Erdem's “Kosmos” (Cosmos), the semi-fantastic tale of an unusual young man with magical healing powers coming to a town near the eastern province of Kars, and Temelkuran's “Bornova Bornova,” which follows one day that ends in a most striking way in the lives of three unemployed young men living in İzmir's Bornova neighborhood, shared the TL 300,000 ($200,000) best film prize at the festival. It was the first time the festival divided the big prize between two films, which can be seen as a sign of improvement in Turkish cinema -- considering both content and technique -- in this decade.
Temelkuran's “Bornova” was the biggest winner of the night with five prizes, including two acting prizes for its newcomer talents; best actor for its young lead Öner Erkan and best supporting actress for Damla Sönmez. The film also won the best editing prize for Erkan Tekemen and the Turkish Film Critics Association (SİYAD) Special Prize.
Temelkuran said in his acceptance speech that with “Bornova” he aimed to highlight the plight of unemployed young adults spending their days on street corners, in front of grocery stores. “The Sept. 12 [1980 military] coup buried this country under the tarmac. We wanted to be one of those grasses cracking open a fracture on that tarmac,” he said to enthusiastic applause from the audience packing the Glass Pyramid.
The night's second big winner, “Kosmos,” won three more Golden Orange statuettes, including best director for the 49-year-old Erdem, whose credits include “Beş Vakit” (Times and Winds) and “Hayat Var” (My Only Sunshine). The film also won the best director of photography prize for Florent Herry, who also worked with Erdem on his previous critically acclaimed films, and the Dr. Avni Tolunay Special Prize for its sound, effects, costume and hair design.
The best screenplay prize went to “Beş Şehir” (Five Cities), screenwriter-director Onur Ünlü's absurd poetic tale of five seemingly unrelated people's lives intertwining in a most interesting way.
The best first film award went to “İki Dil Bir Bavul” (On the Way to School), young filmmakers Orhan Eskiköy and Özgür Doğan's big screen documentation of a school year in a Kurdish village in southeastern Turkey through the story of a newly appointed teacher on his first-ever post. Doğan and Eskiköy's win marked another first for the Golden Orange, as the pair has become the first-ever winner of the fest's newly introduced first film prize, which comes with a TL 50,000 cash prize. In his acceptance speech Doğan said they wanted to show the problems of both teachers and students in Turkey through their film. “Every child deserves education in his/her native language,” he added.
Other winners include Nergis Öztürk, who won the best actress prize for her role in Zeki Demirkubuz's 1930s drama “Kıskanmak” (Envy), and first-time filmmaker İlksen Başarır, whose “Başka Dilde Aşk” (Love in Another Language), a modern-day romance between a deaf young man and a young call-center worker, won the City Council Jury's Special Award, another newly introduced prize.
The awards ceremony concluded the eight-day 46th Antalya Golden Orange International Film Festival, which opened on Oct. 10 and screened over 180 Turkish and foreign films.