|With Ferzan Ozpetek in NYC, 2012|
In 1997, he made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed Hamam Turkish Bath, which went on to win two Golden Globes, one for Best New Director and the other for Best Soundtrack. Since then, Ozpetek has directed some of the most beautiful and profound films of contemporary Italian cinema. Ozpetek calls upon his own life experiences when deciding on a film project. He then builds upon that experience with his writing partner and close friend of 30 years, Gianni Romoli. Together they transform an idea into a masterpiece with the perfect combination of drama and comedy relief.
In an Ozpetek film, there is so much that remains unsaid but is revealed through the characters' eyes. "Cinema is about the gaze, about where someone is looking," Ozpetek said. "I love to make movies where a character is thinking the line but not speaking the line. During the shooting of La Finestra di Fronte, I told Giovanna Mezzogiorno several times, Don't speak the line. Just think the line and gaze."
Ozpetek and Romoli speak to each and every one of us when they make a film. Their message is a simple one that focuses on the ability to balance our daily commitments while staying true to the people we originally started out as. Regardless of how much or little you have in common with the characters, their fears, struggles and dreams mirror those of everyone on a fundamental level.