Turkish director’s short film honored at Cannes
Turkish director Rezan Yeşilbaş (R) and Belçin Bilgim celebrate after being awarded the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the closing ceremony of the festival. AFP photoSessiz” (Silent), a film by Turkish director Rezan Yeşilbaş, won the Palme d’Or in the short-length film category at the 65th Cannes Film Festival on May 27, the Anatolia news agency has reported. The film had previously won the Best Film Award at the Akbank Short Film Festival.
Starring Belçim Bilgin Erdoğan and Cem Bender, Yesilbaş’s seven-minute short film is set in 1984 and centers on a prisoner and his wife. The film was shot in the eastern province of Diyarbakır with support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. “I dedicate this award to all the silent women of my country, who were left alone,” Yeşilbaş said at the award ceremony with the help of Bilgim, who joined him on stage to translate.
Yeşilbaş’s short film “Hüküm” (Judgement) was the first film of his “Trilogy of Women.”
“Hüküm” has been screened in many national and international film festivals. The second film of the trilogy, “Sessiz” was made in 2011. The script for the final film in the trilogy has been written, but filming has not begun. Yeşilbaş has also been working as the assistant of Turkish director Zeki Demirkurbuz since 2008.
Only 10 films out of 4,500 competed in Cannes’ short film category this year. “Sessiz” was the fourth Turkish film to compete at Cannes in the short film category. The other films were Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Koza” (Cocoon), Ebru Ceylan’s “Kıyıda” (On the Coast) and Belma Baş’s “Zefir” (Zephyr).
Haneke’s ‘Love’ conquers all
Meanwhile, “Love,” a wrenching tale of an elderly Parisian caring for his dying wife, scooped the top prize at the festival, handing a second Palme d’Or in three years to Austria’s Michael Haneke, Agence France-Presse reported.
Confirming Haneke’s status as arguably the most important film director working in Europe, the jury, headed by Italian director Nanni Moretti, choose his latest film over 21 others racing for Cannes Film Festival’s top award.
Haneke’s octogenarian actors, 81-year-old French screen icon Jean-Louis Trintignant and 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva, riveted Cannes with the story of Georges and Anne, an adoring couple whose bond is tested after Anne suffers a stroke.
Hailed as a “masterpiece” by critics, and the hands-down favorite to win, the French-language “Love” marked a journey into tender new territory for a director better known for exposing the icy secrets of the soul.
Both actors climbed on stage at the star-studded gala in the Riviera city to accept the award with Haneke, who dedicated it to his wife of 30 years.
“This film is an illustration of the promise we made to each other, if either one of us finds ourselves in the situation that is described in the film,” the 70-year-old director told the audience.
Cannes’ best actor award went to Danish heart-throb Mads Mikkelsen, who plays a man falsely accused of molesting a child in Thomas Vinterberg’s psychological thriller “The Hunt.” Mikkelsen, 46, is best known to international audiences for his role as James Bond’s nemesis Le Chiffre in 2006’s “Casino Royale.”
Romanians share Best Actress Award
Two young Romanians, Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, shared the best actress prize for their roles in Cristian Mungiu’s “Beyond the Hills,” a film about a young nun and her friend who falls victim to a deadly “exorcism.”
Mungiu, who captured the Palme d’Or in 2007 for the communist-era abortion drama “4 Years, 3 Months and 2 Days,” also won this year’s screenplay prize for a story that explores how badly institutions can fail the individual.
Mexican Carlos Reygadas took home the best director prize for the puzzling family drama “Post Tenebras Lux,” whose Latin title means “after darkness, light” and is derived from the biblical book of Job. The Cannes jury said the film, which baffled festival-goers, had divided them as well, but its defenders won out in the end.
The festival’s runner-up Grand Prix award went to “Reality,” a tragicomedy by Italy’s Matteo Garrone, starring a jailed former mafia hitman as a man driven mad by a quest to become a reality TV star.
Cannes veteran Ken Loach took the third place Jury Prize for his bittersweet comedy “The Angel’s Share,” about a young offender who discovers a life-changing talent for whisky-tasting.