Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes Grand Prix-winning drama “Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da” (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) had its Turkish premiere in the southern Turkish city of Adana Wednesday evening as part of the ongoing 18th Altın Koza (Golden Boll) International Film Festival.
The film’s producer Zeynep Özbatur Atakan, co-writers Ebru Ceylan and Ercan Kesal, as well as director Ceylan and cast members Yılmaz Erdoğan, Taner Birsel, Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan, attended the premiere, held at the M1 Shopping Mall’s multiplex, the Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday. The gala also drew numerous top level officials from the city.
Speaking before the screening, Ceylan said Adana is a place he has an affinity for. Commenting on the Cannes Film Festival, where his film had its world premiere, the acclaimed director said despite the professionalism of the festival, there is an aloofness about it, adding that he decided Altın Koza would be a fitting occasion for the Turkish premiere because it is very warm and friendly.
Cast member Erdoğan added that Adana is a very important place for him personally. “It was really because of artists from Adana that I got into cinema in the first place,” he said.
“Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da,” widely considered as the film with the best odds of being sent to the Academy Awards as Turkey’s entrant for the best foreign language Oscar category, will have its theatrical release this weekend in Turkey.