The top honors in the international competition of this year's Istanbul Film Festival have gone to Egg (Yumurta) by local film-maker Semih Kaplanoglu, the story of a poet returning to his mother's home in the country after her death.

Kaplanoglu's picture, which opened last year in Cannes' DirectorsFortnight, is the third part of a planned trilogy to be shot backwards.The second installment, Milk, already completed, is looking hopefulfor a slot in Cannes 2008.

The jury, headed by German DoP Michael Ballhaus, gave a special jury prize to The Wave (Die Welle) by Germany's Dennis Gensel.

The other Turkish film to score high points this year was Seyfi Teoman's Summer Book, a gentle, contemplative family portrait taking place in a small Anatolian town.

Awarded Best Film in the National Competition, it was also the favorite of the International Film Critics' Association (FIPRESCI).

More awards on the home front went to Dervis Zaim, best director for Dot (Nokta), to Ayca Damgaci for her role in My Marlon and Brando (Damgaci was also the co-author of the script) and to Serhat Tutumluer for his performance in Ara, a chamber play shot entirely in one room. The film also picked up a Special Jury Prize for tackling sensitive subjects which are still considered taboo in Turkish society.

The Messenger (Ulak) by Umit Unal won the audience award in the Turkish competition.

The FACE Award, a Human Rights prize offered by the Council of Europe, went to China's Li Yang for Blind Mountain, a picture dealing with one of the more embarrassing episodes in recent Chinese history, relating to kidnapped young women sold off in villages far away from their homes, with the tacit consent of the authorities.

Filmmakers Tony Gatlif and Abderrahmanne Sissako both served on this jury.

Life achievement awards were bestowed on Tunisian-born Italian star Claudia Cardinale, who attended the opening ceremony, and on Russian director Alexander Sokurov who was present on closing night. Three grand old men of the Turkish cinema, Ekrem Bora, Izzet Gunay and Ediz Hun were recognized with similar awards in the course of the festival.

Among the other guests attending were festival directors Michelle Maheux (Toronto), and Kirsi Tykkilainnen (Moscow), both serving on juries, directors Bent Hamer and Pawel Pawlikowski (also on juries), with filmmakers Brad Anderson, Alain Courneau, Amos Gitai, Christine Carriere, Willian Klein, Nadine Labaki and Lech Majevski coming in to introduce their latest films. Also on hand were EFM's Beki Probst, Fortissimo's Wouter Barendrecht, Pyramide's Eric Lagesse and Pierre Menahem of Celluloid Dreams.