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67th Festival de Cannes: The Awards
26 May 2014
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Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep was a big contender since the 67th Cannes IFF started and, despite its long story telling, it remained one till the very end, adding to Ceylan’s palmare of awards the most precious and prestigious of all. Cannes has found its new favourite director. Already a winner of the festival’s most important awards the last 10 years with films like Distant, Climates, Three Monkeys and Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Winter Sleep’s Palme d’Or confirms the Ceylan Era in European Cinema. 

Quentin Tarantino, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Uma Thurman

Winter Sleep is one of the most European film of recent years. Made by a Turkish filmmaker, the story of a former actor running a hotel in distant Anatolia blends Anton Chekhov’s classical European storytelling with Ceylan’s ongoing fixation on the human condition and its cinematic visualisations through time, space and characters. “Anton Chekhov’s short stories are the starting point of this film. I was carrying these stories in my mind for 15 years but didn’t feel confident enough making them, a thing that changed after doing Once Upon A Time In Anatolia. I felt more confident. When me and my wife started writing, we just couldn’t stop. We didn’t consider the commercial aspects of the film. I write as a novelist writes.” stated the filmmaker when was asked about the film’s duration. 

55 year old Ceylan dedicated the Palme d’Or to the young people in Turkey who lost their lives this past year. “These people taught us a lot and deserve this dedication”. He also expressed his disappointment for not a single stepping down of a state official, referring to the cultural differences in such cases between Turkey and other nations. Although the film cast and crew wore black ribbons and held up signs commemorating the Soma disaster, Ceylan denied his film was making any specific political comment, either to the current protests against Turkey΄s prime minister ‪Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‬, or the unrest in Istanbul in the summer of 2013. “When I make a film I don΄t think about the current situation. The duty of a filmmaker is not that of a journalist; the director should be more interested in the soul of the spectator […] I can find enough motivation only by doing movies about the human condition. Of course this can be reflected to the social issues as well, but the main motivation is the search for the darkness of my soul. That means human nature as well". 

Winter Sleep cast

Besides Ceylan’s triumph, Panos H. KoutrasXenia in the Une Certain Regard section didn’t claim any award but, by opening to the international markets it has succeed something equally important. Up till now, Xenia has closed the U.K./Ireland (Peccadillo Pictures) and Italy (Officine Ubu), Germany (Pro-Fun Media), Taiwan (Pomi Intl.) and Hong Kong (Edko Films). Mexico, North America, Poland and ex-Yugoslavian countries will close in the coming days said Lucero Garzon, head of sales at Pyramide Films. “It’s very different to Greek films in recent years. It’s uplifting, warm, colorful, vibrant, and that enthused buyers” he went on. “Xenia’s first sales demonstrate a clear market appetite for such movies, especially if benefitting from the seal of quality of Cannes Official Selection” Garzon concluded. 

The 67th Cannes IFF also marked the 20 years anniversary of legendary Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino and the films main actors were in Cannes to celebrate with a special 35mm screening on the beach. Before giving the Palme d’Or to Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Tarantino made comments about the DCP screenings in Cannes, talking about the end of film as knows it. "As far as I΄m concerned, digital projection is the death of cinema. The fact that most films aren΄t presented in 35mm means that the world is lost. Digital projection is just television in cinema." When asked how cinema can be saved he added: "I΄m hopeful that we΄re going through a woozy romantic period with the ease of digital. I΄m hoping that while this generation is quite hopeless, that the next one will demand the real thing. I΄m very hopeful that future generations will be much smarter than this generation and realize what they lost."

67th Festival de Cannes winners

Presided over by Jane Campion, the jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes presented the winners of all categories in the festival:

Feature Films:

Grand Prix of the Jury to The Wonders by Alice Rohrwacher

Best Director Award to Bennett Miller for his Foxcatcher

Jury Prize (ex-aequo) to Mommy by Xavier Dolan and Goodbye to Language by Jean-Luc Godard

Best Screenplay Award to Andrey Zvyaginchev and Oleg Negin for Leviathan 

Best Actress Award to Julianne Moore for David Cronnenberg΄s Maps to the Stars by  

Best Actor Award to Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner by Mike Leigh

Un Certain Regard:

Un Certain Regard Prize to White God by Kornél Mundruczó

Jury Prize to Turist by Ruben Östlund

Un Certain Regard Special Prize to The Salt Of The Earth by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

Ensemble Prize and Camera d’Or to Party Girl by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis

  Three Monkeys
  Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
  Winter Sleep
  Panos H. Koutras
  Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  Festival de Cannes
  Pyramide Films
  Cristian Mungiu’s new film: Official Competition at Cannes 2012
  Cannes Film Festival nominations for 2012
  South-East European Pavilion in Cannes Film Market 2012
  Balkan Success at Cannes 2012
  Two Balkan Films at Cannes Film Festival 2014
  Festival de Cannes Official Page
  Jury announces Palme d'Or winner
  Winter Sleep Press Conference
  Nuri Bilge Ceylan Palme d'Or Press Conference
  altcine Explore movies by Country People To read
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