Ferzan Özpetek (b. February 3, 1959, Turkey) is a Turkish screenwriter and film director who currently resides in Italy.
Özpetek was born in Istanbul in 1958. He moved to Italy in 1977 to study at the La Sapienza University in Rome. Later he attended directing courses at the Accademia d’Arte Drammatica “Silvio D’Amico” in Rome before working as an assistant director with Massimo Troisi, Maurizio Ponzi, and other Italian directors. Özpetek made his directorial debut in 1997 with Hamam (also released as Il bagno turco and Steam: The Turkish Bath). The movie garnered considerable critical success and was later released in USA. His second film Harem Suare’ was a lyrical depiction of the last days of Ottoman Empire.
Ferzan Özpetek is an openly gay director who deals with sexuality issues in several of his films. Such is Le Fate Ignoranti (Cahil Periler in Turkish), a story of a woman (played by Margherita Buy) who discovered that her late husband had a long-lasting relationship with a male lover (starring Stefano Accorsi). After being devastated, she began to build a friendly relationship with him, learning more about her husband and the secret life he used to spend, in that gay world she couldn’t imagine at all. His La Finestra di fronte (Karşı Pencere in Turkish) won a Crystal Globe award in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Senior Italian actor Massimo Girotti played his last role in this film. Another movie is Cuore Sacro, the touching portrait of a young manager that discovers the way to reach the hidden space in her soul through her dead mother, and starts dedicating herself in looking after socially rejected people.