Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek received the special SIAE Award on Thursday at the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival, which began amid strict safety measures and fewer celebrities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ozpetek was awarded for photographing life from different angels and nourishing the community which he lives with things he brought from Turkey.

“It is a great feeling to be awarded with this. I am so happy, so honored,” Ozpetek told Anadolu Agency after the ceremony.

Ozpetek has shot many of his movies in Italy, where he has been based for years, including the latest, La Dea Fortuna (The Fortune Goddess), which was successfully screened in Italian theatres before the COVID-19 outbreak hit the country hard in late February.

The popular director – who has been often celebrated by the Venice Film Festival – received the SIAE Award as part of the festival’s authors section.

The prize was assigned by the Italian association of authors and editors, which said it was “an homage to a new classic of Italian cinema, an author who – through his intimate stories and the charms of his Turkey – has been picturing our daily life for more than 20 years.”

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak

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