German film wins Istanbul festival’s top award

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German filmmaker Valeska Grisebach’s drama “Western” won this year’s top award at the 37th Istanbul Film Festival on Tuesday.

The Golden Tulip winner focuses on relationships between a group of German construction workers and locals during a tough job in the Bulgarian countryside.

A total of 60 films vied in national and international competitions at the festival, which was organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and held between April 6 and 17 in Istanbul.

Speaking at the award ceremony, festival director Kerem Ayan said 198 films were screened.

This year’s Special Jury Prize went to “Cocote” from the Dominican Republic, directed by Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias.

In the national competition, where 13 films took part, Vuslat Saracoglu’s “Debt” received the Golden Tulip as well as a 150,000 Turkish lira (around $36,000) award.

Tayfun Pirselimoglu won the Best Director award for his film “Sideway”.

The Special Jury Prize in memory of prominent Turkish writer Onat Kutlar went to “Butterflies”, directed by Tolga Karacelik.

Demet Evgar won the Best Actress Award for her role in “Sofra Sirlari – Serial Cook,” while two actors received the Best Actor Award: Tolga Tekin for his role in “Butterflies” and Tansu Bicer for his role in “Sideway”.

Filmmaker and screenwriter Umit Unal won the Best Screenplay Award for his film “Sofra Sirlari – Serial Cook”.

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