39th Istanbul Film Festival International Competition and National Documentary Competition awards presented

39th Istanbul Film Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) with the support of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, announced the winners of the International Competition and National Documentary Competition at the ceremony held at Salon İKSV, on Tuesday evening, 20 October. Twelve narrative feature and eleven documentary films vied in the competitions. The films were screened at Cinemaximum Nişantaşı City's and Kadıköy movie theatres, as well as on the festival's online screening platform filmonline.iksv.org.

Onur Ünlü, Şebnem İşigüzel, Kerem Ayan / Photo: Ergün Baydı

Presented by the director of the festival Kerem Ayan, the 39th Istanbul Film Festival’s Award Ceremony saw the announcement of the awards of the International Competition and National Documentary Competition, as well as the FIPRESCI Awards. The awards of the National Competition and the National Short Film Competition were announced in July.

Esin Küçüktepepınar, Kerem Ayan / Photo: Ergün Baydı

International Competition

The International Competition Jury was presided over by director Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, and comprises of actress Hazar Ergüçlü, director Burak Çevik, film historian and curator Jasmin Basic, and distributor Anthony Bobeau.

Kerem Ayan, Burak Çevik, Tayfun Pirselimoğlu / Photo: Ergün Baydı

In this year’s International Competition, 12 films were evaluated to receive the grand prize of the festival, the Golden Tulip. The Golden Tulip Award, presented in memory of Şakir Eczacıbaşı, comes with monetary prizes granted by the Eczacıbaşı Group––the director of the best film receives 10,000 Euros, granting 50,000 TL to its Turkish distributor, and the Special Jury Prize corresponds to 5,000 Euros.

The Golden Tulip in the International Competition in memory of Şakir Eczacıbaşı was awarded to Atlantis directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych.

The winner of the International Competition Special Jury Prize is Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine by Alex Piperno.

The jury also decided to give a Special Mention in the International Competition to Camila Morrone for her performance in Mickey and the Bear by Annabelle Attanasio.

The inaugural virtual Audience Award in the International Competition was given to Son–Mother by Mahnaz Mohammadi.

National Documentary Competition

Eleven films competed this year in the National Documentary Competition, which was initiated by the Istanbul Film Festival in order to support documentary filmmakers and documentary film production in Turkey. The National Documentary Competition Jury consisted of director Rûken Tekeş, director-producer Yasin Ali Türkeri, and director-actress Ezgi Kılınçaslan. The Best Documentary Award in the National Documentary Competition is supported by İKSV with a monetary award of 10,000 TL.

Serdar Kökçeoğlu, Zeynep Dadak, Yasin Ali Türkeri, Rûken Tekeş / Photo: Ergün Baydı

The Best Documentary Award was given to Maddenin Halleri / Phases of Matter by Deniz Tortum.

Anna Maria Aslanoğlu, Öykü Canlı, Yasin Ali Türkeri, Rûken Tekeş / Photo: Ergün Baydı

The jury decided to extend Special Mentions to two documentaries: Mimaroğlu / Mimaroglu: The Robinson of Manhattan Island by Serdar Kökçeoğlu and Ah Gözel İstanbul / Invisible to the Eye by Zeynep Dadak.


The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) presented an award within the International Competition. The FIPRESCI Jury comprised of Marta Balaga from Finland, Natalia Moussienko from Ukraine, and Fırat Ataç from Turkey.

The winner of the FIPRESCI Award in the International Competition is Atlantis by Valentyn Vasyanovych (Ukraine.)

Axolotl Screenwriting Awards

Screenwriting Awards by Axolotl were also announced during the Istanbul Film Festival’s Award Ceremony. The publication, which supported Istanbul Film Festival National Competition’s Best Screenplay Award with a monetary reward, awarded screenwriting prizes in four different categories: Fiction, Genre, First Script, and Ulus Baker Non-Narrative Film Script.