Hosted by Hasan Kalyoncu University (HKÜ), the Golden Baklava Film Academy International Film Festival concluded its seventh iteration on Thursday, bringing together students, cinephiles, up-and-coming directors and actors with more experienced and weathered members of the industry.
A total of 1,368 student films from 98 countries applied to the festival, which was held on the campus of HKÜ. Directors-to-be had the opportunity to improve themselves with workshops, film screenings, interviews and cultural trips they attended throughout the festival.
Burak Sergen, a successful actor in the world of theater, cinema and television, was the head of the jury of the festival, while director Mesude Erarslan Tekin, journalist and television programmer Gülay Afşar, documentary film director and academician professor Alev Fatoş Parsa and HKÜ Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Communication professor Renkin Küçükerdoğan were among the jury members. During the three-day festival, students conducted interviews with both the jury members and popular names from the cinema world. Uğur Yücel, who has an important place in Turkish cinema as an actor and director, was the surprise guest of the festival.
At the Golden Baklava Film Festival, 13 films were awarded in the fiction and documentary categories. In the fiction category, the film "Stamp" directed by Lovro Mrdjen won the first prize, while the Special Jury Award in the fiction category was given to the film "Junkyard," directed by Sacha Bitar.
In the documentary category, director Ahmed Abuzenada won the first prize with the film “Trucage.” The winners of the Special Jury Award in the documentary category were directors Benjamin Grinand and Lucien Lepoutre with the film “Days of Fishing.”
The Special Audience Award, which was determined by audience votes for the first time this year, went to the movie “Contentment,” directed by Ernesto Redondo Vergera. The Zeugma Culture – Art Special Award was given to Mert Sata and Berk Sata for the movie "Çerçeve” (“The Frame").
Moreover, the "Hasan Kalyoncu Special Award," which is given every year in memory of the late Hasan Kalyoncu, who laid the foundations of HKÜ in 2008 and left an important work not only for Gaziantep but also for the whole of Turkey, was given to “Arayış” (“Odyssey”), directed by Ömer Güler, this year.