Gülsel Özkan 
Director and scriptwriter

Gülsel Özkan was born in Malatya, Turkey, in 1966. She emigrated to Germany in 1980 and began to study filmmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg in 1987, graduating with honors. She has accumulated many years of professional experience as a director and scriptwriter and has worked as an independent filmmaker and producer since 1989, creating documentary films and feature films for ARD, arte, NDR, WDR, BR, DW Phönix, H3, MDR and SFB, as well as international broadcasters such as Spain TVE, 3 Sat and Planet-France.

Gülsel Özkan is currently working as a director and scriptwriter of documentary films and feature films. Many of her films have been shown internationally and nominated for numerous prizes. Gülsel Özkan is the business manager of Planetfilm GmbH.

Filmography Gülsel Özkan

1989   DIE NEUE MAUER (The New Wall), documentary, U-Matic

  Script / Directing
1990   VERFLUCHTES C (The Cursed C), feature, 16 mm, 7 min.

  Script / Directing / Editing

    QUÉ TODOS SE LEVANTEN (When They All Rise Up), documentary, Guatemala, 60 min., Beta SP

  Directing / Sound / Editing / Production


STUMME WELTEN (Silent Worlds), documentary, FRG, 16 mm


Camera / Lighting


EL ORO NEGRO (Black Gold), documentary, Ecuador, 45 min., video


Directing / Sound / Editing / Production


ZIVILCOURAGE - Rigoberta Menchú (Everyday Courage - Rigoberta Menchú), film for Deutsche Welle (Nobel Peace Prize 1992) EIN PORTRÄT - Rigoberta Menchú (A Portrait - Rigoberta Menchú),

  live broadcast on the Nobel Peace Prize 1992, ARD

DANCES WITH TAILINGS, documentary, USA, 16 mm, 60 min.
Diploma film project with honors


Directing / Sound / Editing / Production


Six months of shooting in Ecuador, Guatemala, USA




ZWISCHEN DEN FRONTEN - die türkischen Alewiten (Between the Fronts – The Turkish Alevites), 45 min., Beta SP, NDR/ 3 Sat


Directing / Editing / Production


ASYL, ASYL (Asylum, Asylum), subsidized script for a feature film

  Filmförderung Hamburg HHFF

DIE AMERIKAS (The Americas) - Identity and Resistance of the Indigenous Americans, documentary, 93 min., Beta SP


Directing / Sound / Editing / Production
Filmförderung Hamburg HHFF


( Prizes: *"Großer Preis der Jury", Sixth International Environmental and Nature Film Festival in Sacile, Italy, 1996
*Award at the Native American film festival II Festival de Cine y Video de las Naciones Abya Yala in Ecuador 1996
*Special mention at the XVIII Festival de La Habana Cuba, 1996, as the second-place film about Latin America made by a non-Latin American filmmaker)


(The Voice of Heaven - Missionaries and the Oil Business in Ecuador), 45 min., Beta SP


Directing / Sound / Editing / Production
Filmförderung Hamburg HHFF


The Hidden Face - On the Situation of the Refugee Villages in Guatemala), 45 min., Beta SP


Directing / Sound / Editing / Production
Filmförderung Hamburg HHFF


ES IST GESCHEHEN, ES IST VORBEI - Maschallah (It Has Happened, It's Over - Mashallah), NDR


UNSERE MÜTTER, UNSERE SCHWESTERN, UNSERE TÖCHTER - Ein Filmprojekt über kurdische Frauen (Our Mothers, Our Sisters, Our Daughters - A Film Project on Kurdish Women), WDR / arte




TAI CHI CHUAN - Vollendete Kampfkunst in China (Tai Chi Chuan - Perfect Martial Art in China), documentary, China, 45 min., Sender Freies Berlin
Broadcast on: SFB / MDR / WDR / HR / ORB and Planet-France




DIE BESCHNEIDUNG - Ein Fest in den türkischen Bergen (The Circumcision - A Celebration in the Mountains of Turkey), documentary, 45 min., Beta SP, NDR / Phoenix


Directing / Editing / Production

1998   DIE TOCHTER DER BERGE (Daughter of the Mountains), (old title: Asyl Asyl), script for a feature film about an 11-year-old girl,  

Filmförderung Hamburg FFHH


HEIMAT BABYLON (Homeland Babylon), subsidized script for a feature film, Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg



1999   DORNEN IN MEINEM AUGE - Eren Keskin: Eine türkische Anwältin klagt an (Thorns in My Eye - Eren Keskin: A Turkish Woman Lawyer Speaks Out), documentary, 60  

Directing / Editing / Production


(Prizes: *"Odyssee-Spezialpreis der Jury für Dokumentarfilm" (Odyssey Special Jury Prize for a Documentary Film), Interfilmfestival Nuremberg
Nominated in three categories for the Prix Europe Berlin


Festivals: *Festival médias nord-sud, Geneva
*International Human Rights Festival, Nuremberg
*Exil Filmfestival, Götheborg, Sweden, 1999)


NICHT LÄNGER SCHWEIGEN - Drei Kurdische Frauen auf neuen Wegen (Breaking the Silence – Three Kurdish Women Taking New Paths), documentary, 45 min., Beta SP, WDR


Directing / Editing / Production


WALDESLUST - Die Deutschen und der Wald (FOREST DELIGHT - Germans and the Forest), 45 min., NDR/ HR / 3 SAT / MDR / SWR






Member of the jury at ÖKOMEDIA - 17th International Environmental Film Festival in Freiburg, Germany


DER SCHWARZARBEITER (The Underground Worker), short comedy film


HEIMAT BABYLON (Hometown Babylon), nominated for the Baden-Württemberg Script Prize 2001


Nominated as Best Script for the German Script Prize 2003 in the category "Script Not Filmed)


ELEANORA & THE ALIEN, children's film,
Filmförderung Hamburg FFHH


FREMDE HEIMAT (Foreign Homeland), documentary, Discovery Master School
Filmförderung Hamburg


Subsidized script


DER LETZTE KRONZEUGE (The Last Principal Witness), docufiction, Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg


Subsidized script


DER SCHWARZARBEITER (The Underground Worker), satirical short film on the theme of joblessness, 35 mm, 19 min.


Prizes: *First Prize for Best Short Film
International Film Festival Osnabrück

2003   First Place, Short Film Prize, 29th International Film Weekend, Würzburg    

Festivals: Filmfest Emden, Short Film Festival Thalmässing, First Look Schleswig Holstein, Film Festival Biberach, Baden-Württembergische Filmschau, Interfilm Nuremberg, Kontrast Bayreuth, Filmfest Würzburg, Film Festival Landshut)

    Nominated for Best Short Film, German Short Film Prize    

Incentive funding by MFG Baden-Württemberg for the development of the projects "Hometown Babylon", "Jobsharing" and "Wonderful Death"


Subsidized script for the international feature film "Brent Spar" by MFG Baden-Württemberg. Subsidy from Media Plus for project development on "Jobsharing".


Support for project development on "Hometown Babylon" by Media Plus. Support for NATURPARK SCHWARZWALD (Schwarzwald Nature Park).


DIE DREHUNG DER BRENT SPAR (The turn of "Brent Spar"), documentary, 45 min. (WDR)


TV subsidy


"Best journalistic film", Ökofilmtour 2006


FASZINATION WILDNIS (The Fascination of the Wilderness), 30 min.


EINE ALLIANZ FÜR DIE ZUKUNFT (An Alliance for the Future), 20 min.

    “Adventure Around the Corner“

A series of documentary nature films for children


supported MFG-Filmförderung
project development /
format development

2007   "Mofettas -
The Earth’s Deadly Breath“

“The Dead of Chios“
Documentary film, 45 min.,
WDR story editing


“Adventure Around the Corner“
A series of documentary nature films
for children from children


Project development / format
development / EU dimension


“Adventure Around the Corner“
Parts 1 - 3
"Safari in the Black Forest"
"Robbers in the Forest "
"Master of the Skies"  


Directing / editing / production


“Adventure Around the Corner“
Part 4
"Capercaillies in the Black Forest"

  Directing / editing / production

"Drowned Before My Very Eyes"
Documentary film, 45 min.,
WDR story editing


Directing / sound
editing / production


“Adventure Around the Corner“
Part 5
“Adventure in the Rhine Meadows"

  Directing / editing / production

“Adventure Around the Corner“
Part 6
"Adventure in Costa Rica"

  Directing / editing / production

"A Suitcase Full of Hope"
Documentary film