Multi-screen storyteller and internationally award-winning director Umut Aral was born in Istanbul, and is currently based in London.
Globally experienced and multi-lingual, Aral managed multi national teams, established partnerships and worked across Europe and Asia. 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.
In the most recent years, between 2018 - 2022; Aral worked as the most acclaimed director of 4 Netflix Originals series shown in 190 countries, including:
“The Protector” as the lead director for 4 successful seasons with a total of 13 episodes. The series became the 6th most watched ‘Non- English TV shows’ in the UK and 10th in US.
“Love 101” - The series went on Top Ten in over 15 countries and watched 11 million hours globally on its first week.
“Yakamoz S-245” - A spin-off of the most watched international series, Into the Night. ‘Yakamoz S245’ was in Top Ten for 63 countries, and watched over 35 million hours globally.
“Whom Were We Running From?” as the lead director, the first season is expected to streaming in 2023. Adapted is from an internationally acclaimed author Perihan Magden. The book was translated to 8 languages around the world.
In 2018, directed the first e-Sports feature film ‘Good Game: The Beginning’. The movie won 12 international awards and screened in prestigious international film festivals: Sarajevo Film Festival, Worldfest Houston International Film Festival and Beirut International Youth Film Festival.
In 2017, Directed an episode of 7Yüz for BluTV; first Anthology and digital TV series in Turkey.
In 2005 and 1999, directed, produced and wrote two short films ‘CRASH’ and ‘Thirtyfour’. Internationally acclaimed "Crash", won 13 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. ‘Thirtyfour’ won 5 awards in national film festivals and screened in numerous international film festivals receiving his first global recognition.
Since 2001, Umut Aral has been leading a prolific career directing over 300 national and international TV commercials. Aral, has been distinguished with his cinematic flair on branded 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, Nivea, Vodafone, Unilever, Nestle, Henkel and McDonald’s among many others.
Through out his career, he has also been a speaker and educator, invited as a guest speaker to global organizations like YPO and universities to run workshops on filmmaking.
Umut Aral is also The Chairman of Board of Members of Mithat Alam Education Foundation and Mithat Alam Film Center - the ‘cinematheque’ , a prestigious cultural center in Istanbul. The Center hosted world cinema icons like Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Connery and Gus Van Sant for masterclasses, seminars and screenings.