18 January 2017

Akademie der Künste presents Kunstpreis Berlin Jubiläumsstiftung 1848/1948 (Berlin Art Prize – Jubilee Endowment 1848/1948): Grand Prize awarded to Emin Alper

Awards Ceremony with Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller and Akademie President Jeanine Meerapfel on 18 March

The 2017 Großer Kunstpreis Berlin (Berlin Art Prize: Grand Prize) has been awarded to Turkish filmmaker Emin Alper. The Akademie der Künste presents this annual award with prize money of €15,000 in consultation with one of its sections on a rotating basis on behalf of the federal state of Berlin. Six artists are also honoured with Berlin Art Prize awards of €5,000 each.

This year the jury of Akademie members Jutta Brückner, Georg Seeßlen and Andres Veiel is honouring a director who, with his two films Beyond the Hill and Frenzy, has shown himself to be an exceptional cineastic storyteller. With these works Alper looked to his protagonists’ inner worlds in developing a profound portrait of a Turkish society torn by daily violence.

Emin Alper was born in Konya, Turkey, and lived in the provincial town of Ermenek until 1985. After graduating from secondary school he studied economics and received a doctorate in modern Turkish history at Bosporus University in Istanbul, where he was an active member of the university film club. He made his first short films while still at engaged with his studies: Mektup (2005) and Rıfat (2006). His debut feature film, Tepenin Ardı: Beyond the Hill (2012), premiered at the Forum of the Berlin International Film Festival. Alper won more than 30 national and international prizes. His second feature film, Abluka (festival title: Frenzy, 2015), was shown at the festivals in Venice (Special Jury Prize), Toronto, Munich, Busan and Hong Kong and received multiple awards. Emin Alper teaches at Istanbul Technical University in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The recipient of the Berlin Art Prize award in the Visual Arts Section is sculptor Axel Anklam. The Architecture Section award is being presented to Spanish architect Francisco Mangado. Composer Elena Mendoza, also from Spain, is being honoured by the Music Section. The Literature Section is paying tribute to writer Annett Gröschner, while the Performing Arts Section is recognizing Valery Tscheplanowa for her acting accomplishments. Greek filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari is receiving the award of the Film and Media Art Section.

The Berlin Art Prize – Jubilee Endowment 1848/1948 was founded by the Berlin City Council in 1948 to commemorate the 1848 March Revolution. Since 1971, the Prize has been awarded by the Akademie der Künste on behalf of the federal state of Berlin. Over the last years, Grand Prize winners included Frank Castorf (2016), Sherko Fatah (2015) and Mathias Spahlinger (2014). The Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, 18 March, at 7 pm at the Akademie’s Pariser Platz location.