Three veterans of the Turkish silver screen -- actor Kadir İnanır, actress Nebahat Çehre and filmmaker Ali Özgentürk -- received accolades in the southern city of Adana over the weekend when they were honored with the lifetime achievement awards of this year's Altın Koza (Golden Boll) International Film Festival, news agencies reported on Saturday.
Receiving their accolades in a ceremony during the festival's opening gala at the Merkez Park open-air theater on Friday night, all three film veterans said they were elated to be selected for the honor, handed out annually as part of the festival, whose 18th edition runs through Sept. 25.
A moved Özgentürk, whose eyes were wet with tears, said in his acceptance speech that he first wanted to “thank his enemies” for the award. “If it weren't for them, I could never have made [the films],” the Anatolia news agency quoted Özgentürk as saying. “I also thank the young filmmakers [of Turkey] who make honest and realistic films … and I'd like to thank myself because I wouldn't have gotten this award if I wasn't who I am,” Özgentürk added.
In his acceptance speech, İnanır, one of the leading actors in the heyday of Turkish cinema during the '70s, praised the role of Adana in the improvement of Turkish cinema throughout the years. “In the past [the 1960s and the '70s] it was a great challenge to make a film without support from Adana. Any film anticipated by the moviegoers of Adana and its environs was a sure bet for the big screen in İstanbul and the films they anticipated were the best ones. Adana's people are true cinema buffs.”
The ceremony's third award recipient, Çehre, who married Turkish cinema legend Yılmaz Güney, an Adana native, in 1967 and ended their marriage less than a year-and-a-half later, said she was half an Adana citizen and thanked the festival organizers for the prize. “The biggest honor a person can receive is a lifetime achievement award. I will try to live up to this honor,” she added.