The Woman Behind the Cameras

Award-winning filmmaker Özlem Altingöz was born and raised in Mersin, Turkey before pursuing her professional career in the United States. She earned her filmmaking degree from New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. And in just five years, she has already brought to life multiple short films and has even conquered each aspect of the filmmaking process by taking on projects as a director, writer, and producer.

Özlem Altingöz gained quite the attention during the Film Festival Circuit with her critically acclaimed short horror film, “Daughter of the Lake” (2017). The film garnered over forty (40) awards, which included but not limited to the following – Best Short Film, Best Women Filmmakers and Best Screenplay. Just as remarkable is her most recent short horror film, “Birth” (2018), which screened at many prestigious festivals such as the Cannes Short Film Corner, Sitges Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival and many more others. “Birth” has also won over forty (40) awards including Best Producer, Best Director, Best Original Story, and Best Horror Short. 

On top of those impressive feats, Özlem Altingöz also completed a short documentary in 2020, Los Angeles City of Dreams and Fallen Angels. The documentary highlights a very pressing social problem in Los Angeles County, which is homelessness. Evidently, Özlem aims more than just to entertain, but as well as to address some of the prominent issues in the society. 

So far, Özlem Altingöz has led a running total of seven scripts from conception to distribution as writer, director, and producer. True enough, this woman is on a roll and she has not the slightest intentions of slowing down. Özlem’s blazing drive has a lot to do with her mantra – “SUCCESS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU, YOU DEFINE SUCCESS”. According to her, a significant indicator of success is how well she is able to resonate with her intended audience. This degree of resonance is where she can gauge just how much impact her works have made. 

Blazing with her burning passion for film,  Özlem strives to share this fiery enthusiasm with the world by engaging with her audience. While she has been no stranger to thousands and thousands of compliments,  Özlem also has her fair share of criticisms. In fact, she is more than eager to hear what her viewers have to say after viewing her works. To her, feedback is key if she wants to stay on top. 

A unique approach of hers is to not pay too much attention to the rules and to even break some of them for the sake of being able to tell a kind of story the world has not yet seen before. Özlem’s growth mindset tells her that she should venture beyond creating short films and give big feature films a try.  With this, her dreams of getting into Hollywood just might turn into a reality sooner than she thinks. Indeed, Özlem is one to look out for in the film industry. And when asked what her secret to success was, she tells us that one can never go wrong if one does not give up.