Born in İstanbul in 1989, director and media artist Deniz Tortum studied film at Bard College. His films and new media work met audiences at such prominent festivals as Venice Film Festival, SXSW, Sharjah Biennial, Sheffield Doc/Fest, !f İstanbul, True/False and Dokufest, among others. His first feature film Zaiyat, which he directed in 2013, made its world premiere at South by Southwest (SXSW). If Only There Were Peace, which he co-directed with Carmine Grimaldi in 2017, won the Best Short Documentary Award at Dokufest, and was screened at such festivals as Sheffield Doc/Fest and True/False. He worked on virtual reality at the MIT Open Documentary Lab as a researcher, and curated the new media sections of the !f İstanbul and Camden Film Festivals. He created September 1955 (2016), a virtual documentary of the 6-7 September 1955 pogrom in İstanbul, with Çağrı Hakan Zaman, and the virtual reality project Floodplain (2018), which was inspired by Emre Yeksan’s feature film Yuva. In 2018, he directed the music documentary Anatolian Trip with Can Eskinazi. He was named among the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine in 2019. Tortum’s latest documentary Phases of Matter, which he started working on at the Harvard Film Study Center between 2016-2018, made its world premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival in January 2020, and won the awards for Best Documentary at the Antalya and İstanbul Film Festivals.