Turkey’s Emin Alper won the Heart of Sarajevo award Thursday for best director at the 25th Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The award ceremony took place at the National Theater in Bosnia’s capital, officially ending the competitive part of the largest film festival in the region.
Alper said it was an honor for him to receive the award.
“Always invite me, I always come. Thank you to everyone,” he said.
Alper directed the drama film “A Tale of Three Sisters” about three young girls taken from a poor village in central Anatolia and given to affluent foster families.
Bosnia-born director Ena Sendijarevic’s “Take Me Somewhere Nice” received the Heart of Sarajevo for best feature film from the jury, chaired by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund.
Irina Jambonas was named best actress for her performance in the movie “Rounds” while Levan Gelbakhiani was named best actor for his role in “And Then We Danced”.
The best documentary was “When Persimmons Grew”, directed by Hilal Baydarov, while the Human Rights Award went to Reka Szabo for “The Euphoria of Being”.
A special jury award went to Sajra Subasic for the documentary “Stack of Material”.
The best short film award went to “The Last Image of Father” by director Stefan Djordjevic, and special mention of the jury was given to Adi Voicu for “The Last Trip To The Seaside”.
A record number of 270 films in 18 different categories and representing 56 countries were shown during this year’s festival.
Sixty-eight films had their world premier and 12 their international premiere.
Fifty-three films competed for the Heart of Sarajevo award.
The festival ends Friday with screenings of award-winning films.
The Sarajevo Film Festival was launched in 1995 as an act of defiance towards the end of the 43-month siege of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb forces and is now one of the most important cultural events in Europe, attracting thousands each year.