Filmmaker in Focus: Ferzan Ozpetek

Dec 4–14, 2008


Saturno Contro (Saturn in Opposition). 2007. Italy. Screenplay by Ferzan Ozpetek, Gianni Romoli

One of the most successful and award-winning contemporary Italian filmmakers, Ferzan Ozpetek (b. 1959, Istanbul) creates films that display a unique thematic focus while remaining ambitious in scope and richly rewarding in their technical achievement. Effortlessly elegant, his aesthetic rarely calls attention to itself; his films masterfully illuminate various strains of society and strands of storytelling, and his actors shine in beautifully written, multifaceted parts that embrace an unforced multiculturalism. Ozpetek’s films are often rooted in the tradition of the sophisticated melodramas of the 1950s, pivoting around seemingly ordinary and content people whose lives become unmoored—often by a sudden death—leading to the discovery of previously unacknowledged passions and possibilities.

The filmmaker’s signature tracking camera stunningly unites disparate time periods (as in Facing Windows and Harem) and distant locales (Italy and Turkey), and creates a visual connection between Ozpetek’s central characters and the extended families they discover, whether in close friendships (Saturn in Opposition), in communal living (His Secret Life), or in caring for those in need (Sacred Heart, Facing Windows). His is a humanistic cinema in which the kindness of strangers is the most readily available because—as the Sister Sledge song puts it—“We are family.”

Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, the Department of Film, and Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero, Cinecittà Holding, Rome.

The exhibition features new prints courtesy of Cinecittà Holding. Grateful thanks to the producers and distributors: Domenico Procacci of Fandango, RAI Cinema, Medusa Film, Mikado Film, Gianluca Curti of Minerva Pictures, Tilde Corsi and Gianni Romoli of R&C Production, Sony Pictures Classics, and Strand Releasing. The series is made possible thanks to the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture, Cinema Department, in collaboration with The Italian Cultural Institute, New York, the Moon and Stars Project, The American Turkish Society, and Peuterey. Additional thanks to the Italian Consulate, New York, Moleskine, Laura Delli Colli, Antonio Monda, Mondadori, Moira Mazzantini, Lula Sarchioni, Emanuela Di Suni, Gioia Donati, and Gianni Giansanti for their kind collaboration.


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].