Two Turkish comedies from 2011, “Entelköy Efeköy’e Karşı” (Ecotopia) and “Yangın Var” (In Flames), dominated the national feature competition at this year’s Ankara International Film Festival, proving the festival has an appetite for comedy, too.
Director Yüksel Aksu’s “Ecotopia” was the big winner, collecting all three major awards -- best film, best director and best screenplay -- in the festival’s closing gala on Thursday night. The wittily told story of a group of ecological activists trying to stop a thermal power plant from being built near a village in western Turkey also won the promising new actress award for its female lead Ayşe Bosse.
The second big winner of the festival’s 23rd edition was “Yangın Var,” clinching the two main acting awards for its leads, Nesrin Cevadzade and Osman Sonant, as well as the best editing award for Erkan Erdem. Cevadzade’s best actress prize also recognized her performance as an illegal immigrant in İstanbul who has to work as a prostitute in order to collect the money she needs to flee Turkey in the drama “Güzel Günler Göreceğiz” (To Better Days), the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday.
Yet the film that collected the biggest number of awards in the national feature competition was “Canavarlar Sofrası” (The Monsters’ Dinner), young filmmaker Ramin Matin’s debut effort that was snubbed in the Antalya Altın Portakal (Golden Orange) Film Festival last October. The dark, dystopian tale collected five awards Thursday night, including the promising young director award for Matin and the Turkish Film Critics Association (SİYAD) Jury Award.
Gizem Erdem of its four-member cast won the best supporting actress award while the best director of photography prize went to Deniz Eyüboğlu and the best original score went to Barış Diri for their efforts in “The Monsters’ Dinner.”
“Aşk ve Devrim” (Love and Revolution), Serkan Acar’s directing debut about the leftist movement in İstanbul in the ‘90s, won the best supporting actor award for Ayberk Pekcan as well as the promising new actor prize for Gün Koper and the Mahmut Tali Öngören special prize.
The best art director award went to Elif Z. Taşçıoğlu for her effort in “Nar” (Pomegranate), a thriller directed by Ümit Ünal and starring Serra Yılmaz in its leading role.