Nuri Bilge Ceylan guest of Red Tulip Film Festival

Nuri Bilge Ceylan guest of Red Tulip Film Festival

ROTTERDAM - Anadolu Agency
Nuri Bilge Ceylan guest of Red Tulip Film Festival

Nuri Bilge Ceylan clenches his fist while posing with the Palme d’Or, the same way as Yılmaz Güney did 32 years ago when accepting the same award. AFP Photo

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Palme d’Or Award for his film “Winter Sleep” last week at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, May 27 attended the Master Class event for the 2nd Red Tulip Film Festival in Rotterdam.

Answering questions from attendees, Ceylan said he was very proud of winning the Palme d’Or Award, and continued: “But such things are very frightening because I love loneliness. The feeling of loneliness encourages me to make films. Such things make a person to be surrounded by fake relations. It creates a lightning in a person’s life like a firework, but firework makes you blind. It brings darkness. I am aware of this fact; this is why I don’t exaggerate awards. It should be seen as a part of a play.”

When accepting the award, Ceylan clenched his right fist on the stage. When asked, the director said it was not a planned movement, but happened

in a second, adding that he was not annoyed with being compared with the Turkish director Yılmaz Güney, who did the same when he won the same award 32 years ago.

Ceylan said he had dedicated his first award, which he won for his film “Uzak” (Distant), to Güney, adding, “I did not do it [clench my fists] when accepting the award. Later on, during the photo-shoot hundreds of photographers call for you to do something like taking off your glasses, raising your hands, clenching your fist and etc. You have to do something there to pose for them. But of course, it can be perceived as a salute to Güney. I clenched my fist for a second there. I love Güney so much; I love his cinema. I find his life interesting. I read a lot about him. But it was not a planned thing; it happened in just a second.”

The rule of the festival

According to some critics, the Best Actress Award of the festival should have been given to the actress in “Winter Sleep,” Melisa Sözen. Speaking about it, Ceylan, who previously served as a jury in the same festival, said it was a matter of unwritten rules of the festival.

“This is clearly told to jury members. If a film wins the Palme d’Or award, the best director award and the Grand Prix, you cannot give another award to this film. This is a sharp rule of the festival, because they want the awards to be shared by various films. And also, if a film wins the Palme d’Or award, it means it has the best artist and best script. This is why Sözen and other artists in the film were not rated for other awards. As far as I know, this rule was established after ‘Distant’ won the Grand
Prix and the best actor award,” Ceylan explained. 

Ceylan said writing a script was a didactical process and he canalized to different alternatives because of the fear that a script may not work in fiction. “I think you need to have many materials on hand to make a film. This why the three-hour ‘Winter Sleep’ was made as a result of 200-hours’ shooting.”

Just like everyone, Ceylan said he always had questions on his mind and it triggered his passion to make a film. “I make films on the issues that I don’t have full knowledge about,” he said.

When asked about making a film abroad, Ceylan answered, saying, “Of course I have received proposals from artists or producers. But I have never thought of it and I don’t think I will, because it is very hard. How will it happen? The languages are different. When I look at a Turk, I can understand where he is from or when I hear his accent, I can understand the region they came from. But it is not possible when I look at a Dutch person. This is why it is hard to make a film abroad.”