So what’s the definition of a “Young Turk”? — a young person eager for radical change to the established order.
The Immigrant Magazine always likes to recognize new talent in the creative sphere and recently was introduced to two Turkish-born, young men, each of whom are carving their own niche in the ultra competitive, U.S. entertainment industry.
International producer and entrepreneur Ali M. Aksu was born in Corum, Turkey and is of Circassian ethnicity, He is the executive producer of the groundbreaking film Laid in America, the first-ever feature film to cast YouTube celebrities and directors, that was distributed by Universal Studios. He is also the executive producer of the recently premiered feature Christmas Break-In, starring Danny Glover and Denise Richards.
Last year, Aksu founded Moon Lounge, a millennial content-based podcast dedicated for global grand challenges that was incubated at Singularity University and officially took off at the NOVUS Summit, held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in July 2019. Aksu recently founded the film finance platforms filmmaker.ai and filmcapital.io, next-generation movie production entities that employ data analytics on an extensive level, while producing content with the latest technologies.
Most recently, he began to produce the Web series Film Talks, with episodes featuring some of the top names in the industry, including E! founder Larry Namer. The six-part series will debut on Douban, one of China’s largest digital platforms as part of its “master class” series.
He holds a B.A. in Economics, with a minor in film, TV and digital media from UCLA, and earned executive-level degrees from MIT, Wharton and Singularity University. He was recently named President of the Young Professionals of the United Nations Association Southern California division.
Aksu comments, “Because we are actually diverse around the globe. I refuse to see the world with borders. I think as long as we can apply a “diverse point of view,” the rest of the details will follow. In order to make leaps, we each need to adopt a similar perspective that sees the world as a Blue Dot.” Next, let’s meet Turkish-born Kerim Atlig, a rising star in the interactive content arts industry, currently working as an Animator and Visual Programmer at Digital 2 Physical Design in Las Vegas.
As a child, Atlig possessed a fascination with drawing caricatures and sketching. He eventually pursued his passion for media and visual arts as a student at Koc University in Istanbul, studying traditional art and new media. He received a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Media and Visual Arts in 2014.
During this time, a new passion emerged – electronic music – and the idea of combining the two genres, began to take fruition.
Later after relocating to the United States, Atlig continued his education in computer animation and visual effects at The Los Angeles Film School. While learning the techniques of 3D animation and composition, he began performing in underground electronic music events in Los Angeles, and literally, the young talent has never looked back.
Atlig has veejayed at many of LA’s techno warehouse events, performing for such notable artists as Nastia, John Tejada, Legowelt, Fatima Yamaha and DJ Boring. A career highlight was when he performed at a major fest
ival for the very ﬁrst time at the 2018 Movement Detroit Festival. He was invited back to perform on the event’s main stage in 2019.
Prior to his work at Digital 2 Physical Design, he worked at Skulley Effects and V Squared Labs – Tandem Digital, as well as on music-related projects for artists and corporate events. In late 2018, Atlig joined Melt Creative as a 3D animator and real-time visual programmer, where he worked on a variety of projects from stage visuals for such artists as Gareth Emery, The Goo Goo Dolls and Maddy O’Neil, to content for events, including Indy 500, Life Is Beautiful Festival 2019 and Beauty Envision Awards 2019, to the development of real-time interactive content for digital art installations.
“From what I experienced working in United States, as both an animator and techno artist VJ, I learned that here are endless opportunities to improve and learn more in field. People with whom you work appreciate and respect the effort put in and that has paid off in every aspect of my career,” explains Atlig. “Advanced technological hardware and software help one to elevate one’s skills and vision to the next level, and a good amount of competition always keeps one motivated.”
Motivation and friendly competition are the keys to inspiring creation and innovation, and these ‘Young Turks’ are definitely on their way to disrupting the current state of affairs.