Turkish director’s short film honored at Cannes

“Sessiz” (Silent), a film by Turkish director Rezan Yesilbas, won the Palme d’Or in the short-length film category at the 65th Cannes Film Festival on May 27, the Anatolia news agency has reported.

The film had previously won the Best Film Award at the Akbank Short Film Festival.

Starring Belcim Bilgin Erdogan and Cem Bender, Yesilbas’ seven-minute short film is set in 1984 and centers on a prisoner and his wife. The film was shot in the eastern province of Diyarbakır with support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. “I dedicate this award to all the silent women of my country, who were left alone,” Yeşilbas said at the award ceremony with the help of Bilgim, who joined him on stage to translate.

Yeşilbas’ short film “Hukum” (Judgement) was the first film of his “Trilogy of Women.” “Hukum” has been screened in many national and international film festivals. The second film of the trilogy, “Sessiz” was made in 2011. The script for the final film in the trilogy has been written, but filming has not begun.

Yesilba has also been working as the assistant of Turkish director Zeki Demirkurbuz since 2008. Only 10 films out of 4,500 competed in Cannes’ short film category this year.

“Sessiz” was the fourth Turkish film to compete at Cannes in the short film category. The other films were Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Koza” (Cocoon), Ebru Ceylan’s “Kiyida” (On the Coast) and Belma Bas’ “Zefir” (Zephyr).

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