“Le Femme Invisible” (The Invisible Woman), a 2009 indie comedy by French filmmaker Agathe Teyssier, was named best film in Malatya on Thursday as the east Anatolian city wrapped up its inaugural film festival with a closing gala.
The award ceremony for the First Malatya International Film Festival, or MUFF, also attended by Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay, also saw Julie Depardieu, the daughter of French actor Gérard Depardieu, win the Crystal Apricot for best actress for her role in “The Invisible Woman.”
The film, apart from the Crystal Apricot statuettes, also earned a 10,000 euro cash prize that comes with the best film award. In a taped appreciation speech screened during the gala, Teyssier said she was “glad to receive this award at a time when independent filmmaking is getting harder” and that it encouraged her more for future projects.
“The Invisible Woman,” actress-filmmaker Teyssier’s debut feature directing effort, follows the fantastic story of a woman named Lili (Depardieu) who has a rare kind of problem -- becoming invisible -- which turns her life into a burden.
The Crystal Apricot for best director went to Filippos Tsitos for “Akadimia Platanos” (Plato’s Academy), the Greek-German filmmaker’s 2009 comedy about four self-righteously proud nationalistic Greek men in their mid-50s.
Chilean director Cristián Jiménez’s first film “Ilusiones ópticas” (Optical Illusions) won the Crystal Apricot for best screenplay. The film, which Jiménez co-wrote with Alicia Scherson, is a quirky narrative that explores the society’s neuroses over appearances, surveillance and communication.
The international competition’s panel of judges, led by international award-winning filmmaker Hüseyin Karabey, gave the best actor prize to Lebanese-Swedish actor Jan Fares for his role in “Farsan” (Balls), directed by his son, Josef Fares.
Malatya, which has raised numerous great Turkish actors including the late comedic actor Kemal Sunal and famous stage actor-director Kenan Işık, had a weeklong celebration of humor on the big screen with MUFF, a first in Turkey as both its competitions are for films exclusively in the genre of comedy. The festival, which kicked off on Nov. 26, screened over 100 films in total, among them 66 features. For more information: www.malatyafilmfest.com.