A Review by our roving Senior Critic

BB Nagpal


The Award Ceremony

Antalya (Turkey), 23 October: French film ‘Khamsa’ directed by Tunisia-born Karim Dridi won the best film while Hirokazu Koreeda of Japan got the best director award for ‘Still Walking’ at the Fourth International Eurasian Film Festival which concluded in this southern seaside resort earlier this week. However, all the other awards in this festival went to Turkish films. While the international critics award went to ‘Dot’ by Turkey’s Dervis Zaim, the Turkish critics Siyad award went to Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ‘Three Monkeys’ (a Turkey-France-Italy co-production) which was released in India recently. The award by the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) gave its award to the film ‘Autumn’ directed by Ozcan Alper of Turkey.

The festival, held from October 10 to 19, coincided with the 45th Golden Orange Film Festival of Turkish films, the third Film Market, and the second Production Platform. During the two festivals, just over 150 short and feature films from more than twenty-five countries were screened. Engin Yiğitgil who is President of the TURSAK Foundation which organizes the Festival, the Festival’s Honorary President and the Mayor of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality Menderes Türel and Festival Director Esra Even were present at the closing ceremony, apart from Turkish Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay and Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin. Hollywod actors Kevin Spacey and Michael York, Austrian actor Maximilian Schell, and producer-director Paul Verhoeven and jury member and Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner received Honorary Awards of the 4th International Eurasia Film Festival while actor Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Adrien Brody and Michael J Werner of Fortissimo Films received the Contribution to Cinema and Art Awards.

The Grand Jury was headed by virtuoso filmmaker Paul Verhoeven. Other names included celebrated actress Joan Chen (also starring in Zhang-Ke’s participating film ’24 City’; Toronto International Film Festival’s co-director and programmer Cameron Bailey, Oscar nominated Iranian director Majid Majidi and Turkish director Berkun Oya. Tuna Erdem of Turkey and Raman Chawla of India were members of the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) jury,.while the critics jury had Engin Ertan, Aslı Selçuk, Burcu Aykar Şirin, and Ceylan Ozçelik. Around ten films had Gala Screenings with the presence of cast or crew. They included the 61st Cannes Film Festival’s “Best Film” Golden Palm winner Laurent Cantet’s “The Class”; Woody Allen’s much awaited “Vicky Cristina Barcelona’; Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York’” and Guy Ritchie’s “Rock’n Rolla’.

Around sixty films had their world or Turkey premieres at the Festival. The Festival had opened with Italy-based Turkish filmmaker Ferzan Özpetek’s well-received ‘Un Giorno Perfetto’ which premiered at the 65th Venice Film Festival and has been adapted from Melania Gaia Mazzucco’s novel. The director Ferzan Özpetek, the cast of the film and producer Domenico Procacci were present. İt closed with ‘The Brothers Bloom’ by Rian Johnson in the presence of actor Adrian Brody. The renowned Israeli director Amos Gitai had the Turkish premiere of his latest film ‘One day you’ll understand’ in Antalya.

The festival had a special screening of ‘Destiny’ to pay homage to the renowned Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine who passed away on July 27 this year. In the Golden Orange (Altin Portakal) festival, senior director Yilmaz Atadeniz received the Honorary Award while Hulya Avsar received the Cinema Success Award. The Yildirim Onal Memorial Award went to Müşfik Kenter and the Labour Award went to Aydın Mesut Yurteri. Filiz Akin received the Festival Decoration.

The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism for culture and art went to Muhterem Nur, Eşref Kolçak and Yücel Çakmaklı. In the national competition, ‘Three Monkeys’ also won the award for Special Effects for Burak Balkan and the Best Turkish film award went to Zeynep Sırlıkaya’s "The Market – A Tale of Trade" which also won awards for Actor Tayanç Ayaydın, screenplay to Ben Hopkins and for Costume Design to Zeynep Sırlıkaya. ‘Dot’ also won awards for best direction for Dervis Zaim, Music (Mazlum Çimen), Sound Design and Mixing (Kostasvi Variopiotis) and the Dr. Avni Tolunay Yurtiçi Kargo Jury Special Award for the director.

The film ‘Conscience’ won awards for best actress Nurgül Yeşilçay, the Kodak Cinematography award for Zekeriya Kurtuluş, Make-up and Hair Design (Vesey Üsten), and editing (Mustafa Preşeva). Fono Film won the best laboratory award for "3 Apples Fell from the Sky” and “Conscience”. The Digiturk Behlül Dal Best Newcomer Award went to director Aydın Bulut for “Children of the Other Side” which also won awards for Best Art Director Türker İşçi. Supporting actor Volga Teginoglu won awards for two films: "My Marlon and Brando" by Huseyin Karabey and "Children of the Other Side". The Supporting Actress award went to Övül Avkıran for "Pandora's Box" by Yesim Ustaoglu. The Siyad Turkish critics award went to Reha Erdem for ‘My only sunshine’ "Adakale Stories" by director İsmet Arasan got the best documentary award and "Breath" by director Cüneyt Birol received the Jury Special Award, while "Gemeinschaft" by director Özlem Akın was named best Short Film. “A Handful of Fate" by Ali Vatansever was named for the Co-Production Script Development Award.

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