Stage and screen actress Işık Yenersu will be the recipient of the Yıldırım Önal Memorial Award in this year’s Altın Portakal (Golden Orange) International Film Festival, the organizers of Turkey’s oldest film gathering announced on Wednesday.
Yenersu will receive her award at a special ceremony during the 49th Altın Portakal film festival, scheduled to take place from Oct. 6-12 in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, the Antalya Foundation for Culture and Art (AKSAV), which co-organizes the festival with the Greater Antalya Municipality, said in a press release issued on Wednesday.
The Yıldırım Önal Memorial Award, established in 1999, is named after the late Turkish theater and film actor Önal who, due to financial troubles during the later years of his career, had to pawn the Golden Orange statuette he won in 1973 for his supporting role in the film “Dinmeyen Sızı” (Unending Ache). Önal, who died Oct. 10, 1982, while on tour in İzmir at the age of 51, was never able to get his statuette back. Years after Önal’s death, the son of the pawnbroker returned the award to the organizers of the Altın Portakal festival, which each year gives out the same statuette to a veteran of Turkish cinema.
Yenersu, in a written statement on Wednesday thanked the organizers for the honor, saying she “could not think of another actor who would be happier than I am to receive the Yıldırım Önal Award.”
Yenersu, a former Turkish State Theaters (DT) actress, played in acclaimed theater and film productions by Önal during the early years of her career. She also played in more than a dozen films, more recently in the 2010 horror film “Ses” (The Voice).
The 70-year-old actress added in her statement that she was grateful for “all the priceless laws of theater” Önal taught her. “I learned how to act without pretending from you. I bow with respect before [Önal’s] memory.”