Award-winning US production company Karga Seven Pictures has announced the appointment of Ömer Özgüner as the CEO of their production outfit in Turkey, effective immediately. Ömer Özgüner is a veteran of the Turkish media industry, most recently running Star TV Turkey for the past six years.
The company has also announced a new partnership with award-winning Turkish film and TV directors Durul Taylan and Yağmur Taylan, directors of international hit dramas including Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century) and Vatanım Sensin (Wounded Love). Based in Karga Seven Pictures’ offices in Los Angeles, the Taylan brothers will develop scripted projects with Karga Seven Pictures for Turkey, the Middle East and the United States.
After producing in Turkey for a number of years, including successful feature films Takim: Mahalle Askina! (The Team) and 40, Karga Seven Pictures launched their Turkish outfit last year, with productions including City of Secrets for Fox. Karga Seven Pictures Turkey is currently preparing their new slate with a brand-new team, including Ömer Özgüner and drama coordinator Ümmü Burhan, with the aim of introducing a bold and international dimension to Turkish television. The company is also in the process of acquiring a number of internationally recognized series, with further details to follow shortly.
2018 sees Karga Seven Pictures celebrate its tenth anniversary, producing acclaimed scripted and non-scripted television and film for audiences worldwide, including forthcoming Travel Channel series Mysteries and Myths with Megan Fox (wt), and new Tim Kennedy series Hard to Kill for Discovery Channel.
Emre Sahin, Founding Partner of Karga Seven Pictures, said: “We are delighted that Ömer Özgüner has joined us in Turkey to spearhead our Turkish production operations, and that we have forged an important new partnership with The Taylan brothers, two of the most successful film and TV directors working in Turkey today.
“With Turkey being the second-largest exporter of television dramas in the world, and with our growing slate of new projects, it is great to have Ömer, Durul and Yağmur join us in this period of rapid growth. As we celebrate our tenth year in business, Sarah Wetherbee, Kelly McPherson and I would like to thank all of our teams in LA and Istanbul, and our network clients and distributors, for their support over the last decade.”
Ömer Özgüner, CEO of Karga Seven Pictures Turkey, said: “I have been impressed with what Emre, Sarah, Kelly and their team have been doing in the US and Turkey over the last few years, and am happy to be joining them at this pivotal time. Karga is the only production company in Turkey that is aiming to grow via international partnerships. We want to produce rich, unique content for Turkish and international audiences, and have everything in place to achieve this, including a strong new team. Our financing strength and backing, and focus on original literary works and creative excellence, means that Karga is well placed to be a key player in the industry.”
The Taylan brothers said: “We believe that partnerships such as this are vital to diversify content in the Turkish TV industry, which has made a giant leap in the last 10 years and established itself as one of the most prominent television industries in the world. We are firm believers that the best stories are the most universal ones, and it’s always been our biggest desire to bring to the screen the most technically and dramatically coherent examples of such stories. We were very impressed by Karga Seven’s vision, determination and perspective on the creative side, and we think our union with them will bring to life a wide variety of highly watchable projects.”
About Ömer Özgüner
Ömer Özgüner transitioned from a career as a journalist to a TV executive 25 years ago. He has worked at multiple networks throughout his career, including working his way up to director of programming at NTV, where he shaped the success of the network. He most recently worked as the General Manager of Star TV Turkey for six years from 2012 to 2018. During his time at Star TV it became the #1 TV network in Turkey. In his role as General Manager he was instrumental in creating domestic and international hit shows such as Ask, Soz, Istanbullu Gelin, Med Cezir, Anne, Ufak Tefek Cinayetler and Avlu. Ozguner has a degree in Sociology and is a published author of a best-selling novel in 2009.
About The Taylan Brothers
Durul and Yağmur Taylan studied Industrial Engineering and medicine and psychiatry respectively. Their first television project was Sır Dosyası (Secret Files) in 1997. After directing a number of television series including Cinler ve Periler (Jinns and Fairies), Baba (Father) and hit comedy show Beşik Kertmesi (Child Marriage), they made their first feature film, Okul (The School), in 2003 which became a critical and financial hit, and revived the Horror and Teen Film industry in Turkey.
The brothers went on to work on TV projects such as police drama Alacakaranlık (Twilight) starring Uğur Yücel and Kenan İmirzalıoğlu, and the long-running, award-winning comedy series Yabancı Damat (The Foreign Groom) filmed in Greece and Turkey. In 2006 the brothers released their second motion picture Küçük Kıyamet (The Little Apocalypse), a psychological horror film, winning multiple awards including Best Editing at the 18th Ankara Film Festival. Their third motion picture, Vavien, was a critical hit, winning the Best Picture and FIPRESCI award at the International Istanbul Film Festival and 11 nominations and 5 wins at the Turkish Film Critics Association (SİYAD) Awards.
From 2011 to 2014, the Brothers directed Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century), a Turkish prime-time historical TV drama, based on the life of Sultan Süleyman I, which garnered international audiences of over 200 million viewers. Their latest work is Vatanım Sensin (W=Wounded Love), a period TV drama about the Turkish War of Independence. The show has become one of the most successful dramas on Kanal D in Turkey and an international phenomenon, sold to over 50 countries.