Turkish Director wins Palme d’Or at 2014 Cannes Film Festival

Turkish Director wins Palme d’Or at 2014 Cannes Film Festival

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival ended with Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan winning the festival’s Palme d’Or for Winter Sleep.

Ceylan holding Palme d'Or
Ceylan holds his prize, standing between Tarantino and Uma Thurman. Source, Hitfix

It is the second time a film from a Turkish director wins the Palme d’Or; the first being Yilmaz Guney and Serif Goren’s The Way back in 1982. Mr. Ceylan himself has on two occasions taken the Grand Prix, the festival’s second place prize.

British actor Timothy Spall took the Best Actor prize for the lead role in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner. It was one of the more predictable honour in a year of surprise. The French actress Marion Cotillard was snubbed in the Actress category, which went to American Julianne Moore for her role in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, which had the internet agog about a sweaty scene featuring Moore and Twilight heartthrob, Robert Pattinson.

The festival’s other starry ensemble feature, Foxcatcher, a biographical picture about Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, with Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell, may interest Nigerian film lovers for its star power. The film received praise for its acting and won the directing award for Bennett Miller who directed the Brad Pitt vehicle Moneyball and the Truman Capote biopic, Capote.

African filmmakers are still, relatively, a rarity at Cannes. This year, the continent is represented on the winner list by the Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako who received the Ecumenical Jury Prize for Timbuktu. 

Set in Mali, Timbuktu is about individuals struggling for dignity as Islamic fundamentalism sweeps their land. Discussing Sissako’s film, The New York Times drew in the recent kidnap of girls from Chibok, Borno:


“There’s a sad, powerful scene in “Timbuktu,” … that resonates even more strongly in light of the schoolgirls kidnapped last month as child brides by Islamic fundamentalists in Nigeria.


In the scene, a foreign jihadi who’s new in town asks a local woman for her teenaged daughter’s hand in marriage. When the mother refuses, saying it’s not a local tradition to marry her own child to a perfect stranger, the jihadi grows angry. He came here peacefully, he says, but if she won’t give her consent, then he will have to use force. And he does.”



Complete list of winners, courtesy Variety:




Palme d’Or: “Winter Sleep” (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey-Germany-France)

Grand Prix: “The Wonders” (Alice Rohrwacher, Italy-Switzerland-Germany)

Director: Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher” (U.S.)

Actor: Timothy Spall, “Mr. Turner” (Mike Leigh, U.K.-France-Germany)

Actress: Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars” (David Cronenberg, Canada-Germany)

Jury Prize (tie): “Mommy” (Xavier Dolan, Canada) and “Goodbye to Language” (Jean-Luc Godard, France)

Screenplay: Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, “Leviathan” (Russia)


Camera d’Or: “Party Girl” (Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis)

Short Films Palme d’Or: “Leidi” (Simon Mesa Soto)

Short Films Special Mention: “Aissa” (Clement Trehin-Lalanne)

Ecumenical Jury Prize: “Timbuktu” (Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania-France)


Un Certain Regard Prize: “White God” (Kornel Mundruczo, Hungary-Germany-Sweden)

Jury prize: “Force Majeure” (Ruben Ostlund, Sweden-France-Denmark-Norway)

Special Prize: “The Salt of the Earth” (Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, France-Italy)

Ensemble: “Party Girl” (Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis, France)

Actor: David Gulpilil, “Charlie’s Country” (Rolf de Heer, Australia)


Art Cinema Award: “Les Combattants” (Thomas Cailley, France)

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “Les Combattants”

Europa Cinemas Label: “Les Combattants”


Grand Prize: “The Tribe” (Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Ukraine)

Visionary Prize: “The Tribe”

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “Hope” (Boris Lojkine, France)


Competition: “Winter Sleep”

Un Certain Regard: “Jauja” (Lisandro Alonso, Denmark-U.S.-Argentina)

Directors’ Fortnight: “Les Combattants”


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