Jose here. The Berlin Film Festival came to its end a few hours ago and the big winners came from Romania and Bosnia. Călin Peter Netzer's Child's Pose won the prestigious Golden Bear, while Danis Tanovic's An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker picked up the Jury Grand Prix as well as the Best Actor award for Nazif Mujic.
The winners as selected by the jury headlined by Wong Kar-wai were:
- Golden Bear: Child's Pose by Călin Peter Netzer
- Jury Grand Prix: An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker by Danis Tanović
Tanović's movie has a real life family recreate an event that almost cost them their son's life. Not only does this sound like an interesting project but it also shows a two year trend in the festival where real life people dramatizing events have taken the main prizes. Last year's Golden Bear winner, Caesar Must Die (which is great and just opened in NYC!) had real life inmates put on a Shakespeare play. Tanović has also had a great record with awards, remember his No Man's Land upset Amélie for the Oscar twelve years ago? We might be in the presence of the first Oscar-y movie of 2013...
Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd in Prince Avalanche
- Silver Bear for Best Director: David Gordon Green for Prince Avalanche
- Silver Bear for Best Actress: Paulina García for Gloria
García keeps on perpetuating the fantastic renaissance of Chilean cinema. Chile is having a great year so far, with No (which just opened in the US) being perhaps the only movie that could give Amour a run for its money in the Oscar race. Incidentally Pablo Larraín, who directed No is listed as a producer for Gloria.
- Silver Bear for Best Actor: Nazif Mujić for An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker
A still from Closed Curtain.
- Silver Bear for Best Script: Jafar Panahi for Closed Curtain
Panahi, who is still banned from film making, shot this in his own beach house and once again managed to smuggle the film out of Iran! Just two years ago, his brilliant This Is Not a Film (which was shamefully left out of the Oscar documentary race) caused a commotion in Cannes after it arrived via birthday cake! Is it just me or is Panahi's life much more interesting/politically inspiring than Argo? Sigh.
- Award for an outstanding artistic contribution: Vic and Flo Saw a Bear by Denis Côté
- Teddy Award: W imię... by Małgośka Szumowska (the Teddy, an LGBT-focused award, is chosen by an independent jury)
On an interesting note, the Special Award winner - Vic and Flo Saw a Bear- also features lead characters who are gay, yet the movie wasn't featured in any of the Teddy selections. Makes for an interesting question on how different jury members vote for different things and spread out the wealth.
- Special Mentions:
- Promised Land by Gus Van Sant (whatever happened to this movie Stateside?)
- Layla Fourie by Pia Marais
In recent years, more than ever before, we've seen an overlap of Berlin and Oscar, particularly in the Foreign Language category. Just last year Berlin gave awards to War Witch and A Royal Affair, both of which ended up being nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category this year. Which of these movies are you dying to see? Have you kept up with Tanovic's work after his Oscar win?