Multi-screen storyteller and award-winning director Umut Aral was born in 1976, in Istanbul. Aral graduated with a distinction from top level French and American schools in Istanbul: Lycée de Galatasaray, and Bosphorus University. During his education, he directed, produced, wrote and acted as the leading actor for a musical and many theatrical plays.
In 1999, Umut Aral directed his first short film called "Otuzdört / Thirtyfour". The film won awards in national film festivals and screened in numerous international film festivals receiving his first global recognition.
In 2005, Aral directed, produced and wrote his second short film "ÇARPIŞMA / CRASH". Internationally acclaimed "Crash", won thirteen prestigious national and international awards and screened in esteemed film festivals like Locarno International Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Asiana Short Film Festival, and International Short Film Festival in Drama.
Since 2001, Aral has been leading a prolific career directing over 250 national and international TV commercials. Aral, has been distinguished with his cinematic flair on braded content and working in solid partnership with high-profile celebrities. Aral established himself as one of the top talented leading directors in the commercial world, winning numerous awards and being screened throughout the world with his work for clients such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mercedes Benz, McDonald’s, Nivea, Vodafone, Unilever, Nestle, Henkel, Emaar, Diageo, QNB, Nutricia, and beIn among many others.
Globally experienced and multi-lingual, Aral managed multi national and cultural teams, established partnerships and worked across Europe and Asia, mainly: UK, France, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Germany, Turkey and Mumbai
Throughout his career, Aral has demonstrated an affinity for breaking new ground across multiple screens. His wide body of work includes varied films, documentaries, TV commercials, music videos, TV series, viral videos, flash mobs, interactive videos, 360 and hologram videos.
Recently, Aral, as a filmmaker in the digital age, directed an episode of 7Yüz TV Anthology Series for BluTV; tuning viewers into a compelling story in the first digital platform TV series in Turkey.
Umut Aral is the Chairman of Board of Members of Mithat Alam Education Foundation and Mithat Alam Film Center. The Foundation’s mission is to educate younger generations, inspiring directors and actors about the world of cinema. The Foundation sponsors graduate students who are accepted to prestigious international cinema schools. The Film Center known as the ‘cinematheque’ of Istanbul also serves as a prestigious cultural center for cinephiles and general public. The Center houses an impressive archive of 10.000 movies and hosts world cinema icons like Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Connery and Gus Van Sant for private seminars and cinema screenings.
Umut Aral is now working for the first Netflix Original Series in Turkey, 'The Protector'.