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Norayr Kasper, CSC, Wins the Golden Orange Award for Best Cinematography for the Feature Film Zenne Dancer at the Antalya International Film Festival

Zenne Dancer, a groundbreaking Turkish indie feature film, won five awards at the largest film festival in Turkey. Norayr Kasper, a Canadian cinematographer of Armenian descent, was awarded Best Cinematography. The film also received the Best Film Award by the Turkish Cinema Critics Guild, Best First Film, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.

Zenne Dancer sets Ahmet Yildiz’s tragedy against a backdrop of rigid patriarchy and the clash between traditional values and urban modernity. It is the first Turkish feature film to expose the degrading treatment of homosexuals in the Turkish military.  Ahmet Yildiz was 26 when he was gunned down outside his home. Ahmet’s father, who is being tried in absentia for allegedly murdering his son, has been evading justice for the past three years.

“I am honored to receive this recognition of my work by the Golden Orange jury,” says Norayr Kasper, who is the cinematographer of over 30 films, including Atom Egoyan’s CALENDAR. “Mehmet and Caner involved me from the beginning stages of this project and invited me to contribute with a specific style toward constructing a distinct visual narrative,” continues Kasper, “their sensibilities, dedication to excellence, and attention to detail greatly impressed me. I was also drawn to the subject matter, and its relevance in raising awareness of this important issue.”

Kasper and Binay met in 2008 at the Golden Apricot Film Festival in Armenia. Binay’s documentary film “Whispering Memories,” which tells the story of converted Armenians as a result of the Armenian Genocide, was screened at the 5th Annual Golden Apricot Film Festival.

The awards ceremony was broadcasted nationwide and in Europe on NTV News Channel. Among online comments, award-winning novelist Elif Safak wrote about Zenne Dancer, “a groundbreaking, captivating Turkish movie that’ll speak to our consciousness.”

It is worth noting that Harutyun Khachatryan’s documentary “Border” won Best Film at the Golden Orange Film Festival in 2009.

Co-director Mehmet Binay accepted the award on Mr. Kasper’s behalf and thanked him for “painting this film as a tableau.”

The Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival congratulates Norayr Kasper for his award.

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