Atalay Taşdiken was born in Beyşehir, Konya, in 1964 and graduated from Selçuk University (Konya) in 1985 with an education degree majoring in physics. He began a career in the advertising industry after completing national service, working by turns as a dark-room technician, media officer, copywriter and creative director. He served as creative director on some 30 campaigns and went on to direct over 300 commercials.
In 1993, he wrote and directed Camp Number Five, a drama film for television co-produced with Russia and Uzbekistan. He won the Special Jury Prize at the 1st Köyceğiz National Film Festival for his documentary, Güneş Bile Zor Ayrılır Bu Şehirden (Even the Sun Is Reluctant to Leave), a short piece about his hometown with its legendary sunsets. In 2009, he completed his first dramatic feature, Mommo (The Bogeyman), which became the first Turkish film ever to be selected for the Berlin Film Festival’s ‘Generation’ section. The film went on to travel the international festival circuit, picking up a total of 31 awards. These included Best Film and Audience Award at the 14th Nuremberg Film Festival Turkey-Germany; Best Supporting Actor and Audience Award in the national competition of the 16th Adana Golden Boll Film Festival; and three Best Film and Best Director awards at festivals in Argentina and Iran. Additionally, Mommo was the only Turkish film represented at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards after winning a nomination for Best Children’s Feature Film.
In 2011, Atalay produced the television drama series Küçükhanımefendi (Young Lady) for state channel, TRT 1. The series ran to 40 episodes, the finale of which was broadcast in February 2012. He is currently producing another series for TRT 1, Böyle Bitmesin (No Way to End), which has been airing since September 2012.
Atalay finished shooting his second feature narrative, Meryem, in August 2012. He is now completing post-production in preparation for the film’s theatrical release.