Artist International Group Signs Umut Aral, Director Of Chart-Topping Turkish Netflix Series ‘Who Were We Running From?’

EXCLUSIVE: Artist International Group, the globally minded management and production company founded by David Unger, on Thursday announced its signing of Umut Aral, the award-winning director behind the hit Turkish-language Netflix series, Who Were We Running From?.

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“It’s truly exciting to be a part of the internationally focused, dynamic AIG family, and a member of their extraordinary ensemble of talent,” said Aral in a statement to Deadline.

Added AIG CEO Unger, “Umut Aral fits perfectly into the DNA of Artist International Group, where we represent the best of the best of regional talent with global market ambitions.”

When it debuted on Netflix in March, Who Were We Running From? became one of the first Turkish productions to crack the streamer’s Top 10 in the U.S., registering on Top 10 TV charts in a total of 78 countries and spending four weeks on the platform’s Top 10 list for international Non-English series.

A thriller based on the novel by Perihan Mağden, the show follows a woman with a mysterious past who lives on the go with her daughter, moving from hotel to hotel like a nameless fugitive. Also of note as far as this series is concerned is the tourism spike it prompted in Turkey, which saw vacationers journeying to cities and hotels handpicked by Aral.

The London-based, Turkish artist also recently directed Turkish star Kivanç Tatlituğ in Netflix’s submarine action adventure series Yakamoz S-245, a spin-off of Jason George’s apocalyptic Belgian drama Into the Night. Other notable directing credits include four seasons of Netflix’s first Turkish original superhero genre series, The Protector; the teen dramedy, Love 101; and the 2018 feature Good Game: The Beginning, set in the world of eSports, all of which are also streaming on Netflix.

Most recently, Aral finished directing another mixed-language international series — a crime drama shot between Athens and Beirut, from creator Adi Hasak. He continues to be represented in the UK by Jack Thomas at Independent Talent Group and in France by Louis Le Gouvello at Adéquat.  

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