Özcan Deniz Without


Photo: Still from the Film

"Get Rich Quick" was the motto for many who wanted to get somewhere in the Turkish entertainment industry of the 1990s. So says the Turkish film director Ezel Akay.

He shot the box office hit film “Firuze, Where Are You?” along this line, in which singer Özcan Deniz plays himself. The Turkish George Clooney from deepest Anatolia comes to Istanbul and conquers the hearts of all women with his voice and looks. You could indeed describe the rise of the Kurdish singer Özcan Deniz in this way. With cheap productions, Deniz first addressed the millions of migrant workers from rural areas who had moved to the outskirts of the metropolises. At some point, the mainstream industry discovered Özcan Deniz’s appeal. And he became the star of TV novellas overnight. 

Nedim Hazar met him during this phase and convinced him of this documentary film project on the condition that it also had to show how he was developing artistically. Deniz was fed up with his Clooney image, took singing, acting and directing lessons on the side and had begun dealing with music outside the pop sphere. He wanted something more than mere documentation of his work. In the primary interview, he told for example about his uncle, the legendary Kurdish Dengbej (folk singer) Schakiro - 2006, in the year of the release of this film, the Kurdish theme was a no-go area for Turkish television and the entertainment industry. 

The dramaturgy of the film develops around two passionate Özcan Deniz fans. Aslı Saracoğlu, managing director of an Istanbul textile company and Hilal Ulusoy, who lives in a Kurdish mountain village in distant Kars. The film (available here in Turkish) also provides an insight into Turkey’s popular culture, its music market and the mechanisms of TV series. 

Meanwhile, Özcan Deniz has become a successful screenwriter and director of love films. Many of his series show in Arab and Latin American countries.


Nedim Hazar Bora


Bülent Arınlı


Troya Medya,
Nedim Hazar




Istanbul - 1001 Documentary Film Festival

Perafest Istanbul

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