Müjdeci’s debut ‘Sivas’ wins ‘Special Jury Prize’ at Venice Film Festival

Müjdeci’s debut ‘Sivas’ wins ‘Special Jury Prize’ at Venice Film Festival

Müjdeci’s debut ‘Sivas’ wins ‘Special Jury Prize’ at Venice Film Festival

Kaan Müjdeci poses with his Special Jury Prize he won for his film ‘Sivas.’ AFP photo

The 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival has ended with “Sivas,” directed by Turkey’s Kaan Müjdeci, winning the Special Jury Prize.

Set in the steppes of Central Anatolia, the film is a coming-of-age story in which a boy, named Aslan, rescues a wounded Anatolian shepherd in a ditch, after which he forges a strong friendship with his dog. The film’s young actor, Doğan İzci, also won the Bastio D’Oro 2014 Best Actor Award, which was awarded to him by a jury composed of international film critics. 

Swedish director Roy Andersson’s film “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence,” a series of comedic sketches exploring the human condition, won the Golden Lion for best movie at the festival.

The eccentric film, which features salesmen flogging novelty items, a singing bar women and a sex-mad flamenco dancer, was hailed by critics in Venice for its distinctive look and moving exploration of what it means to be human.

The Grand Jury prize went to Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence,” his second documentary on the Indonesian genocide, in which the brother of a murdered man confronts his killers.

U.S. actor Adam Driver, from the HBO series “Girls,” won best actor for his portrayal of a desperate father trying to save his baby son’s life in “Hungry Hearts,” which is based on Saverio Costanzo’s New-York based tale about eating disorder.

Italian actress, Alba Rohrwacher, won best actress for her performance in the same film.

Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky took home the Silver Lion award for best director of “The Postman’s White Nights,” a warm-hearted, critically applauded tale about the loneliness of life in a remote lakeside community.