Turkish Drama 'Song of My Mother' Wins Sarajevo Film Festival

Courtesy of Erol Mintas

Melissa Leo and Gael Garcia Bernal added star power to the event in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Song of My Mother, a story set among Kurds living in Istanbul, has won the award for the best film at the 20th Sarajevo International Film Festival. The festival, which wrapped up this weekend, is a showcase of cinema from central and eastern Europe as well as international art house.

The drama is the directorial debut of Turkish filmmaker Erol Mintas.

Song of My Mother also won the best actor honor for Feyyaz Duman. He plays a son who, together with his aging mother, finds himself forced out of his Istanbul neighborhood.

Another directorial debut, Tinatin Kajrishvili's Brides, won Sarajevo’s special jury prize as well as the best actress honor for star Mari Kitia. The Georgian drama, which previously screened at the Berlin and Tribeca film festival, follows the daily life of a woman whose partner, and father of her children, is in prison.

Oscar-winning Bosnian filmmaker Danis Tanovic (No Man's Land) received the festival's lifetime achievement honor, the Heart of Sarajevo prize. Tanovic is currently working on a drama titled What Are You Looking At? exploring the rise in crime in Sarajevo in the 20 years following the Yugoslav war.

Fellow Oscar alum Melissa Leo, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (Amores Perros) and directors Michel Hazanavicius, Mike Leigh and Michael Winterbottom were among this year's attendees of the festival in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Aug. 25, 6:10 p.m. Updated with additional link to THR review.

Twitter: @sroxborough