Monday, February 22, 2010

Berlin Film Festival Winners 2010

SERIES: Major Film Festivals

60th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) awards their Bears at annual gala.

The second major international film festival of 2010, the 60th Anniversary edition of the Berlin International Film Festival (BIFF) closed last night with the presentation of their Gold and Silver Bears, and other awards. The Berlinale, as it is known in Europe, begins the annual official 2010 award season for Europe, as did last month's Sundance (SFF) in the U.S.

Berlin, held in what was known as West Germany, was originally known for screening films that otherwise would not have been shown anywhere outside of the former West and East Germany, the USSR, Yugoslavia, etc. They hold to their basic tradition today in the united Germany, primarily showing German film, but also showing films from Russia and other Eastern Europe countries.

Honorary Golden Bears for lifetime achievement in cinema went to actress Hanna Schygulla and the screenwriter and director Wolfgang Kohlhaase. Schygulla’s name is inseparably connected with the late West German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s films. Wolfgang Kohlhaase adopted a course that was new for DEFA (the publicly-owned film studio in the German Democratic Republic, the former East Germany). Motion pictures in which Schygulla or Kohlhaase had a part were shown in separate programs during the festival. For German cinema, finally a meeting of West and East.

I have had the privilege of seeing many of the films from DEFA and UFA made before unification. For anyone interested in German films made at DEFA, the DEFA Film Library is now at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It is the only archive and study center outside Europe devoted to the study of a broad spectrum of films by East German filmmakers or related to East Germany from 1946 to the present. Here's the UMASS link.

But, you came here to see the winners. Roman Polanski won the Silver Bear for Best Director for his latest film, THE GHOST WRITER. He did not attend. The major movie winners are, HONEY; IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE; HOW I ENDED THIS SUMMER; and APART TOGETHER. Here are the major winners by award, name of film, and director (where appropriate):

GOLDEN BEAR FOR THE BEST FILM - HONEY (Bal, Turkey) directed by Semih Kaplanoglu;

JURY GRAND PRIX SILVER BEAR - IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE (Eu cand vreau sa fluier, fluier, Romania) by Florin Serban;

SILVER BEAR FOR BEST DIRECTOR - Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER (France, Germany, UK), based on the novel The Ghost by Robert Harris, who adapted the screenplay;

SILVER BEAR FOR BEST ACTRESS Shinobu Terajima in CATEPILLAR (Kyatapirâ, Japan) by Koji Wakamatsu;

SILVER BEAR FOR BEST ACTOR - Sergei Puskepalis for HOW I ENDED THIS SUMMER (Kak ya provel etim letom, Russia) by Alexei Popogrebsky;


SILVER BEAR FOR THE BEST SCRIPT - Wang Quan'an and Na Jin for APART TOGETHER (Tuan Yuan, China) by Wang Quan'an;

ALFRED BAUER PRIZE, awarded in memory of the Festival founder, for a work of particular innovation - IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE by Florin Serban.

For all awards, download the .pdf file here. Click the title of this post to link to the Official Festival Site. To find out more about individual films at a glance, visit the IMDb.

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