Bülent Öztürk was born in 1975 in the little Kurdish village Baglarbasi (TR) in a family of thirteen children. In 1995 he fled to Antwerp. In 2011 he received his Master’s degree Film Directing audiovisual arts at the RITS in Brussels.
During his studies, he turns the documentary, 'Zaman Zaman, Talking Stones of Bakacik', which was honored in Turkey. After RITS, winter 2011, he runs the documentary 'Beklemek/Waiting in Eastern Turkey', about the traumatic effects of the earthquake earlier that year. This movie is also repeatedly been awarded. His fiction film‚ 'Houses With Small Windows’ wins in 2013 the award for best European short film at the Venice Film Festival, and was also nominated for the 26th European Film Awards in Berlin.
At this moment Bülent is preparing, with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, his first fiction film ‚Blue Silence’, which he will shoot in 2015.
© Filip Van Roe
While shooting the documentary Beklemek / Waiting in 2011 I met Eso, a 13 years old girl. Along with thousands of others Eso tried to cope with the consequences of the massive earthquake in eastern Turkey in 2011. She wandered around the city Ercis to collect debris and metal to sell. This girl immediately charmed me. She had a lot of energy and will to make things change. She was determined to build a better future for herself. Less than a year after the earthquake and the shooting of Beklemek, I got the news that Eso was going to get married against her will to somebody older that she never met. With the support of several people and organizations we managed to cancel the forced marriage and Eso went on with her live. But I was deeply shaken by the idea that thousands of girls like Eso were forced every year to marry. I quickly remembered that my mother too, went through this ordeal 60 years ago in southeastern Turkey.
Together with my camerawoman and sound engineer, I left to my hometown to shoot a documentary about my mother and her childhood when she was given away to another family.
During the scheduled ten days my mother had an emotional break down. She couldn’t live through her past again. It turned out that she was given away when she was only 6 years old and that she had hidden this information all these years to her close relatives. We decided that her story had to be told. We changed our schedule and found a small village, local actors and started to make the short.
With 'Houses with small windows', I hope to shed light on the terrible fate of thousands of girls who have to marry against their will or in the name of honor’s killings.