‘Angel’ returns home with award from US

April 22, 2008, Tuesday/ 19:47:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Arabesque singer Mahsun Kırmızıgül's directorial debut "Beyaz Melek" (The White Angel) has returned home with an award from the US, where it was in the running for a Remi Award at the WorldFest Independent Film Festival in Houston.
The film, which follows an old man who invites his nursing home friends to experience the kindness shown to the elderly in his southeastern Anatolian village, won a special jury prize at the festival, which marked its 41st edition on April 11-20.

The result was not surprising for Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay who, according to a statement from the ministry, said the award was the proof of the recent improvement in Turkish cinema. The statement said Günay was the first to congratulate the film's crew following the awards ceremony.

"A Turkish movie receiving an … award at an international competition is truly pleasing. I see these awards as proof of the recent developments in Turkish cinema. I congratulate Mahsun Kırmızıgül, the actors who played in the film and the entire crew who worked on the movie and applaud them with delight," Günay was quoted as saying in the ministry statement.

"Beyaz Melek" became the center of attention for cinema buffs when its was first released in theaters across Turkey toward the end of 2007 with its cast made up of renowned stage and screen actors including Arif Erkin, Cihat Tamer, Erol Günaydın and Gazanfer Özcan. However, the star-studded cast also raised question marks at the time, with some critics saying the film was made with commercial concerns, taking into account the fact that it was the first directing effort of Kırmızıgül.

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