Pigeon flies off with top prize in Valencia

Secret Ingredient and Paper Flags among winners

by Amber Wilkinson

Turkish drama The Pigeon took home the Palmera de Oro (Golden Palm Tree) along with a €25,000 (£22,000) prize at Valencia's La Mostra.

The film, from debut director Banu Sivaci, was praised by the jury for its capacity to "extract visual and aural poetry from a hostile environment where the main character has to fight to preserve his individual liberty".

The film also won the Best Actor award for Kemal Burak Alper, who plays Yusuf, a young man whose pigeons help him cope with his tough life, Best Cinematographer for Arda Yildrian, Best Music, for Canset Özge Can and Best Screenplay for Sivaci.

The Silver Palm Tree went to Secret Ingredient, a dad and son charmer - the first Greek-Macedonian production - which was praised for its combination of humour and drama.

French film Paper Flags, directed by 19-year-old Nathan Ambrosioni, won the Bronze Palm. It's female star Parisian Noémie Merlant was named Best Actress for the role of Charlie, a woman whose older brother comes to stay with her after spending 12 years in jail.

The À Punt prize - for the film that best advances gender equality - was given to Italian Film Nome di donna, by director Marco Tullio Giordana, which deals with sexual harassment.

Earlier in the week, honorary awards were given to Efthymis Filippou and Abdellatif Kechiche.

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