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Cannes 2014: 'Winter Sleep' wins Palme D'Or at annual film festival

On May 24, the Cannes Film Festival 2014 drew to a close. However, before the usual mass exit from the South of France was on for the hundreds of international participants, Nuri Bilge Ceylan was awarded the Palme D'Or for "Winter Sleep," an early contender for this prestigious prize. The festival's official site revealed the news on Saturday.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan wins the Palme D'Or in Cannes for 'Winter Sleep'
Nuri Bilge Ceylan wins the Palme D'Or in Cannes for 'Winter Sleep'
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Nuri Bilge Ceylan wins top prize at Cannes 2014
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The presentation of the Palm D'Or at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes was offered by Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino, who called out the winner's name much to this filmmaker's surprise as his epic movie beat 17 others to take the festival's top prize.

The 55-year-old was the force behind other big screen winners for this particular event held every year in the South of France, including "Uzak" and "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia." However, Saturday's win was apparently a sweet success that was not suspected by this movie mogul.

By way of background, "Winter Sleep" seeks to entertain the viewers for more than three hours as Haluk Bilginer plays a retired thespian living with his younger wife and his sister, who recently divorced. This drama of domesticity tells the tale of this unlikely clan who operate a hotel in the snow encrusted mountains of Ceylan's native Turkey.

And so, at the Cannes Film Festival for this year as "Winter Sleep" swept all the other movies on offer at this annual film extravaganza to win the Palme D'Or, Nuri Bilge Ceylan gave his acceptance speech.

Upon taking the prize in Cannes, he said, "This year marks the 100th anniversary of Turkish cinema, which is a happy coincidence...I would like to dedicate this Palme d'or to the young people of Turkey and to those who lost their lives during the year."

Ceylan was referring to the 301 workers who recently lost their lives in a horrific coal mine explosion in Soma.