Oscars: Turkey Selects 'Cold of Kalandar' for Foreign-Language Category

COLD OF KALANDAR Still 1 - H 2016
Courtesy of Karafilm Productions

Mustafa Kara's rural drama premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival where it won awards for best film and director.

Turkey has submitted Mustafa Kara's rural drama Cold of Kalandar to the Oscars in the foreign-language category.

The tale of a village family struggling to survive in a mountain village high above the Black Sea, it opened in Turkish cinemas September 16.

Kara's film, which he co-wrote with scriptwriter Bilal Sert, had its world premiere at the Tokyo Film Festival where it won best director and best film.

Critically acclaimed for its sensitive portrayal of human life in a harsh environment, The Hollywood Reporter's review dubbed it "a beautiful slow burner."

"We wanted to portray the drama of the story while also capturing the natural environment of the region, which is not something typically covered in Turkish film," Kara told Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah. "Therefore we chased this ambition and shot the film during four seasons."

The film, produced by Karafilm Productions and Katapult Film, stars Haydar Sisman, Nuray Yesilaraz, Hanife Kara and Ibrahim Kuvvet. World sales are through Karafilm Productions.

Turkey has been submitting  films to the Academy Awards regularly since 1989 but has never been nominated, though in 2008 Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys made the January preliminary shortlist of nine.

From next month cineastes can see a selection of recent foreign-language Oscar submissions from Europe online via European Film Promotion's Westwind showcase. Audiences in Russia will also have a chance to see the seletion at cinemas October 19-23 during the 4th annual Westwind presentation in St Petersburg.