Born in Istanbul in 1959, Nuri Bilge Ceylan traced an unconventional artistic path. While studying chemical and electrical engineering during politically tumultuous times in his country, Ceylan discovered his passion for photography during his university years, as he also began to develop his love for cinema by participating in optional courses and student-organized film screenings. After spending time in London and Kathmandu, still uncertain about his future, he enlisted in the army, where he unexpectedly found his calling in filmmaking. In 1995, he directed his first short film Cocoon (1993), made using negatives he had brought back from a trip to Russia and expired film stock provided by Turkish national television, and was selected for the Cannes Film Festival's short film competition. This marked the beginning of his cinematic career. Ceylan's early work paved the way for his remarkable "Provincial Trilogy," consisting of The Small Town (1997), Clouds of May (1999), and Distant (2002), the latter of which earned him the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. Celebrated internationally, the trilogy is known for its low-budget productions, amateur casts, and Ceylan's multifaceted involvement, including writing, sound, editing, and more, in addition to directing. In 2006, Climates received the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes, and in 2008, Three Monkeys won the Best Director Award at the same festival. In 2011, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia again secured the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, and in 2014, his masterpiece Winter Sleep was awarded the Palme d'Or. One of the most prominent Turkish directors today, Ceylan is known for his static shots and long takes, often shot in natural settings, and his distinctive use of sound and silence to explore themes such as individual alienation, the monotony of daily life, loneliness, and human communication.

© Photo by Paul Grandsard