mustang alice

Directors Deniz Gamze Ergüven & Alice Winocour, co-writers of Mustang (2015).

At the time I was doing every single program that helped a first-time director lift her sails, and eventually this program called the Cinéfondation of the Cannes Film Festival. I met [Mustang co-screenwriter] Alice Winocour. We were the only two girls there. She also had a script that was completely crazy for a first feature film. When we saw each other, we had the exact same problems in our lives. It was as if we were coming out of the same spaceship.

I had one last episode of production [on my L.A. riot film] and it didn’t turn out well. Every door was closed. It’s completely out of character, but I gave up. Alice is the one who put me back on the saddle. Literally. I had told her about this treatment of Mustang that I had written. All the main scenes were already there. She’s the one who was the mastermind of some kind of evil master plan to do Mustang first. At some point she put me in a state where I was literally writing 20 hours a day. I wrote the first script in three years and Mustang in just a few weeks. I was in a trance. I was beating the shit out of my keyboard.