Hi, I'm Ulya
When I was a kid, painting, acting in theater, playing a bunch of musical instruments, and writing nurtured my curiosity towards different ways of expressing my ideas and emotions. Now, I tell the stories that change my life and make films as emotionally charged healing art.
My Turkish-American international production, My Nature is recognized by the Boston Globe and is a Finalist at the 23rd Boston Turkish Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Additionally, I won the Best Director award from the Swedish International Film Festival in 2022 with Shut Your Eyes I'm Gonna Dance. It is also listed as a semi-finalist at the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival, which is Academy Award, BAFTA, and Canadian Screen Awards-qualifying.
Media is a powerful medium that can impact societies with positive or negative outputs. I believe that in order to tell truly authentic stories, inclusion must start during the development phase and continue until the end of the distribution phase. I insist this is the way to make art that can accurately represent cultures and identities, and offer positive contributions to societies.
Teaching is as important as producing media for me. I teach screenwriting, directing, creative business enterprises, aesthetic sensibility development, and BFA capstone project courses and topics at Emerson College. Previously, I taught the Writing for the Screen course at RISD and creative writing workshops at GrubStreet, the nation's largest creative writing center.
As an editorial board member of New Explorations, a peer-reviewed journal at the University of Toronto, I contribute to scholarly discourse transcending new media and technology. Additionally, I have served as an artist/filmmaker member of the Civic Design Initiative at MIT, participating in the work of an interdisciplinary research group exploring climate change and climate immigration.
Questions about humanity, identity, and existence shape the themes I explore in my films. I double-majored in Sociology and Film and Media Studies with a minor in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. I received my MFA in Film and Media Art from Emerson College in 2017.