A North Face athlete, expedition climber and photographer/filmmaker for both Sony and National Geographic, Renan Ozturk spends his days telling human stories about our connection to the natural world, often in the most challenging environments – from being held at knifepoint in the deserts of Chad, to suffering through hallucinations while climbing mountains in the Himalayas, and living on a sheer wall for 12 days in -29 °C temperatures.
Renan began his career as an expedition climber and landscape artist, choosing to sacrifice home comforts for a tent in national parks across the USA and in the remote Himalayan Mountains. Renan’s art is created on expedition, right in front of the mountains he paints (you can see examples of his work here). He was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2013 for his combination of cutting-edge first ascents and visual storytelling. From landscape art, Renan branched out into timelapse film, a move which eventually led him down the creative path of filmmaking.
The films he’s made over the years have had a global presence. Meru won the Audience Choice Award at Sundance, while Sherpa premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. More recently he’s documented stories of culture loss for National Geographic Magazine as part of the “Last Honey Hunter” assignment (which also yielded an award-winning short film). He’s constantly searching for stories that move him – films with a strong visual identity and deeply human moments, whether it be extreme athletes or a child discovering a part of the planet for the first time.