Express News Service / newindianexpress.com
Competition movie ‘Cold of Kalandar,’ a 2015 Turkish drama which has a bouquet of international awards to its credit, won many hearts on the second day of the International Film Festival of Kerala.
The film by Mustafa Kara, which was the Turkish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, is a simple portrayal of a touching story that rekindles hope.
The narrative, which looks into the inner struggles of human beings, is a sincere attempt to depict the life of a family facing hardships to make a living in the mountains of northern Turkey. At the same time, the film serves the purpose of being a social drama reflecting the Turkish society.
The 21st IFFK got into the full mode with the screening of films in the International Competition section beginning on Saturday. Three competition films – Cold Of Kalandar, Sink and Clash – were screened at Tagore Theatre, which is the main venue of the festival this time.
Christopher Webster / screenanarchy.com
With stunning cinematography shot in seemingly death defying locations high in the Black Sea mountains, Cold of Kalandar looks as visually powerful as it seems emotionally dense.
The film, which Turkey is pushing as its nominee for the category of “Best Foreign Film” at the 2016 Oscars, follows a poor animal breeder, Mehmet, who dreams of one day finding minerals to better support his his family.
Directed by Mustafa Kara and co-written by Bilal Sert, the film seems to captures the complex, often punishing relationship between man, his own nature and the harsh elements of our world.
A must watch, I say. You will be intrigued.
Julie Rigg / theguardian.com
The Dark Wind isn’t the standout film this year: an exquisite, slow burning film from Turkey, Cold of Kalandar, won best film, best cinematography and the first Apsa young cinema award last night. This could well be the start of an Oscar run, as it was with Asghar Farhadi,’s A Separation, which won best feature film at the awards in 2011.
Cold of Kalandar is the story of a frustrated dreamer, a middle aged man who toils with his family in unbelievably harsh conditions in the mountains of Northern Turkey. He prospects underground for silver, hoping to find a vein to pay his family’s debts; he refuses to sell his prize bull, entering it instead in contest for fighting bulls. His wife is bitter: she wants him to take a labouring job, pay their debts, find a doctor for their disabled son.
Director Mustafa Kara took his lead – unschooled actor Haydar Sisman – to live for three months in a rural village to understand the life of his character, Mehmet. He had him crawling on his belly underground, clinging to a rockface prospecting in bitter sleet, tending cattle, working tools in a homemade forge – all in the bitterest weather. Mehmet and his wife Hanife (Nuray Yesilaraz) voice their frustrations in a wrenching argument midway through the film – it becomes a film with soul.
Kara and his young producer Nermin Aktekin politely masked their amusement when I said I had looked in vain to find Kalandar on a map of Turkey. “Kalandar is a month,” Kara explained. “The coldest month of the year, when everything is at its lowest ebb.”
It’s interesting that this wrenching depiction of rural poverty should be Turkey’s foreign language Oscar nomination this year, from a country now convulsed by an attempted coup, a counter coup and mass arrests of teachers and the judiciary. When I inquire about the wellbeing of Turkish film-makers I have met here at previous awards, he is sanguine. His film has government support. “No film-makers have been arrested,” he says. And, “yes, they are working.”
Patrick Frater / Variety.com
Turkish social drama “Cold of Kalandar” was the biggest winner at the 10th edition of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
At a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia on Thursday “Kalandar” claimed the best feature film prize and also the achievement in cinematography award. It is the second time that a Turkish film has taken APSA’s top prize, after Greek-Turkish co-production “Beyond the Hill” won in 2012.
The film, which was selected as Turkey’s contender for the foreign-language Oscar race, premiered at the Tokyo festival 13 months ago and won the festival’s best film and best directing for prize for Mustafa Kara.
Jury head, Lord David Puttnam said: “There were two significant things I came away with: number one was how often the issue of family occurred, the importance of family and the role of family, is an underlying theme that popped up time and time again. The other that I found really encouraging was the quite extraordinary quality of the male performances. I have never seen that number of absolutely outstanding male performances — ever. Anywhere.”
Fiona Williams / screendaily.com
The jury of the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) has awarded the best film prize to Mustafa Kara’s Turkish drama Cold Of Kalandar. The film won a total of three prizes at the regional film awards, which took place tonight (Nov 24) in Brisbane, Australia.
Cold of Kalandar’s APSA best film win comes after similar honours at the Tokyo Film Festival, and Turkey’s Istanbul and Antalya film festivals.
In September it was selected as Turkey’s candidate for the foreign language Oscar.
The film depicts an impoverished family’s attempt to make a living through farming in Turkey’s mountainous northern region. Tensions between the husband and wife come to a head when he disappears to prospect for metals in the mountains. Director Kara also received the inaugural Young Cinema Award, which recognises emerging talent within the region.
The film’s depiction of poverty and despair in regional Turkey sits in stark contrast with recent claims by the Turkish government that the country is in the midst of an economic boom. When asked by Screen whether the film’s bleak themes were considered to be controversial at home, Cold of Kalandar producer Nermin Aytekin replied: “Although people in Turkey have poverty to some extent, the important thing to remember is this film doesn’t have a place or a time; it could be here [in Australia] or in another country, at another time.”
The 2016 APSA international jury president David Puttnam said of the 24 nominated films: “It’s been a remarkable privilege to find yourself looking into customs, societies, attitudes and practices that you are not necessarily familiar with“.
“There were two significant things I came away with: number one was how often the issue of family occurred, the importance of family and the role of family, is an underlying theme that popped up time and time again. The other that I found really encouraging was the quite extraordinary quality of the male performances. I have never seen that number of absolutely outstanding male performances – ever. Anywhere.”
Pip Bulbeck / hollywoodreporter.com
The sophomore drama from Mustafa Kara won the director the inaugural APSA Young Cinema Award as well as best feature honors.
Cold of Kalandar, Turkey’s foreign-language Oscar entry, was the big winner at the tenth edition of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, held Thursday in Brisbane, Australia.
The drama, which tells the tale of a family struggling to survive in a mountain village high above the Black Sea, won the APSA for best feature film, while director Mustafa Kara was awarded the inaugural APSA Young Cinema Award for his second feature. Marking the tenth year of the APSAs, the Young Cinema Award was created to honor emerging talent from the region. Debut or sophomore filmmakers are eligible for the prize.
Cevahir Şahin and Kürşat Üresin shared best cinematographer honors for Cold of Kalandar, which earlier this year picked up the two main prizes for best film and best director at the Tokyo Film Festival, where it had its world premiere.
Jury chair Lord David Putnam said of the 24 films that competed at this year’s awards: “There were two significant things I came away with: No. 1 was how often the issue of family occurred — the importance of family and the role of family is an underlying theme that popped up time and time again. The other that I found really encouraging was the quite extraordinary quality of the male performances. I have never seen that number of absolutely outstanding male performances — ever. Anywhere.”
Francisco Salazar / latinpost.com
Turkey has submitted Mustafa Kara’s “Cold of Kalandar’ to represent the country at the Academy Awards.
The film tells the story of Mehmet and his family living far from modern life, in a mountain village. The movie made its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival and later went on to play at the Haifa, Angers and Antalya Film Festivals.
Turkey began submitting to the Oscars in 1964 but has never been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film category. The country only made the January shortlist once for the film “Three Monkeys” which won best director at the Cannes Film Festival.
Last year the country submitted “Sivas,” which made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize. It also played at the Hamburg, Stockholm, Sarajevo and many other Film festivals and won numerous international prizes.
This year Turkey will compete against 84 other films and will face fierce competition from some of the most acclaimed festival films. Among the films competing this year include “The Salesman,” “Neruda,” “Elle,” “From Afar,” “Land of Mine,” “Toni Erdmann” and “Julieta. Other films that will be tough competitors include Italy’s “Fire at Sea,” Georgia’s “House of Others,” Romania’s “Sieranevada,” Greece’s “Chevalier,” Estonia’s “Mother,” and Bosnia’s “Death in Sarajevo.”
Recent winners include “Son of Saul,” “Ida,” “The Great Beauty” and ‘In a Better World.”
The award-winning film “Kalandar Soğuğu” (Cold of Kalandar) is to open in Turkish theaters on Sept. 16. Speaking at a press conference held at the Trabzon Journalists’ Association with the film’s producer Nermin Aytekin and actor Haydar Şişman, director Mustafa Kara said the film, which has won several awards at film festivals including the International Tokyo Film Festival, is the story of a family who lives in a mountain village near the Black Sea where they try to hold on to life.
Noting that he is a native of the Black Sea Region, Kara said: “We worked hard to create a story that can depict the lives of those living in the region as well as its atmosphere and the story. We wanted to portray the drama of the story while also capturing the natural environment of the Black Sea region, which is not something typically covered in Turkish film. Therefore we chased this ambition and shot the film during four seasons.”
Kara emphasized that realizing their plan was an arduous task, noting that the crew completed the film by traveling to Trabzon during each season from 2012 to 2014.
The film director also said the film was shot in several mountain villages of Trabzon and Maçka across flatlands, meadows, urban areas and Artvin. “Making a distinction among the fields of labor cinema, popular cinema, comedy or art cinema, our film chases a narration that depicts the ancient story of humans rather than just entertainment. Our film was awarded the Best Director award and the award for Best Film at one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, the Tokyo Film Festival.” Saying that this is the film’s first world premiere, the director emphasized that the application process for selection in these festivals is very difficult. “Cold of Kalandar” won the Special Jury Award at Premier Plans D’angers in France and later won the award for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music and Special Jury Awards at the Antalya Film Festival, followed by Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematographer and Best Fiction awards at the Istanbul Film Festival, and Best Director at the Red Tulip Film Festival in the Netherlands.Kara said “Cold of Kalandar” is a widely spoken film amid professionals from the international art sector.
Aytekin said they started the film’s pre-production in 2010 and later developed the project. “We started with Istanbul Film Festival’s ‘Meetings on the Bridge: Film Project Development Workshop.’ Later, we received scenario writing and production support from the Tourism and Culture Ministry, followed by European cinema funding since this is a Hungarian-Turkish joint production and includes one associate producer from Hungary,” Aytekin said. “We started shooting the film as a TRT joint production. Shooting took a long time since the film was shot over four seasons.”
Aytekin stressed that “Cold of Kalandar” was beautifully filmed and for this reason has found a very important place in the world of art.
The film’s leading actor Şişman said there is a view out there that suggests a quality film cannot be shot in Trabzon, but “Cold of Kalandar” shattered this notion.
Director Mustafa Kara’s “Kalandar Sogugu” (Cold of Kalandar) was selected Sept. 27 as Turkey’s nominee for the Foreign Language Academy Award entry.
The Artistic Activities Committee said in a statement that a 17-member board, including representatives of the Culture Ministry and Turkish cinema associations, chose the entry from among nine films to be Turkey’s Oscar nominee at the 89th Academy Awards next year.
Written by Kara and Bilal Sert the drama pictures the naive portrait of a touching life, and the struggle and the relationship between nature, animals and humans, according to the film’s official website.
The award-winning film, which premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival in 2015 and won the Best Director Award, stars Haydar Şişman, Nuray Yeşilaraz and Hanife Kara.
The selection by Turkey still leaves a long road before the film can win the Oscar.
Every country is invited to submit one film to the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Those films are then evaluated by the Foreign Language Film Award Committee, which selects the five nominees for best foreign-language film.
In 2015, Turkey selected Kaan Müjdeci’s film “Sivas” for an Oscar entry but the film was not named one of the final five nominees at this year’s Academy Awards.
Award-winning Turkish film ‘Cold of Kalandar’ opens in theaters.
Nick Holdsworth / hollywoodreporter.com
Mustafa Kara’s rural drama premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival where it won awards for best film and director. Turkey has submitted Mustafa Kara’s rural drama Cold of Kalandar to the Oscars in the foreign-language category.
The tale of a village family struggling to survive in a mountain village high above the Black Sea, it opened in Turkish cinemas September 16.
Kara’s film, which he co-wrote with scriptwriter Bilal Sert, had its world premiere at the Tokyo Film Festival where it won best director and best film.
Critically acclaimed for its sensitive portrayal of human life in a harsh environment, The Hollywood Reporter’s review dubbed it “a beautiful slow burner.”
“We wanted to portray the drama of the story while also capturing the natural environment of the region, which is not something typically covered in Turkish film,” Kara told Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah. “Therefore we chased this ambition and shot the film during four seasons.”
The film, produced by Karafilm Productions and Katapult Film, stars Haydar Sisman, Nuray Yesilaraz, Hanife Kara and Ibrahim Kuvvet. World sales are through Karafilm Productions.
Turkey has been submitting films to the Academy Awards regularly since 1989 but has never been nominated, though in 2008 Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Three Monkeys made the January preliminary shortlist of nine.
From next month cineastes can see a selection of recent foreign-language Oscar submissions from Europe online via European Film Promotion’s Westwind showcase. Audiences in Russia will also have a chance to see the seletion at cinemas October 19-23 during the 4th annual Westwind presentation in St Petersburg.