"The Old Oak" by Ken Loach and "About Dry Grasses" by Nuri Bilge Ceylan complement the world hits from Cannes in the program of the 28th Sofia International Film Festival

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Film at the Locarno, Valladolid, Palic, Ghent, Sudbury and Calgary Film Festivals, the Palme d'Or-nominated The Old Oak is the latest and - in the words of legendary British director Ken Loach - his last film. The 87-year-old artist has presented 18 of his 30 feature films in various Cannes programmes over 44 years, has received 16 awards and is one of the two-time winners of the prestigious Palme d'Or - for The Wind that Shakes the Barley and I, Daniel Blake - as well as an honorary Palme d'Or for his contribution to the art of cinema. The filmmaker has again teamed up with screenwriter Paul Laverty, with whom he worked on I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You. The Old Oak is a special place - the last pub left in the town, the last place where people can meet in a former mining community that has been on the road to decline for more than three decades. Pub owner TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner) is trying his last best to hold on to his beloved place, but life is further complicated by the fact that the establishment is beginning to be the scene of bitter disputes, especially after the arrival of Syrian refugees that no one warned anyone about... The Old Oak is a moving drama starring extremely vulnerable people full of hope...

Nuri Bilge Ceylan, winner of the Palme d'Or for Winter Sleep, is known as a skilled image-maker. His latest film, About Dry Grasses, finds us with a young teacher desperately awaiting his move to Istanbul after the obligatory four years teaching in a remote village. The film reveals his relationships with fellow teachers, but also the way he favors one of his female students, and it is no coincidence that he is accused of inappropriate behavior. As the situation becomes clearer, the director adds various characteristics to his characters to make them real, strikingly believable images of people who can be found in any society, whether in the backwoods Turkish countryside or the fast-paced, high-tech cities of Europe and America. Shot amid the wintry harsh landscapes of southeastern Anatolia, About Dry Grasses is another astonishing poetic work from the master of Turkish cinema Ceylan. The film was awarded the Best Actress prize by the Cannes jury for her magnetic performance in the film, Merve Dizdar.

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