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Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Born (1959-01-26) 26 January 1959
Istanbul, Turkey[1]
Alma mater Boğaziçi University
Mimar Sinan University
Occupation Film director, photographer
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Ebru Ceylan, actress

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkish pronunciation: , born 26 January 1959) is a Turkish photographer, screenwriter, actor, and film director. He was the winner of the Palme d'Or, the highest prize at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2014. He is married to filmmaker, photographer, and actress Ebru Ceylan, with whom he co-starred in Climates.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Koza (Cocoon) (Short Film) 2.1
    • Kasaba (1997) 2.2
    • Clouds of May (1999) 2.3
    • Uzak (2002) 2.4
    • İklimler/Climates (2006) 2.5
    • Three Monkeys (2008) 2.6
    • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) 2.7
    • Winter Sleep (2014) 2.8
  • Style and themes 3
  • Awards and accolades 4
  • Filmography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Ceylan's love of photography started at the age of 15. While studying at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, he participated in cinema and photography clubs and he took passport-style photos to make pocket money. After graduating from university with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, he went to London and Kathmandu, Nepal, to decide what to do in life. Then he went back to Ankara, Turkey, to do military service. When he was in the army, he discovered that cinema would give shape to his life.[2]


Koza (Cocoon) (Short Film)

Ceylan's first short film Koza (Cocoon) was screened in the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for a Palme d'Or for Best Short Film there.

Kasaba (1997)

He received many awards with his 1997 debut feature Kasaba ("Small Town" or "The Town"), including the Caligari Film Award at the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI prize, the Special Prize of the Jury at the 1998 Istanbul International Film Festival, and the Silver Award at the 1998 Tokyo International Film Festival.

Clouds of May (1999)

Ceylan's second feature film was Clouds of May (1999), which won a Golden Orange for Best Director at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in 1999. Ceylan won a FIPRESCI Award at the 2000 European Film Awards.

Uzak (2002)

His third feature Uzak ("Distant") (2002) received many awards including the Grand Jury Prize and the Best Actor Prize at Cannes. The film won Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor at the 2002 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, a Silver Hugo/Special Jury Prize at the 2003 Chicago International Film Festival, Best Turkish Director, Best Turkish Film, and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2003 Istanbul International Film Festival, and the FIPRESCI Film of the Year at the 2003 San Sebastian International Film Festival.

İklimler/Climates (2006)

His fourth film, İklimler ("Climates"), won the FIPRESCI Movie Critics' Award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival[3] and received international praise from film critics. The film won five awards at the 2006 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, including the "Best Director" title.[4] He also starred in the film alongside his wife, Ebru Ceylan. During the preparation for this movie, Ceylan turned his attentions to photography again. From this point on, he began devoting his time to both cinema and photography. "Turkey Cinemascope" is a book of Panoramic Photographs of Turkey by Ceylan between the years 2003 and 2009.[5]

Three Monkeys (2008)

Ceylan won the best director award in the 2008 Cannes Film Festival for his fifth film Üç Maymun ("Three Monkeys").[6] In his acceptance speech, Ceylan stated, "I dedicate this award to my beautiful and lonely country, which I love passionately." He won the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing. Three Monkeys was the first Turkish-language film which made the short list for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film category.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

His sixth film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia premiered in Competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival,[7] where it won the Grand Jury Prize. The film was also selected as Turkey's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[8][9]

Winter Sleep (2014)

His 2014 film Winter Sleep won the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.[10] Thus he became the second Turkish director to receive a Palme d'Or after Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören who won the Palme d'Or with the film Yol they co-produced at Cannes Film Festival in 1982.[11]

Style and themes

Ceylan's films deal with the estrangement of the individual, existentialism, the monotony of human lives, and the details of everyday life. He uses static shots and long takes, usually in natural settings, as well as play with sound, including the use of menacing silences. He is known for filming his protagonist from behind, which, in his view, leaves the audiences to speculate on the brooding emotions of characters whose faces are obscured. Ceylan's films are made on low budgets, with casts generally consisting of amateur actors, most of whom are family members (such as his mother and father).

Ceylan named his ten favorite films in the 2012 Sight & Sound Greatest Films Poll: Andrei Rublev (1966), Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), L'Avventura (1960), L'Eclisse (1962), Late Spring (1949), A Man Escaped (1956), The Mirror (1975), Persona (1966), Shame (1968), and Tokyo Story (1953).[12]

Awards and accolades


Films, television & video
Year English title Turkish title Credited as Notes
Director Producer Writer
1995 Cocoon Koza Yes Yes Yes Short film
1998 Small Town Kasaba Yes Yes Yes Feature debut
2000 Clouds of May Mayıs Sıkıntısı Yes Yes Yes
2002 Distant Uzak Yes Yes Yes
2006 Climates İklimler Yes Yes Yes Also actor
2008 Three Monkeys Üç Maymun Yes Yes Yes
2011 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da Yes Yes Yes
2014 Winter Sleep Kış Uykusu Yes Yes Yes


  1. ^ Kalyoncu, Cemal A (2 June 2008). "Ürkek Ceylan Oscar yolunda". Aksiyon (in Türkçe). Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  2. ^ "Nuri Bilge Ceylan-Biography". Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Climates". Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  4. ^ 2006 Altın Portakal Ödülleri (Turkish)
  5. ^ Nuri Bilge Ceylan-Photography, . Retrieved 2011-10-26
  6. ^ Best Director to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for "Three Monkeys", Festival de Cannes
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  8. ^ Oscar'a aday adayı oldu"Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da". Haberturk. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  9. ^ "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  10. ^ "Awards 2014 : Competition". Cannes. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Winter Sleep" de Turquía gana la Palma de Oro""". Huffington Post. 24 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Nuri Bilge Ceylan | BFI | BFI. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.

External links

Preceded by
Ömer Kavur
Golden Orange Award
for Best Director

for Mayıs Sıkıntısı
Succeeded by
Derviş Zaim
Preceded by
Handan İpekçi
Golden Orange Award
for Best Screenplay

for Uzak
Succeeded by
Ömer Kavur-Macit Koper
Preceded by
Zeki Demirkubuz
Golden Orange Award
for Best Director

for Uzak
Succeeded by
Ömer Kavur
Preceded by
Kutluğ Ataman
Golden Orange Award
for Best Director

for İklimler
Succeeded by
Fatih Akın
Preceded by
Julian Schnabel
Best Director, Cannes
for Üç Maymun
Succeeded by
Brillante Mendoza
Preceded by
Xavier Beauvois
Grand Prix, Cannes
for Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da

(shared with Dardenne brothers for The Kid with a Bike)

Succeeded by
Matteo Garrone
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