She was born in Istanbul. She studied sociology and then moved on to cinema. While working as an assistant director in various Turkish and foreign films she started making her own independent films. After her first documentary The Collector she founded her own film company Sinefilm and made her feature films The Play, 10 to 11 and Watchtower. A feature documentary The Play made its international premier in San Sebastian Film Festival. It has been screened over 50 festivals around the world and received many awards including “The Best New Documentary Filmmaker Award” in Tribeca Film Festival.

Her first fiction 10 to 11 was one of the six chosen projects by Cannes Film Festival’s Résidence du Cinéfondation in Paris where she worked on her script. An official selection of the San Sebastian Film Festival, 10 to 11 received many awards in various festivals around the world and was released in cinemas in Turkey, France and Germany. Her second fiction Watchtower which was premiered in Toronto and Rotterdam Film Festival has been screened in festivals in many countries and was released in Germany, France and USA besides Turkey.

She wrote her last film Something Useful  together with the Turkish writer Barış Bıçakçı and completed the shootings in 2016 in Turkey. The film received many awards such as “FIPRESCI Award” from İstanbul Film Festival, “Best Screenplay” from Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, “Best Screenplay”, “Best Cinematography”, “Best Actress” from Adana Film Festival and “Best Director” from Bosphorus Film Festival. Pelin Esmer has been invited to Berlin by DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2018.


2019 Queen Lear (Kraliçe Lear)

documentary, 85’, IN POST-PRODUCTION
writer, director, producer, editor

2017 Something Useful (İşe Yarar Bir Şey)

fiction, 107’
writer, director, producer, editor

2012 Watchtower (Gözetleme Kulesi)

fiction, 100’
writer, director, producer, editor

2009 10 to 11 (11e 10 Kala)

fiction, 110’
writer, director, producer, editor

2005 The Play (Oyun)

documentary, 70’
writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor

2001 The Collector (Koleksiyoncu)

short documentary, 46’
writer, director, producer, cinematographer