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Mari Kitia bags best actress Turkey’s ‘Song of My Mother’ wins ‘Heart of Sarajevo’ award

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Aug 23, (Agencies): Erol Minta’s debut feature “Song of My Mother,” which was a Turkey-France-Germany co-production, won the top award, the Heart of Sarajevo, at the Sarajevo Film Festival, which comes with EUR16,000 ($21,200). The jury said it appreciated “the courageous simplicity, the pure cinematic language, the choice to show the daily life in a manner that makes us understand and love the characters. We are delighted that the filmmakers were capable to resist the temptation of mainstream cinema.”

The film also picked up the prize for actor for Feyyaz Duman’s perf. The pic centers on a teacher, Ali, who lives with his mother, Nigar, in a Kurdish area of Istanbul. They are forced to move to a soulless suburb, where his mother pines for the Kurdish village of her youth. The Special Jury Prize went to Tinatin Kajrishvili’s “Brides,” a Georgia-France co-pro. The film received EUR10,000 ($13,200). The jury said the award went to the film “for its subtle cinematic approach in telling an intricate tale of separation, suffering, hope and despair. Through a quiet, cadenced narration which beautifully focuses on the smallest details, we witness love surmounting prison walls.”

The film also picked up the actress award for Mari Kitia. The pic follows the attempts by a husband and wife to keep their relationship alive while he is in jail. The jury was composed of Hungarian director Bela Tarr, Chris Dercon, director of Tate Modern in London, American actress Melissa Leo, Daniela Michel, founding director of Morelia Film Festival in Mexico, Rasha Salti, international programmer at Toronto Film Festival, Christoph Terhechte, head of the Forum section of the Berlinale, and Hungarian actress Orsi Toth. Kitia was awarded “for playing a complex role leading the cast with strength and dignity,” said the international jury chaired by Hungarian director Bela Tarr. Oscar-winning US actress Melissa Leo and London-based Tate Modern director Chris Dercon were also among the jurors.
On Thursday, the festival — created as an act of resistance to the siege of the city during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war — awarded a special 8,700 euro bursary to two Gaza directors, Abdel Salam Shehadeh and Ashraf Mashharawi. Only Mashharawi was able to attend the festival due to the latest surge of violence in Gaza. The festival, which opened on August 15, offered its biggest ever line-up of films, with 247 movies from 60 countries screened during the nine-day event. A retrospective of films by British director Michael Winterbottom was also screened. This year’s honorary guest was Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal.
* Best Film”Song of My Mother,” dir: Erol Minta (Turkey, France, Germany)
* Special Jury Prize”Brides,” dir: Tinatin Kajrishvili (Georgia, France)
* Actress: Mari Kitia in “Brides” (Georgia, France)
* Actor: Feyyaz Duman (“Song of My Mother”) (Turkey, France, Germany)
* Short Film: “The Chicken,” director: Una Gunjak (Germany, Croatia)
* Special Jury Mention: “Shelters,” director: Ivan Salatic (Montenegro)
* Special Jury Mention: “The Execution,” director: Petra Szocs (Hungary, Romania)
* Documentary Film: “Naked Island,” director: Tiha K. Gudac (Croatia)
* Special Jury Mention: “Happily Ever After,” director: Tatjana Bozic (Netherlands, Croatia)
* Special Jury Prize: “Judgement in Hungary,” director: Eszter Hajdu (Hungary, Germany, Portugal)
* Human Rights Award: “Judgement in Hungary,” director: Eszter Hajdu (Hungary, Germany, Portugal)
* Cinelink Awardseave Scolarship: “16 Producer,” Ipek Kent
* Living Pictures Service Cinelink Award: “The Black Pin,” Ivan Marinovic
* Arte International Relations Cinelink AWARD: “Hilal, Feza and Other Planets,” Kutlug Ataman, Fabian Gasmia
* CNC Cinelink Award: “Pari,” Siamak Etemadi, Konstantinos Kontovrakis
* Eurimages Coproduction Development Award: “My Happy Family,” Nana Ektimishvilli, Simon Gross
* Work In Progress Awardspostrepublic Award: “The Wounded Angel,” Emir Baigazin, Anna Vigelmi
* Restart Award: “Life,” Ines Tanovic, Alem Babic
* Cineuropa Prize: “Three Windows and a Hanging,” director: Isa Qosja (Kosovo)
* Cicae Award: “Macondo,” director: Sudabeh Mortezai (Austria)
* EDN Talent Grant: “The Forest,” director: Sinisa Dragin (Romania, Serbia)

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