With over half a million admissions, some 400 films shown and 300,000 visitors, Berlin’s film festival ‘Berlinale’ is one of the largest and most important film festivals in the world. The creative, exciting vibe in our city in this week in February is always super energising. And for those of you who couldn’t be here, we’ve shortlisted the Berlinale highlights and 69th Berlin Film Festival winners for you.
The Berlinale Jury
The Berlin film festival jury consisted of 6 film experts. Award winning French actress Juliette Binoche led the competition committee. Film critic Justin Chang, actress Sandra Hüller, author Rajendra Roy, director Sebastián Lelio and producer Trudie Styler joined Binoche.
Golden Bear Prize
The most prestigious prize, the Golden Bear for best film, went to Israeli director Nadav Lapid for his film Synonyms (Synonymes) starring first time actor Tom Mercier. The mostly autobiographical feature film tells the story about a young Israeli man who flees the political situation in Israel and tries to reinvent himself in modern-day Paris.
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
The Silver Bear prize was won by François Ozon for his much talked about docu-drama By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) about the sexual abuse scandals by the Catholic Church. It is a fact-based film featuring the ongoing trial of a group of abused (now grown up) men against the archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Barbarin. In his acceptance speech, Barbarin said he hoped with illustrating child abuse by the Catholic Church his film would make a difference. The film has been one of the most lauded films by critics at the festival.
Best Actor and Actress
The leading acts in the Chinese drama So Long, My Son (Di jui tian chang), Wang Jingchun and Yong Mei, both took away the best actor and best actress prizes. So Long, My Son is an intriguing drama that tells the story about the social repercussions of China’s 40 year long one-child policy. When the lead couple’s only son dies in an accident they are forced to cope with the loneliness and a series of events in China’s history.
Berlinale Glashütte Original – best documentary
The best documentary prize was won by the film Talking About Trees by Suhaib Gasmelbari. The documentary is about a group of film enthusiasts in Sudan who try to save an old cinema.
Want to experience the buzz yourself next year late February (20 Feb – 1 March)? Come visit us at the Amstel House during Berlin Film festival 2020! In the meantime, movie enthusiasts check our favourite art house cinemas in Berlin.
All Berlinale Film Festival Winners
- Golden Bear for Best Film: Synonymes, Nadav Lapid
- Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: Grâce à Dieu, François Ozon
- Berlinale Glashütte Original – Documentary Prize: Talking About Trees, Suhaib Gasmelbari
- Best Actress: So Long, My Son, Yong Mei
- Best Actor: So Long, My Son, Wang Jingchun
- Alfred Bauer Prize: System Crasher, Nora Fingscheidt
- Best First Feature: Oray, Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay
- Golden Bear for Best Short Film: Umbra, Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell
- Short Film Jury Prize: Blue Boy, Manuel Abramovich
- Best Director: I Was at Home, But, Angela Schanelec
- Audi Short Film Award: Rise, Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca
- Best Screenplay: Piranhas, Maurizio Braucci, Roberto Saviano, Claudio Giovannesi
- Outstanding Artistic Contribution, Costume or Set Design: Out Stealing Horses, Rasmus Videbæk
Image credit: Berlin Film Festival