Photographer Ara Guler’s life set for biopic

The life of Ara Guler, an Armenian-Turkish photojournalist nicknamed “the Eye of Istanbul” and “the Photographer of Istanbul” is set to become a biopic directed by Aren Perdeci and Ela Alyamac, the Armenian Film Society informs.

The filmmakers, who are of Armenian descent, are best known for their 2016 film, LOST BIRDS, which was the first film shot in Turkey to depict the Armenian Genocide.

The biopic, which has a working title of HELLO, will explore various aspects of his career and exotica travels, and at its core, examines a three-day journey the photographer made with his father to the Armenian village where he was born. Panavision is set to repurpose his originally owned lenses for production on the film.

In a statement to the Armenian Film Society, director Aren Perdeci shared, “We grew up with Ara Guler’s photographs, they talked to us, told us stories and whispered gentle secrets. They expanded our horizons. We grew up and the photographs grew with us, they shined a light upon new discoveries.’’ Ela Alyamac added, “Ara will charm the audience with his deep philosophy, his passion for his work, his sense of humour and most importantly with the child he always kept within.’’

In his career, Ara Guler traveled all over the world for photography assignments in countries such as Kenya, New Guinea, and Afghanistan. The subjects of his photographs have included artists and politicians such as Salvador Dalí, Ansel Adams, Alfred Hitchock, Pablo Picasso, Gandhi, and Winston Churchill. The legendary photographer studied at Getronagan Armenian High School. In 1975, he directed a documentary based on fiction on a World War I battle cruiser.

Directors Aren Perdeci and Ela Alyamac reportedly developed a close rapport with the photographer the year before he passed away and worked with him to develop his life story into a screenplay. The Dogus Corp. of Turkey, which owns the Ara Güler Archives and Research Center and the Ara Guler Museum, are unveiling the film, which is being produced by Turkey’s Kara Kedi Film company, to prospective partners at Berlin’s European Film Market.

THE EYE OF ISTANBUL, a documentary on his work, is available on digital platforms. Ara Guler passed away in October 2018.

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