UPDATE: For the second year in a row, a female filmmaker has scooped the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. After Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body And Soul won the prize last year — and is currently in the running for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar — Romanian filmmaker Adina Pintilie, scored with her first feature tonight. Her Touch Me Not is an exploration of the boundaries of intimacy that blends the borders between reality and fiction (and has a lot of nudity). She said tonight that the film proposes an opening to dialogue, and is a moment to celebrate.
Presaged by his presence in the audience tonight, Bill Murray was on stage to accept the Silver Bear Best Director prize for Wes Anderson. His Isle Of Dogs opened the festival way back on February 15 and Murray charmed the audience upon accepting, “I never thought I’d go to work as a dog and come home with a bear. I’m glad I was deputized to watch the house here in case anything like this broke out… I’d like to be one more person from America to say ‘Ich bin ein Berliner Hund‘” (which translates to “I am a Berlin dog”).
Berlin was hit with a bit of controversy early on this year surrounding the #MeToo movement as a decision was made not to heed calls of swapping the red carpet for black. Festival chief Dieter Kosslick, whose replacement after next year has made its own swells, said tonight, “When we started off there were quite a number of serious things happening. And the #MeToo debate I don’t want to embark on it again. It has shown that in the films you can react and we’ve seen extraordinary and wonderful films to show us that things can be different.”
I’m among many who chide the Berlin Fest for being overstuffed and esoteric. If you’re not a critic devoted to the competition or Panorama titles (the two main sections) then it’s possible to miss out. But an important footnote to Berlin is also that it throws off movies we do end up talking about further down the line. Witness On Body And Soul and its fellow Oscar nominee A Fantastic Woman. What this year’s prizes will mean next year we’ll flesh out as time marches on.
In the meantime, it’s notable that some of the more high profile titles, like Thomas Stuber’s In The Aisles and Erik Poppe’s U – July 22, were left out of the main awards.
Jury president Tom Tykwer noted at the start of the proceedings that people might be surprised. He said, “We found out that what we would like to give an award for what cinema can do today, but for what it will be able to do one day.”
PREVIOUS, 10 AM PT: The 68th Berlin Film Festival draws to a close tonight with winners of the Golden and Silver Bears to be unveiled as the awards ceremony kicks off at the Berlinale Palast in the German capital. The festival ran over 10 days of wintry weather and began with Wes Anderson’s opening night film, in competition, Isle Of Dogs from Fox Searchlight. Bill Murray is in the house tonight, meaning a prize could be afoot.
Other titles that have generated buzz include The Heiresses by Marcelo Martinessi, Thomas Stuber’s In The Aisles and Erik Poppe’s U – July 22. The latter is sadly a timely title that is set on the day of the 2011 Norway attacks which left 77 dead in Oslo and at a summer camp on the island of Utoya.
Berlin last year jump-started the careers of two pics that are up for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar next month: Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body And Soul and Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman. So don’t be surprised to see tonight’s winners being talked about next year at this time.
This year’s main jury is headed by German filmmaker Tom Tykwer. Follow along below for the winners as they are announced (and for previously announced winners, see here).
Golden Bear for Best Film
Touch Me Not, dir: Adina Pintilie
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
Twarz, dir: Malgorzata Szumowska
Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize
The Heiresses, dir: Marcelo Martinessi
Silver Bear for Best Director
Wes Anderson, Isle Of Dogs
Silver Bear for Best Actress
Ana Brun, The Heiresses
Silver Bear for Best Actor
Anthony Bajon, La Prière
Silver Bear Best Screenplay
Manuel Alcalá and Alonso Ruizpalacios, Museo
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution
Costume and Production Design, Dovlatov
Glashutte Original Documentary
Waldheims Walzer, dir: Ruth Beckmann
Glashutte Original Documentary, Special Mention
Ex Pajé, dir: Luiz Bolognesi
Best First Feature
Touch Me Not, dir: Adina Pintile
Best First Feature, Special Mention
An Elephant Standing Still, dir: Bo Hu
Golden Bear Best Short Film
The Men Behind The Wall, dir: Ines Moldavsky
Silver Bear Jury Prize Short Film
Imfura, dir: Samuel Ishimwe
Audi Short Film Award
Solar Walk, dir: Reka Bucsi