Nuri Bilge Ceylan

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Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Born (1959-01-26) 26 January 1959 (age 55)
Istanbul, Turkey
Alma mater Boğaziçi University,
Mimar Sinan University
Occupation Film director, Photographer
Years active 1995 - present
Spouse(s) Ebru Ceylan, actress

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈnuːri ˈbilɟe ˈdʒejlan]; born 26 January 1959 in Istanbul1) is a Turkish photographer, screenwriter, actor, and film director. He is married to filmmaker, photographer, and actress Ebru Ceylan with whom he co-starred in Climates.


Ceylan's love of photography started at the age of 15, and he developed an interest in cinema at 22. While studying at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, he participated in cinema and photography clubs and he took passport-style photos to make pocket money. After graduating from university with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, he went to London and Kathmandu, Nepal, to decide what to do in life. Then he went back to Ankara, Turkey, to do military service. When he was in the army, he found out how to give shape to the rest of his life "cinema".2


Koza (Cocoon) (Short Film)

Ceylan's first short film Koza (Cocoon) was screened in the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, which was nominated for a Palme d'Or for Best Short Film there.

Kasaba (1997)

He received many awards with his 1997 debut feature Kasaba ("Small Town" or "The Town"), including the Caligari Film Award at the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI prize, the Special Prize of the Jury at the 1998 Istanbul International Film Festival, and the Silver Award at the 1998 Tokyo International Film Festival.

Clouds of May (1999)

His second feature film was Clouds of May (1999), which won a Golden Orange for Best Director at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in 1999 and where Ceylan won a FIPRESCI Award at the 2000 European Film Awards.

Uzak (2002)

His third feature Uzak ("Distant") (2002) received many awards including the Grand Jury Prize or the Grand Prix and the Best Actor Prize at Cannes (and Ceylan also won at 2004 Cannes a France Culture Award for "Foreign Cineaste of The Year"), Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor at the 2002 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, a Silver Hugo/Special Jury Prize at the 2003 Chicago International Film Festival, Best Turkish Director, Best Turkish Film, and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2003 Istanbul International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI Film of the Year at the 2003 San Sebastian International Film Festival, and was praised internationally.

Iklimler (2006)

His fourth film, Iklimler ("Climates"), won the FIPRESCI Movie Critics' Award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival3 and received international praise by critics and experts. The film won five awards at the 2006 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, bringing him the "Best Director" title.4 He also starred in the film alongside his wife, Ebru Ceylan. During the preparation of this movie, Ceylan turned his attentions to photography again. From this point on, he began devoting his time to both cinema and photography. "Turkey Cinemascope" is a book of Panoramic Photographs of Turkey by Nuri Bilge Ceylan between the years 2003 and 2009.5

Üç Maymun (2008)

He won the best director award in the 2008 Cannes Film Festival for his fifth film Üç Maymun ("Three Monkeys").6 At the end of his speech, Ceylan stated, "I dedicate this award to my beautiful and lonely country, which I love passionately". Ceylan has also been selected as a juror for the International Competition in 2009 Cannes Film Festival.7 He won the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing. It was the first Turkish-language film which made the January short list in Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film category.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

His sixth film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia premiered in Competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival,8 where it won the Grand Jury Prize or Grand Prix award there, and has also been selected as Turkey's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.910

Winter Sleep (2014)

His upcoming film Winter Sleep has been selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.11


Ceylan's films have often been described as high art.12 He deals with the estrangement of the individual, natural existentialism, monotonous real human lives, and fundamental details of life. He uses static shots and long takes, usually in natural ambience, as well as menacing silences along his "stream-of-consciousness aesthetics". He is known for filming his protagonist from behind, which, in his view, leaves the audiences to speculate on the brooding emotions of characters whose faces are obscured. Having started his career as a photographer, Ceylan makes films on an extremely low budget. His casts generally consist of amateur actors, most of which are his family members, including his mother and father. The characters in Ceylan's movies appear to be people from everyday life.

Named his ten favorite films in the 2012 Sight & Sound Greatest Films Poll: Andrei Rublev (1966), Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), L'Avventura (1960), L'Eclisse (1962), Late Spring (1949), A Man Escaped (1956), Mirror(1974), Persona (1966), The Shame (1968)and Tokyo Story (1953).[1]

Awards and accolades


Films, Television & Video
Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Producer Writer
1995 Cocoon (Original: Koza) Yes Yes Yes Short film
1998 Small Town (Original: Kasaba) Yes Yes Yes Feature debut
2000 Clouds of May (Original: Mayıs Sıkıntısı) Yes Yes Yes
2002 Distant (Original: Uzak) Yes Yes Yes
2006 Climates (Original: İklimler) Yes Yes Yes Also actor
2008 Three Monkeys (Original: Üç Maymun) Yes Yes Yes
2011 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Original: Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da) Yes Yes Yes
2014 Winter Sleep (Original: Kış Uykusu) Yes Yes Yes


  1. ^ Kalyoncu, Cemal A (2 June 2008). "Ürkek Ceylan Oscar yolunda". Aksiyon. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-28.  (Turkish)
  2. ^ "Nuri Bilge Ceylan-Biography". Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Climates". Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  4. ^ 2006 Altın Portakal Ödülleri (Turkish)
  5. ^ Nuri Bilge Ceylan-Photography, . Retrieved 2011-10-26
  6. ^ Best Director to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for "Three Monkeys", Festival de Cannes
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  9. ^ "Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da Oscar'a aday adayı oldu". Haberturk. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  10. ^ "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  11. ^ "2014 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Romney, Jonathan (16 May 2008). Three Monkeys (Uc Maymun), Screen Daily. Retrieved on 2008-10-21.

External links

Preceded by
Ömer Kavur
Golden Orange Award
for Best Director

for Mayıs Sıkıntısı
Succeeded by
Derviş Zaim
Preceded by
Handan İpekçi
Golden Orange Award
for Best Screenplay

for Uzak
Succeeded by
Ömer Kavur-Macit Koper
Preceded by
Zeki Demirkubuz
Golden Orange Award
for Best Director

for Uzak
Succeeded by
Ömer Kavur
Preceded by
Kutluğ Ataman
Golden Orange Award
for Best Director

for İklimler
Succeeded by
Fatih Akın
Preceded by
Julian Schnabel
Best Director, Cannes
for Üç Maymun
Succeeded by
Brillante Mendoza
Preceded by
Xavier Beauvois
'Grand Prix, Cannes
Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da

(shared with Dardenne brothers' The Kid with a Bike) '

Succeeded by
Matteo Garrone

Creative Commons License