by Deutsche Welle: https://vimeo.com/333079798
Scriptwriter & Director
2016 to date The Bus to Amerika (Animated Feature - Uplifting Drama) – In development
Selected to 14 international coproduction platforms such as “Berlinale Talent Project Market” - won the “Talent Highlight Award”, “Paris Coproduction Village”, “Warsaw Kids Film Forum”, “Malmö Financing Forum For Kids Content”, “Produire Au Sud” Coproduction Development Program, Nantes FR and “Cartoon Movie - Project in Concept Stage”.
2020 Confined (Short - Nonlinear)
Selected to be premiered at the Cefalu Short Film Festival 2021, Cefalu, ITALY
2015 Mother Virgin No More / Gri Bolge (Short - Nonlinear Narrative)
Premiered at the ‘65th Berlinale Generations 14plus Short Film Competition’
EU 5th Human Rights Short Film Festival , TURKEY - SECOND RUNNER-UP
Boston Turkish Festival Documentary and Short Film Competition, USA - SPECIAL JURY MENTION
2014 Ziazan (Uplifting Drama - Short)
Armenia Turkey Cinema Platform, ARMENIA - Best Project Award
Mo&Friese Hamburg Children's Short Film Festival, GERMANY - FRIESE AWARD
FICAIJ International Film Festival for Children and Youth, VENEZUELA - BEST FICTION FILM AWARD
CAT – International Children’s and Youth Film Festival, RUSSIA - SPECIAL JURY MENTION FOR DIRECTOR’S WORK WITH YOUNG ACTORS
Tokyo Kinder Film Festival, Tokyo, JAPAN – OPENING FILM
Boston Turkish Festival Documentary and Short Film Competition, USA - BEST SHORT FILM AUDIENCE AWARD
SEE a Paris, FRANCE - SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Atif Yilmaz Short Film Competition, TURKEY - 1st PRIZE
ROFIFE International Short Film Festival , TURKEY - FESTIVAL SPECIAL MENTION
Diversity in Cannes Short Film Competition, FRANCE - JURY CHOICE & AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS
International Izmir Short Film Festival , TURKEY - PROMISING YOUNG ACTRESS AWARD
Altin Cinar Film Festival , TURKEY - SHORT FILM JURY SPECIAL MENTION
2020 Shame (Short Film)
2012 Earth Angels (Feature Film)