Oscars: Turkey Nominates 'Winter Sleep' in Foreign Language Category

Nuri Bilge Ceylan - P 2011
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Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s three-hour-plus epic won the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or and is the director's third nomination in the foreign language category.

Hong Kong -- Turkey has nominated Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s sweeping, Palme d’Or-winning drama Winter Sleep (K?? Uykusu) as its Oscar submission in the foreign-language film category.

The news was announced in a tweet by Omer Celik, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism.

“I hope that Ceylan will achieve the same success on the road to the Oscars as he already has in the international arena,” Celik wrote.

It’s the third time Ceylan has been nominated in the foreign language category, after Once Upon A Time In Anatolia in 2011, and Three Monkeys in 2009.

The 186-minute Winter Sleep is the director's most popular film, having been seen by 237,000 people and taking in nearly $1.3 million (TL 2.7 million) at the box office in its first month.

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Winter Sleep tells the story of a former actor, now a newspaper columnist running a mountaintop hotel, and his troubled relationship with his much younger wife, an activist, and his recently divorced sister who becomes his verbal sparring partner and confidante.

Ceylan is a real Cannes favorite, having competed five times in a row in competition there.

Winter Sleep was co-written by Ceylan and his longtime writing partner and real-life wife, Ebru Ceylan. It stars Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen, Demet Akbag, Ayberk Pekcan, Serhat Mustafa Kilic and Nejat Isler. The movie was produced by Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan.

The winner will be announced at the Academy Awards in February.