Ceylan also won the Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for "Uzak" (Distant) in 2002. And the film's two stars, Mehmet Emin Toprak and Muzaffer Özdemir, shared the Best Actor Award. Ceylan was also awarded the Best Film Award for "İklimler" (Climates) at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. This year there are no Turkish films among the 20 films competing for the Palme d'Or.
At a press conference held in Paris the previous day, this year's Cannes jury members, who will choose the winner of the coveted Palme d'Or prize, were announced. Alongside Ceylan, British novelist Hanif Kureishi and U.S. filmmaker James Gray are also on the jury, which will hand out awards after 12 frenzied days of red carpet screenings and showbiz parties. The jury will be chaired by French actress Isabelle Huppert.
Among the other films this year, a wartime rampage by Quentin Tarantino and a trip to Woodstock with Ang Lee will square off with Ken Loach's latest outing in a heavyweight battle for the top prize at the festival.
Big names such as Loach and Spain's Pedro Almodovar dominated the race for the Palme d'Or at the Riviera festival, opposite hot Asian talent, from banned Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye to thriller master Johnnie To.
On the Asian front, French rock icon Johnny Hallyday takes the lead role in "Vengeance," the new crime flick by Hong Kong's To, while Malaysia's Tsai Ming-liang draws on an all-star French cast for his entry "Face."
Chinese filmmaker Lou, who was banned from making films in China for five years when he submitted "Summer Palace" to Cannes without Beijing's approval in 2005, returns with an erotic tale of three-way love, titled "Spring Fever."
Festivalgoers will get a taste of the heady 1960s with Lee's latest offering, "Taking Woodstock," set during the era-defining U.S. rock festival.
Austrian Cannes laureate Michael Haneke is running with "The White Ribbon," a film about fascism in early 20th-century Europe, while "Vincere" by Italy's Marco Bellocchio tells the story of Benito Mussolini's illegitimate son. Nouvelle Vague veteran Alain Resnais is one of four French directors chosen to run, with "Les Herbes Folles" (Wild Grasses), a year after social drama "The Class" clinched France's first Palme d'Or in two decades.
Other French offerings include "Un Prophete" (A Prophet) by Jacques Audiard, who picked up a Best Screenplay Award in 1996 for "Un Hero Tres Discret."