Born in Turkey, Eylem Kaftan completed a B.A. in Philosophy at Bogazici University in Istanbul and a Masters degree in Cinema at York University in 2002. At York University, she worked as a teaching assistant and wrote her thesis on the identity crisis in post-1980 Turkish cinema. Her first documentary Faultlines which investigates the aftermath of the earthquake, which hit Turkey in 1999, won Best Short Film and the Jury Prize at the Planet Indie Film Festival in Toronto.
Kaftan recently completed an one-hour documentary, co-produced with the National Film Board, about her personal journey into the honour-killing of her aunt in a small Kurdish village in Turkey. The film will soon be broadcast on Vision TV and Télé-Québec. She is also co-directing an important film about Montreal’s non-status Algerians for the Quebec broadcaster Télé-Québec.
Kaftan contributed to several Canadian documentaries on social and political issues ranging from immigration, women’s rights, mental illness to culture shock. Kaftan wrote, directed, edited and collaborated on several short films, among which are the award winning shorts of Turtle Productions.