'The Idol' Wins Turkey's Antalya Film Festival

The Idol Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

Hany Abu-Assad's film tells the true story of a young Palestinian who went on to win the 'Arab Idol' TV singing competition.

Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad took the top Golden Orange award at Turkey's Antalya Film Festival on Sunday for his film The Idol.

The pic tells the true story of Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf's journey from a refugee camp in Gaza to singing stardom when he won the Arab Idol TV talent contest.

A rare feel-good movie from Palestine, the movie impressed the judges at the fest, which is one of Turkey's top film showcases and runs both international and local competition sections.

Antalya's best actor prize went to Haydar Sisman for his role in Cold of Kalandar, while Italy's Alba Rohrwacher was named best actress for her role in Laura Bispuri's Sworn Virgin.

Best screenplay honors went to Swedish filmmaker Alexandra-Therese Keining for Girls Lost, a provocative drama about gender identity.

Serbian helmer Goran Radovanovic's Enclave got the nod for best film score, while local title Memories of the Wind, a drama set in 1943 when nominally neutral Turkey was working closely with the Nazis under a non-aggression pact, received the audience prize. 

In the national film section of the festival, Tolga Karacelik was named best director for his feature The Ivy.