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Belçim Bilgin

Belçim BilginBelçim Bilgin, born on January 31st, 1983, in Ankara, Turkey is a Turkish film and television actress. Upon completion of her High School education at the Mehmet Emin Resulzade Anatolian Lycee, she was selected for admission to the Ankara Art Theatre, where she studied until 2001.

Leaving school while in the middle of a degree in information management at Hacettepe University, she travelled to Paris for the post-production of director Hiner Saleem's first film, Kilometer Zero.

While working on this film in Paris, she also took classes in the French language at the Sorbonne School of Languages. In 2005, Kilometer Zero was released and entered in the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, as well as a number of other film festivals.

After her second film, Dol ou la Vallée Tambours, was released in 2006, Belcim Bilgin returned to Turkey where she acted in a TV series named Hatırla Sevgili (Remember Beloved) and in a movie named Güz Sancısı (Pains of Autumn) which was directed by Tomris Giritlioğlu.

Under the 2010 European Capital of Culture program, she worked, with the director Hany Abu-Assad, on the Unutma Beni İstanbul (Forget Me Not Istanbul) project consisting of six short films and, subsequently, took on the role of Deniz in the film Aşk Tesadüfleri Sever (Love “Just a Coincidence”) - directed by Ömer Faruk Sorak and released in the February of 2011.

Towards the end of 2011, she took on the role of Zilha in the ongoing series based on Haldun Taner's Keşanlı Ali Destanı (the Legend of Keşanlı Ali) directed by Çağan Irmak.

Belçim BilginPlaying the role of psychologist Eylem in the film, released in January 2012, Kurtuluş Son Durak (Last Stop: Kurtuluş), an entertaining women's story with a message against violence of all kinds.

Belçim then acted alongside such names as the leading actress Monica Bellucci and Yılmaz Erdoğan in the Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi's film entitled Gergedan Mevsimi (Rhino Season).

She has also worked in the film as the executive producer.

Belçim took the leading role in Rezan Yeşilbaş's short film Sessiz / Be Deng, which has received the Palm d'Or for Best Short Film at 65th Cannes Film Festival.

She also took a part in Kelebeğin Rüyası in 2013 - a film set in 1940's Turkey, recounting the lives of Zonguldak-based authors Rüştü Onur and Muzaffer Tayyip Uslu.

Her latest project was Sadece Sen (Only You), where she performed as a blind woman - it released in 2014. She's still working for the film as its executive producer.

She played the leading role in Iraqi Kurdish director Hiner Saleem's film 'Kilomètre Zéro', attended the Cannes Film Festival. In 2011 she played in the movie Kurtuluş Son Durak, Love Likes Coincidences.

In 2013 she played in the movie The Butterfly's Dream directed by Yılmaz Erdoğan. Belçim Bilgin works with the Uçan Süpürge, a women's communication and research association, to prevent child marriage.

Belçim BilginBackstabbing for Beginners began production in Morocco on February 25th.

The movie is at once a witty tale of one man's political coming of age, and a stinging indictment of the hypocrisy that prevailed at the heart of one of the world's most idealistic institutions.

The movie follows a young idealist who "lands his dream job as a program coordinator for the U.N.'s Oil for Food program and is thrown into an already fraught post-war Iraq where government agents and power-hungry nations are circling the country's oil reserves."

Theo James stars in the movie along with Sir Ben Kingsley who portrays his boss, a seasoned diplomat. In Iraq he met with a girl, played by Belcim Bilgin, and they fall in love with each other.

Belçim Bilgin won Best Actress Award in 1st International Bosphorus Film Festival, with her performance in Silent (Be Deng) short film.

She won the Years Best Female Sinema Actress at the Rotabest Awards for her performance in the film Kurtuluş Son Durak at the Rotabest Award ceremony held by Rotaract Clubs.

She also won the Best Actress award from the 19th Capalbio Cinema International Short Film Festival for her performance in Sessiz / Bé Deng.

Belçim Bilgin is a Kurdish girl who, despite her young age, was at the Cannes Film Festival - one of the world's most prestigious cinema festivals.

Belçim BilginThis cheerful Kurdish girl, who draws attention with her self-confident attitude, had her cinematic dreams turn into reality with Zero Kilometer - her first film.

"I was born in Ankara in 1983 and upon finishing highschool, I started University in 2001 by winning the Department of Information Management in Hacettepe University. In my second year, a film project came to me. My University studies did not satisfy me because they were not in a section I was interested in - I have a tendency towards sanataism since I was little, but I am from a conservative family, so I can say that my interest in art was suppressed by my father. I've been involved in acting all the time during my school life, playing in amateur theatrics."

"I always wanted to be an actress in my childhood. At three, I said I want to be an actress when they would ask me what I wanted to be."

"I met Yilmaz Erdogan through a friend. Two weeks later I was invited to Hiner Saleem's casting. If my first film was to be a Kurdish movie, I can say that it made my dream of cinema."

"As a Kurd in Turkey, I am very happy that I played a part in such a film and played a role in transferring what is happening in Iraqi Kurdistan to the world and to Turkey. It is enough for me and my family that this story is taken from real life and it tells the suffering of people living in Iraqi Kurdistan."

"Of course, it is effective enough to have grown up with Kurdish values besides this. As a matter of fact, I see art as an element that universalizes the theme."

"Playing the role of Selma in this film changed me - or Kurdistan changed me, Hariner Salem changed me, loneliness changed me, lots of things together - Because I went to Paris that year because of the film, both to work and to learn French. But obviously this year I have grown so much that I know myself. And everything changed me so much and I became so mature."

Belçim Bilgin"Because Kilometre Zero was my first film, it was natural that I did not have huge expectations. It was a start for me. In addition to this, it is a very real script, a real pain to tell me to be involved in this job and to learn a lot of things I have already given me the anticipation of anticipation."

"But I believed with all my heart that I would get approval from somewhere because I saw Salinger's heart putting all his power in the heart of Hiner Salem and he expressed his intentions very sincerely."

"It was an incredible feeling for me to take part in the same festival with these famous names of cinema. I believed very strongly in our film. I do not know how it feels strange, but even if I had just started a new movie, I was seeing myself here. Maybe the spirit of my grandfather is a sheikh, I do not know but I had a really great belief."

With independent filmmakers under tight restrictions in Iran, several directors and actors have sought sanctuary abroad to continue to pursue their art without restrictions.

The predicament was also the catalyst for one particular film which has drawn attention at the Toronto International Film Festival.

When Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi escaped from Iran three-and-a-half years ago, he kept asking himself, "Why am I alive?"

He had left his homeland, his close friends, and his production team, after Iranian intelligence agents repeatedly threatened him and suggested he 'pack his suitcase and leave.' So in May 2009, he moved to neighbouring Iraq and then into Turkey.

He joined hundreds of artists, activists, journalists, and others who have fled Iran in recent years in search of safety and freedom.

Belçim Bilgin"I had a mental crisis when I left Iran," Ghobadi told the BBC in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"This crisis became so severe that I felt I would die if I didn't make a film."

The result was his first film in exile, Rhino Season, which premiered in Toronto. The 96-minute movie is based on the story of Sadegh Kamangar, a pseudonym for an Iranian Kurdish poet imprisoned for 27 years in Iran.

When he was finally released, he learned that his captors had told his family he was dead.

"When I thought of Mr Kamangar and the suffering of other innocent Iranian prisoners, the story of this movie came to life inside me like a foetus that had to be born," Ghobadi said.

"But filming the movie, which took place in Iraq and Turkey, was a struggle."

"When you want to make a film abroad, you need producers and people who support you," he said.

"You need a team that speaks your language, so he brought members of his production crew from Iran to help."

"Many asked him to keep their names out of the film's credits, fearing punishment back home because of the subject of the movie and the man who made it."

Belçim BilginNot long ago Belçim Bilgin was a university student living in Ankara, Turkey. Her only acting experience was performing in non-professional student productions.

Cast in a pivotal role in Hiner Saleem's Kilometre Zero, the exotic 22-year-old beauty was instantly transformed. She made the leap from a complete unknown to the center of international movie consciousness when the film became the first Kurdish film ever accepted into official competition at the Festival de Cannes.

At the movie's red-carpet premiere at the Grand Theatre Lumiere last month, Bilgin wore a €30,000 designer dress. Given the historical plight of Iraqi Kurds trying to live free of ethnic repression, Bilgin's personal narrative was suddenly infused with a pungent, contemporary relevance.

"Most of my friends are not very political, and they have different emotions about (the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq). But we all agree that it was necessary to remove Saddam from power." she said in accented English.

In Kilometre Zero, the second feature of Kurdish filmmaker Saleem ( Vodka Lemon ), Bilgin plays Selma, a young wife whose husband has been illegally drafted into Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army in 1988.

The story, which details the husband's efforts to return to his village, unfolds at the end of Iraq's eight-year conflict with Iran.

Saleem, who resides in Paris, says he based the story on the experiences of his brother. Bilgin grew up in a close, protective Kurdish family in Ankara. "I went to the university there, and I had a good life," she says.

Belçim Bilgin"I didn't have any real training. I did some amateur theater productions. For one of the plays I did, I got a special prize," she remembers.

Through a friend, Bilgin learned about an open casting call for Saleem's film.

"I went in with the attitude that he was going to pick me," she shrugs. She worked for two months of the film's grueling five-month desert shoot. The experience was jolting, far removed from her conservative, orderly life.

The movie's visibility at Cannes trained the focus on the demands for freedom and political and cultural autonomy for the Kurds, she says.

"Cannes was about showing off a part of my society, of my family, of what's important. For me, I have to stay focused. It's about moderation. Right now, everything's about the opportunity of moving on to better things," she says.

Sessiz (Silent), a film by Turkish director Rezan Yesilbas, won the Palme d'Or in the short-length film category at the 65th Cannes Film Festival on May 27th, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The film had previously won the Best Film Award at the Akbank Short Film Festival.

Starring Belçim Bilgin Erdogan and Cem Bender, Yesilbas' fourteen-minute short film is set in 1984 and centers on a prisoner and his wife.

The film was shot in the eastern province of Diyarbakır with support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Belçim Bilgin"I dedicate this award to all the silent women of my country, who were left alone," Yeşilbas said at the award ceremony with the help of Bilgin, who joined him on stage to translate.

Yeşilbas' short film Hukum (Judgement) was the first film of his 'Trilogy of Women.'

Hukum has been screened in many national and international film festivals. The second film of the trilogy, Sessiz was made in 2011. The script for the final film in the trilogy has been written, but filming has not begun. Yesilba has also been working as the assistant of Turkish director Zeki Demirkurbuz since 2008.

Only 10 films out of 4,500 competed in Cannes' short film category this year. Sessiz was the fourth Turkish film to compete at Cannes in the short film category.

The other films were Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Koza (Cocoon), Ebru Ceylan's Kiyida (On the Coast) and Belma Bas' Zefir (Zephyr).

Turkish cinema has swooped up yet another award at the 65th Cannes Film Festival held over the weekend. Rezan Yeşilbaş's short film Sessiz / Be Deng, which was shown at the festival, was the recipient of the Palm d'Or for Best Short Film.

This win makes Yeşilbaş the fourth Turkish director, following Yılmaz Güney, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Fatih Akın to take the stage at Cannes in order to receive an award.

Upon receiving the Palm d'Or, Rezan Yeşilbaş stated, "I want to dedicate this award to all of the women in my country that are silent and have been left on their own."

The film, starring Belçim Bilgin and Cem Bender is based in 1984 and tells the story of a woman named Zeynep and her attempt to deliver a new pair of shoes to her husband who is serving time in Diyarbakır, even though it is forbidden to do so according to prison regulations.

Belçim BilginFilmography
Ports of Call
Backstabbing for Beginners
Annemin Yarası (2016)
Kördüğüm (2016)-Naz
Çalsın Sazlar (2014)
Sadece Sen (2014)-Hazal
9on (2014)
Kelebeğin Rüyası (2013)-Suzan Özsoy
Sessiz (2012)
Fasle Kargadan (2012)
Gergedan Mevsimi (2012)
Kurtuluş Son Durak (2011)
Keşanlı Ali Destanı (2011) - Zilha
Aşk Tesadüfleri Sever (2011) - Deniz Usman
Güldünya (2009)
Yol Arkadaşım (2008-2009) - Figen
Güz Sancısı (2008) - Nemika
Dol (2007) - Taman
Hatırla Sevgili (2006) - Defne Gürsoy
Sıfır Kilometre (2005) - Selma



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