Pelin Esmer is a Turkish film director, screenwriter and producer. She has been active in the film industry since the mid-2000s and has since become one of the most acclaimed names in Turkish cinema.
Esmer was born in Istanbul in 1979. She graduated from the Istanbul Technical University with a degree in architecture in 2002. After working briefly in the architecture field, she decided to pursue a career in film. She enrolled in the Istanbul Bilgi University Film and Television Department and graduated in 2006.
Esmer’s first feature film, 10 to 11 (2008), was a critical success. It was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Istanbul International Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her follow-up film, The Play (2011), won the Golden Orange Award for Best Film at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.
Esmer’s third feature film, Watchtower (2014), was selected for the official competition at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. It was also nominated for the Golden Bear for Best Film. Her latest feature, My Friend Fikri (2019), was selected for the official competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Esmer has also directed several short films, including The Last Bus (2007), which won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival. Her other short films include The Ring (2009), The Blind Date (2010), and The Night Watchman (2012).
Esmer is considered one of the most influential directors in Turkish cinema. Her films explore the themes of love, loss, and identity in contemporary Turkey. She has won numerous awards for her work and has become an international name in the film industry.