I am not him wins best film in Turkish competition.

Blind [pictured] by Norway’s Eskil Vogt, the story of a married woman losing her sight and battling with the real and imaginary demons of her condition, won the Golden Tulip at the 33rd Istanbul International Film Festival. The jury — presided over by Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi and including British producer Lynda Myles from the National Film & TV School, Turkish actress Defne Halman, French director Philippe Leguay and Romanian writer/director Razvan Radulescu — added a special jury prize for Poland’s Papusza, written and directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze.

On the national front, Tayfun Pirselimoglou’s I am not him (Ben O Degilim)  lead the field, winning the Best Film Award, also Best Script (also by Pirselimoglou) and best music (by Giorgios Komendakis), an award shared with Ali Tekbas, Serhat Bostanci and A. Imran Erin who wrote the score for Come to My Voice (Were Denge Min) by Husseyin Karabey. Karabey also grabbed one of the festival’s two audience awards, the other one, for non-Turkish films, going to Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm.

The national jury, headed by Turkish director Dervis Zaim, picked Omur Unlu as Best Director for Let’s Sin (Itirazim Var) adding a Best Actor award to Serken Keskin for the film’s lead actor. Unlu, who also wrote and produced this thriller comedy about a crime solving Imam, was last year’s all around victor in Istanbul his precedent film, Thou Gild’st the Even.

For best photography, the jury picked Ahmet Sesigurgil’s work in Consequences (Silsile) and for best editing, Reha Erdem’s work in his own film, Singing Women (Sarki Soyleyen Kadinlar). A musical tragedy about a mother of four who commits suicide when one of her sons is captured by the secret police for acting against the past military government in Turkey, was rewarded with a Best Actress award for Vahida Percin who plays the mother.

More politics in Once upon a Time (He Bu Tune Bu), about a Kurdish family cruelly exploited when they come to work the fields in Turkey, which got a Special Jury Award as well as the Fipresci prize. Fipresci’s other nod was for Iain Forsyth and Jan Pollard’s Nick Cave documentary 20,000 Days on Earth. The Council of Europe’s FACE awarded Rithy Panh’s Missing Image, with a special mention to Maria Binder’s German-Turkish production Trans X Istanbul about the conditions of transsexuals in Turkey’s megalopolis.

The Best Debut film prize went to director Görkem Şarkan for Mrs Nergis (Nergis Hanım).

Finally, the Life Achievement Award was picked in person this year by French producer-exhibitor Marin Karmitz, whose MK2 company is one of the leading players in European cinema. Among his numerous films, Karmitz produced the last film of iconic Turkish filmmaker Yilmaz Guney, The Wall (1983).

Meetings on the Bridge prizes

The festival’s Meetings on the Bridge industry programme welcomed 100 visiting filmmakers.

The prizes for the Film Development Workshop were:

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Support Award to Eset Akçilad’s Fish (Balik)

CNC Support Award to Erdem Tepegöz’s Jarabulus

Melodika Sound Post-Production Award to Rojda Akbayır’s The Fragments (Parçalar)

Mediterranean Film Institute (MFI) Scenario Workshop Award to Serhad Karaaslan’s Passed by Censor (Gorulmustur)

Special Mention to Hüseyin Karabey’s Hamarat Apartment

Work in Progress Workshop

1000 VOLT Post-Production Award, to producer Asli Erdem for Annemin Şarkısı / Song of My Mother

Başka Sinema Award to Aslı Erdem for Annemin Şarkısı / Song of My Mother

Turkish-German Co-Production Development Fund supported projects

Barış Özbiçer –  Çarpık Ev / The Crooked House
Co-producers: Çiğdem Mater - Ret Film (TR), Klaus Julian Hermannsen - Visual Distractions (DE)

Derviş Zaim – Kıtmir
Co-producers: Derviş Zaim - Marathon Film (TR), Numan Acar - Acar Entertainment Filmproduction (DE)

Jessica Krummacher – Mordoğan / Birth of Purple
Co-producers: Titus Kreyenberg - Unafilm (DE), Nadir Öperli - Bulut Film (TR)

Kazım Öz– Zer
Co-producers: Meral Balık - Yapım 13 Film Production (TR), Zülfiye Akkulak - Newa Film (DE)

Kıvanç Sezer – Babamın Kanatları / My Father’s Wings
Co-producers: Soner Alper - Nar Film (TR), Petra Oplatkova - The Talent Incubator UG(DE)  

Kutluğ Ataman – Hilal, Feza ve Diğer Gezegenler / Hilal, Feza and Other Planets
Co-producers:  Fabian Gasmia - Detail Film Gasmia & Kamm GbR (DE), Kutluğ Ataman - The Institute for the Readjustment of Clocks (TR)

Nazli Elif Durlu – İki Yabancı / Two Strangers
Co-producers: Dirk Engelhardt - Kundschafter Filmproduktion(DE), Annamaria Aslanoğlu - Istos Yapim (TR)

Ümit Köreken – Mavi Bisiklet / Blue Bicycle
Co-producers: Ümit Köreken - Drama Film Production (TR), Leontine Petit - Hamster Film (DE)

Zeki Demirkubuz – Kor / Ember
Co-producers: Başak Emre - Mavi Film (TR), Mustafa Dok - Bredok Film Production (DE)