Turkish film grabs main prizes at European Festival
VECDİ SAYAR - ATHENS
The 32nd Festival of European Film Panorama in Athens presented awards at its closing ceremony on Dec. 4. Two main awards went to the Turkish film, “Görülmüştür” (Passed by Censor), the first feature film by Serhat Karaaslan.
One of the prizes was the FIPRESCI (Federation of International Film Press) prize, named the Theo Angelopoulos award after the deceased famous Greek film director. The FIPRESCI Jury was composed of three international critics: Alena Sycheva from Russia, Tassos Goudelis from Greece and Vecdi Sayar from Turkey.
The film also received the Panorama award from a jury of Greek professionals, including a director, a screenwriter and a critic.
“The film reflects in a subtle way the social and intellectual problems of a prison officer who monitors the prisoner’s correspondence. While criticizing the Turkish prison system, it focuses on the relationship between fiction and reality and persuasively conveys the hero’s search for justice and his erotic sentiments. The director handles the element of metaphor by connecting the notion of censorship with the creative writing he learned,” the FIPRESCI jury stated.
The detailed work of cinematographer Meryem Yavuz, the performances of the main actors Berkay Ateş and Saadet Işıl Aksoy won high praise from the Greek public
The Turkish-German-French co-production, “Passed by Censorship,” has been selected by different festivals gained the FEODORA award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, as well as nods for its screenplay (Karaaslan), editing (Ali Aga) and supporting actress (Füsun Demirel) at the Istanbul and Adana national festivals.
The International Competition section of the festival included 10 titles, of which three were Greek pictures.
Symbolism is a favorite approach for Greek directors, and in this case, “Exile” by Vassilis Mazomenos and “Entwined” by Minos Nikolakakis were typical examples.
For me, the best Greek film was “The Interrogation” by Panayiotis Portokalakis, which tells the story of a young artist searching for the truth concerning his father who was tortured during the military dictatorship. The film received the awards by Greek critics and Panorama Jury.
Other titles of the competition included Serbian picture “Stitches” by Miroslav Tezic, which received the prize of a Greek film magazine; Serbia-Montenegro co-production “Ajvar” by Ana Maria Rossi, Ukranian Antonio Lukic’s “My Thoughts are Silent,” Belgium- Netherlands co-production “Ghost Tropic” by Bas Devos, Netherlands-Luxemburg –Greece co-production “I Will Cross Tomorrow” by Sepideh Farsi and “Living and Knowing You’re Alive” by the French author Alain Cavalier.
The festival, headed by veteran Greek critic Ninos Mikelides, included interesting sidebar sections such as “Woodstock and the Year that Changed Hollywood,” “European Comedians,” “20 Years without Kubrick,” a tribute to Antouanetta Angelidi and Alinda Dimitriou, as well as special screenings and short films.
The festival’s opening kicked off with the film of Palestinian director Elia Suleyman and concluded with Saudi filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour’s “The Perfect Candidate.”