Renan Ozturk lives to tell stories about our connection to the natural world, and they’re often set within the most challenging environments on Earth. He’s constantly searching for projects that move him—films that have a strong visual identity matched with some deeply compelling human element. He began his career as an expedition climber and landscape artist, spending years living in a tent beneath the big walls of U.S. national parks and in the snowy Himalaya. All of his paintings were created on expedition. He carried large cotton canvases on his back and sometimes even used natural pigments pulled straight from the earth to capture these wildly beautiful landscapes. He was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2013 for his combination of cutting-edge first ascents and visual storytelling.
Currently, Renan works as a commercial and documentary filmmaker, an expedition climber for the North Face, and a photojournalist for Sony and National Geographic. The films he’s made over the years have had a global presence. He’s best known for Meru (cinematographer/subject), which won the 2015 Audience Choice Award at Sundance, and the critically acclaimed Sherpa (cinematographer/co-director), which screened at TIFF and the Telluride Film Festival.