Director - Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Script - Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Anton Chekhov
Camera - Gökhan Tiryaki
Cast - Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbağ, Ayberk Pekcan, Serhat Kılıç, Nejat İşler
Producer - Zeynep Özbatur Atakan
Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes, the new film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) who has gained a reputation as one of the most innovative and accomplished filmmakers of the early twenty-first century, is an immersive, meditative chamber drama about a small-town innkeeper whose cultural pretensions and smug self-satisfaction are fatefully undermined over the course of an eventful winter.
Set in the picturesque and striking landscape of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Winter Sleep focuses on a small village, half-empty, in the wintry off-season. In its three-hour-plus running time it follows a kind of local celebrity, Aydin, an actor who runs a small hotel with his wife, writes a column for the local newspaper, and is toying with the idea of producing a book on Turkish theatre. Like all the villagers, Aydin has time on his hands, but as Ceylan's film progresses, the director carefully strips away the veneer that surrounds this self-satisfied and insular man. Through some magnificent set pieces, beautifully written and performed, we get a close look at Aydin's interactions with his wife, his recently divorced sister, and a family of locals who are tenants of one of his properties.
With a steady, penetrating gaze reminiscent of that which Ingmar Bergman brought to his chamber pieces, Ceylan cuts through the smug self-image of a man who considers himself above the quotidian but is ultimately brought face-to-face with who and what he truly is. Controlled and spare while using its length to its advantage, Winter Sleep is compelling, hypnotic, and absolutely deadly in its aim.
Piers Handling, Toronto IFF


Asia Pacific ’14 – Nominated for Best Film and Achievement in Directing Cannes ’14 – Palme d'Or and FIPRESCI Prize European Film Awards ’14 – Nominated for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenwriter


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