Despite Turkey's financial crisis, this year's 20th International Istanbul Film Festival served up an impressive selection of films in its international competition and the strongest line-up of local films in a decade.
The international competition was won by the German entry No Place To Go, directed by Oskar Roehler. The main prize in the local competition went to Serdar Akar's football tale Offside, while the prize for best director went to Semih Kaplanoglu for his first film, Away From Home.
While the economic situation halted some of this year's crop of productions, the festival, which runs April 14 to 29, benefited from a boom in Turkish cinema over the past five years. Both local box office admissions and the quality of Turkish films have risen steadily.
Other Turkish titles amongst the prize winners included Elephants And Grass, a political drama directed by Dervis Zaim which won the FIPRESCI award. A special prize for outstanding achievement in cinematography went to Haik Kirokosian for his work on Away From Home.
Bernardo Bertolucci, Bertrand Tavernier and Roger Corman were amongst the film-makers receiving tributes at the festival's 20th edition. Also feted were Takashi Miike, the Japanese film-maker who made an international impression with the ultra-violent Audition, Spain's Ventura Pons, Austria's Michael Haneke and the US' Errol Morris. A three-title tribute to veteran director Osman Fahyr Seden rounded out the local presence.