Yavuz Özkan, one of the most productive directors of Turkish cinema, published several magazines and newspapers in the seventies. In 1976-77 he published the Newspaper of Cinema Workers called Yeni Türk Sineması. In the same year, he organized the Ankara March, which was the most effective action of cinema and lasted for three days, within the body of this newspaper.
He established a theatre company in Kocaeli and acted at “Dostlar Tiyatrosu”, one of the Turkey’s most famous theatre company. He staged a play based on the novel named “The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti” written by Howard Fast in there.
He shot several short movies and wrote film scripts before his first movie “The Mine“.
“The Mine” was shot in 1978, then, a year later he shot his second movie named “Railroad“. Both of them caused sensation because of their efficient plots and won many prizes within the country and abroad, also released in many European countries.
He had to move to Paris after military coup in 1980 and lived in exile for 7 years. In all these years he wrote scripts and directed of two TV movies named “Letters to Beloved“ and “The Last Warrior” for the French TV.
After returning to Turkey, he devoted himself to cinema and make movies (which listed below). His movies won numerous awards within the country and abroad, and released in many country.
He led the founding of the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TURSAK) in 1991.
In 1995, he formed a cinema school named “Z-1 Film Studio”. He gave free cinema education with 33 faculty members included masters of the cinema, artists, academicians, philosophers, novelists, poets and communicators. He published a magazine called “Atölye” (Studio) with his students. Educational activities in Z-1 Film Studio continued with many academicians invited from “New York Tisch School of Arts”, “Lodz Film, Television and Theatre School”, “Hungarian Academy of Drama, Film and TV” and “Royal Shakespeare Company”. He started “The Saturday Conversations” about the subjects of arts, history and politics within Studio. These conversations attracted a lot of attention among young people.
At the early 2000s, he wrote and directed theatre plays named “Secrets that Everybody Knows” and “The Woman at the Opposite Window”. “Secrets that Everybody Knows” staged at Istanbul Turkish State Theatres in 2013 – 2014 season and also performed by two private theatres.
He was in charge of the Film Directors’ Association between 1999 and 2002.
In 2010-11, he directed a docudrama movie named “Romance in İstanbul“ which told the five love stories that changed the course of history in İstanbul.
On these years, he wrote a script also named “Marx Come Back”, based on a play named “Marx in Soho” written by Howard Zinn and studied this film project to realize with France, Germany and U.S.A co-production.
He completed his last script project “Legend” in 2018.
He passed away on May 22, 2019, while preparing for the shooting of the movie.