Life of Famous Turkish Photographer Ara Guler Set For Biopic Directed by Aren Perdeci, Ela Alyamac (EXCLUSIVE)
The life of Turkey’s most famous photographer, Ara Guler, known globally for his portraits of scores of 20th century icons ranging from Pablo Picasso to Winston Churchill, is set to become a biopic directed by writer-director duo Aren Perdeci and Ela Almayanac (“Lost Birds”).
Guler worked for many years for the photo agency Magnum, after its co-founder, celebrated photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, personally signed him up.
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Besides documenting top 20th century personalities, Guler, who died in 2018, gained fame for his images of a bygone Istanbul, which earned him the moniker “Istanbul’s Eye.” He established a long collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. Guler’s photographs were included in the 2003 Pamuk book “Istanbul: Memories and the City.” He also directed the 1975 doc “End of the Hero,” about a World War I battle cruiser.
Panavision is set to repurpose Guler’s originally owned lenses for production of the biopic, according to the directors.
The Dogus Corp. of Turkey, which owns the Ara Guler Archives and Research Center and the Ara Guler Museum, are unveiling the biopic project, which is being produced by Turkey’s Kara Kedi Film company, to prospective partners at Berlin’s European Film Market.
Perdeci and Almayanac’s “Lost Birds,” which was made in 2016, is the first film shot in Turkey to depict the mass deportations and genocide of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
The directors, who are of Armenian descent, developed a close rapport with Guler the year before he passed away and worked with him to develop his life story into the screenplay for a film with the working title “Hello.” Though the film will explore various aspects of his career and exotic travels, at its core is a three-day journey the photographer made with his father to the Armenian village where he was born. “Guler always told us his greatest journey was taking his father back home,” the directors said in a statement.
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