Dervis Zaim was born in 1964 at the southern Cypriot coastal town of Limasol. He graduated from Bogazici University(Istanbul) with an economics degree and then from Warwick University (UK) with an MA in Cultural Studies.

His debut feature Tabutta Rovasata (Somersault In A Coffin), made in 1997, won him international recognition and numerous awards at leading festivals worldwide. This was followed in 2000 by Filler ve Cimenler (Elephants and Grass), which achieved similar success at national and international festivals. His third feature, Camur (Mud), considers the ethnic problem in Cyprus and won the UNESCO Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2003.

Next came Cenneti Beklerken (Waiting for Heaven, 2006), Nokta (Dot, 2008) and Gölgeler ve Suretler (Shadows and Faces, 2011), a trilogy reflecting on three of Turkey’s traditional art forms. He also co-directed Paralel Yolculuklar (Parallel Trips), a 2003 documentary on the experiences and legacy of the 1974 war in Cyprus, with Cypriot filmmaker, Panicos Chrysanthou.

Devir (Cycle), Balık (Fish) and Ruya (The Dream) are his last films which have been screened in many festivals and won awards. He is also the author of the 1992 award-winning novel, ‘Ares in Wonderland’. His second novel ‘Ruyet’ was published in April 2019. Now based in Istanbul, Zaim lectures on filmmaking at several universities.

2016 Dream (Rüya)
2014 Fish (Balık)
2012 Cycle (Devir)
2011 Shadows and Faces (Golgeler ve Suretler)
2008 Dot (Nokta)
2006 Waiting for Heaven (Cenneti Beklerken)
2004 Parallel Trips- documentary (Paralel Yolculuklar)
2003 Mud (Camur)
2000 Elephants and Grass (Filler ve Cimen)
1997 Somersault in a Coffin (Tabutta Rovasata)