ISTANBUL - Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan won another international award Saturday, picking up the prestigious 67th Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or as best for his latest film, "Kis Uykusu" (Winter Sleep).
Receiving his award from American film director Quentin Tarantino and actress Uma Thurman, the 55-year old director dedicated his award to "young people of Turkey those who lost their lives during the last year" in an apparent reference to people who were killed during anti-government protests in the country last summer.
Ceylan's seventh film, "Winter Sleep," runs 186 minutes and is set in modern day Turkey. The film tells the story of a former actor who runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister who is suffering as a result of her recent divorce.
The film was cast by Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen, Demet Akbag and Nejat Isler.
This is the second time Palme d'Or goes to Turkey. In 1982, Yilmaz Guney's "Yol" (The Road) won the prestigious prize.
This year, the president of the festival’s jury was New Zealand director Jane Campion, who is also the first and only female director to receive the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes (1993) and also only the second of four women ever to be nominated as Best Director at the Academy Awards (1994) -- both for "The Piano."
Cannes is one of the most prestigious international film festivals. It opened Wednesday with Olivier Dahan's "Grace de Monaco." The film depicts the life of famous American actress and Monaco princess Grace Kelly, who died in a car accident in 1982.
Ceylan is not new to Cannes. His short film "Koza" (Cocoon) was screened at Cannes in May 1995, becoming the first Turkish short film to be selected for competition at the festival. His next entry in Cannes came with "Uzak" (Distance), which won the Grand Prix in 2003. That was followed by "Iklimler" (Climates), which scooped the FIPRESCI Prize in 2006, and "Uc Maymun" (Three Monkeys), for which Ceylan was awarded the Best Director award in 2008.
In 2009, Ceylan was a member of the main competition jury. In 2011, he won the Grand Prix a second time with his film "Bir Zamanlar Anadolu" (Once upon a time in Anatolia).
The Palme d’Or is considered by many to be more important than the American Academy Awards, the Oscars.
Ceylan’s film was picked Friday by the International Federation of Film Critics as the best film among 18 movies at Cannes.
The winners of the Cannes Film Festival 2014:
Palme d'Or (Best Film):
Kis Uykusu (Winter Sleep), Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Grand Prix (Runner-up):
The Wonders, Alice Rohrwacher
Jury Prize (Third Prize):
Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard
Mommy, Xavier Dolan
Camera d'Or (Debut Film):
Party Girl, Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Leviathan, Andrei Zvyagintsev & Oleg Negin
Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
Timothy Spall, Mr Turner
Leidi by Simón Mesa Soto
Short Film Special Distinctions:
Aissa by Clément Trehin-Lalanne
Yes We Love (Ja vi elsker) by Hallvar Witzo
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