Bears are out

Tags: Films

Politically charged themes walked away with accolades at the Berlin filmfest

For the second time in a row, an Indian film lifted the Crystal Bear in Generation Plus category in Berlin. Malayalam filmmaker Jayaraj’s Ottal was awarded the Crystal Bear by the Children Jury. This film had earlier swept all the major awards at the International Film Festival of Kerala, including the top award, the Golden Conch, in December earlier. While the filmmaker could not make it to Berlin due to visa issues, the producer and actor were there to receive the award. Last year, Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak won the same honours in Berlin.

The Golden Bear went to Italian Gianfranco Rosi’s Fuocoammare, the documentary depicting the refugee problem. With the whole of Europe facing the refugee issue, it doesn’t really come as surprise that the festival, which is known to consider the prevailing political and human right situations, has chosen this film for the top awards.

Another politically sensitive film, Death in Sarajevo by Bosnian Danis Tanovic won the second best honour of the festival, the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.

The approximately eight-hour long A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery by Lav Diaz, depicting the revolution in Philippines during the 1890s against Spanish occupational forces, was awarded the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives. Silver Bear for the Best Director went to Mia Hansen Love for her sensitive portrayal of a philosophy teacher, who reinvents her life after her husband walks out on her for another woman in the French film Things to Come.

The Silver Bear for the Best Actress went to Trine Dyrholm for her performance in Thomas Vinterberg’s Commune. The Silver Bear for the Best Actor to Majid Mastoura for his work in the Tunisian film Hedi by the debut filmmaker Mohamed Ben Attia. Poland’s Tomasz Wasilewski went with a Silver Bear for the Best Script in The United States of Love, helmed by him. Mark Lee Bing was awarded the Silver Bear for his cinematography in the Chinese film Crosscurrent by Yang Chao.

Golden Bear for the Best Short film went to the Portuguese film Batrachian’s Ballad by Leonor Teles and the Silver Bear in this category went to A Man Returned by Mahdi Fleifel.

Audi Short Film Award went to Anchorage Prohibited by Chiang Wei Liang. The Grand Prix of the Generation K Plus International Jury for the best feature-length film was awarded to Young Wrestlers by Mete Gümürhan.

24 Weeks, directed by Anne Zohra Berrached, the beautiful German film, sensitively holding up the rights of women to take decisions on abortions, had to remain content with the Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas.


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