Yusuf Aslanyürek was born in Moscow in 1982. His father is a film director and a professor of Fine Arts; his mother is a geological engineer; and his brother is currently studying Chemical Engineering at the Vienna University of Technology. He completed his elementary education in Russia, Syria, and Turkey, and graduated from high school in Istanbul. He took an eager interest in software development when he was 12 years old, which later led him to work as a software development and security specialist. He developed a passion for filmmaking in 1997 when he was working as a network and security specialist at IFR Anima, a film production company. In 1998, he worked as an assistant camera operator on Semih Kaplanoglu’s project, Herkes Kendi Evinde (Away from Home). Thanks to his excellent command of Arabic, Russian, and English, he has taken part in various commercial projects by foreign production teams. Following his work as assistant camera in projects Sellale (The Waterfall) in 1999 and Mumya Firarda (Runaway Mummy) in 2001, he took time out of his active professional life to pursue a formal education in cinematography.
In 2002, Yusuf Aslanyürek began his studies at the Moscow State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK – Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography) the world’s first school of cinematography where world-renowned filmmakers like Eisenstein, Tarkovsky and Nikita Mikhalkov studied. He transferred to Marmara University as the highest ranked student with the average of 3.9/4. He received the “Emerging Cinematographer” award given by the Turkish Ministry of Culture in 2009 for Zayif Hafiza (Weak Memory), a film he shot while he was carrying out his MFA studies in visual effects in cinematography in the Cinema-TV Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Marmara University, Istanbul. He started his academic career in the same department as a lecturer in 2012, and has worked there ever since. In 2017, he completed his doctoral coursework in the Ph.D. Doctorate of Arts in Cinema programme at the Institute of Social Sciences at Maltepe University with the top average of 4/4 and is currently working on his dissertation. Throughout his academic career, he has delivered lectures and seminars at various universities and private companies like Istanbul University, Maltepe University and SONY. He is the first and only director of photography in Turkey with a SONY Independent Certified Expert (ICE) license, which he received in 2015.
He worked as co-cinematographer on Hacivat ve Karagoz Neden Olduruldu (Killing the Shadows). Following that, he became manager of the laboratory at the Safak Studios where the film had been post-produced. He started a filmmaking company under the name of “Alternatif Sinema” in 2005, and Soon after that, he received financial backing for the production of Eve Giden Yol (Road Home) from Eurimages and the Turkish Ministry of Culture. He co-produced it with Özen Film[TR] and Tivoli Films[HU] and shot it as the Cinematographer. The film was screened in more than 20 countries, including Japan and Germany.
In the years following 2006, he predominantly shot commercials for about a hundred major companies including Nestle, Finansbank, and Anadolu Sigorta as well as music videos for Mor ve Otesi and Tarkan.
In 2008, he executed the production and cinematography of 7 Avlu (Seven Courtyards), a German-Turkish co-production backed by Northmedia Film Funds, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture; the film was screened in Turkey and Germany. After this project, he served his short-term military service at the Osmaniye 50th Ordnance Unit. After the service, he shot some sections of F-tipi Film and Firtina (Storm). In 2012, he shot Topragin Cocuklari (Sons of Soil), a film on the “Village Institutes,” which received the Special Jury Prize at the Antalya Film Festival. He was assigned in 2013 as the producer and cinematographer of the feature film Lal (Mute), co-backed by one of England’s best-established firms, Blackhangar and Cinetech, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The film was printed at CPC London and screened in almost every city in Turkey. He shot Kumes (The Coop) in 2015, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival, screened at the Istanbul Film Festival, and received the “Best Feature” award at Antakya Film Festival. Apart from festival films, Yusuf Aslanyürek has been the cinematographer for various mainstream films as well, among which Mihrez: Cin Padisahi and Adana Isi take the lead; the former feature was a horror film, and the latter a comedy.
In 2017 he received financial backing from the Research and Development Fund given by Turkish Ministry of Culture, to develop his screenplay for Asala. The feature film he made as the executive producer, Anons (The Announcement), co-produced by the Chouchkov Brothers and financially backed by the Bulgarian Film Fund and the Turkish Ministry of Culture, was selected for the competition at La Biennale (Venice Film Festival) in 2018. In the same year, KAOS, the feature film he produced and shot as cinematographer, again backed by the Turkish Ministry of Culture, is to be one of the contenders in the international competition section of Montreal Film Festival in August 2018.
He goes on long motorcycle journeys and does organic farming. Apart from his culinary interests, he loves animals and has four cats.
“İçedönük” (2019) Turkey-Russia (scriptwriter)
“Asala” (2019) Turkey-USA (scriptwriter)
“Anons” (2018) Turkey-Bulgaria (executive producer)
“Kaos” (2018) Turkey (producer, DP)
“Adana isi” (2015) Turkey (DP)
“Kumes” (2015) Turkey (DP)
“Mihrez” (2014) Turkey (DP)
“LAL” (2013) Turkey (Producer, DP)
“Toprağın Çocukları” (2012) Turkey (DP)
“7 Avlu” (2009) Turkey – Germany (Producer, DP)
“Bahoz” (2008) Turkey (additional shooting) (DP)
“Eve Giden Yol” (2006) Turkey-Syria (DP)
“Çağlar İçinde Antakya” (2003) Documentary (DP)
Over 50 Commercials and Music Video.