Nuri Bilge Ceylan is a big name in Turkish cinema — hoovering up awards like they’re going out of fashion, his trail of brainy auterism can be traced back through two decades of European art cinema. Most recently, his cerebral “Once Upon A Time in Anatolia,” a broodingly philosophical account of the search for a dead body (think “Stand By Me” for grown-ups), was met with awe, gaining a foothold in the global consciousness with a Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, which it shared with the Dardennes’ “The Kid with a Bike.”
It looks as though Cannes 2014 will once again be a Ceylan affair, with his next film “Winter Sleep,” now in production thanks to a contribution from the European Eurimages Fund. The body, a branch of the Council of Europe, promotes the European film industry and provides financial backing for a selection of pictures each year. Other recipients include former Berlin winners Ruben Östlund and Jasmila Žbanić.
“Winter Sleep” is a Turkish-German-French co-production which will star Haluk Bilginer, formerly of the Venice 2012 opener “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” Filming began in January in Cappadocia, Turkey, on what could very well be (if previous form is anything to go by) yet another critical slam-dunk for the Turkish master. Sorry, no plot details yet, but whatever Ceylan is cooking up will surely be something to pay attention to. [IonCinema/Film New Europe]