64th Berlinale Film Festival Announces Prize Winners

Bai Ri Yan Huo wins the Golden Bear

The 64th Berlinale Film Festival Jury boasts  a varied and accomplished handful of people from all areas of the film industry- Christoph Waltz (who last year won an oscar in Tarantino’s Django Unchained) to the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Mitra Farahani to name but a few. After ten days of the usual endless speculation and wondering, the award winners were announced today.

Black Coal, Thin Ice won the coveted Golden Bear for the best film out of the 20 movies in the competition. Receiving his award, director Bai Ri Yan Huo said “I’m finding it hard to believe that this dream has come true, it hasn’t come true in such a long time”. The film, set in Northern China, is a noirish thriller that begins in 1999 with the discovery of a horrific murder. Five years on, another series of mysterious murders occurs. Detective Zhang discovers that all the victims are connected to a young woman Wu Zhizhen, who works at a dry cleaners.  To complicate things he finds himself falling in love with her. Liao Fan, who plays the detective Zhang, won a Silver Bear for Best Actor.

Wes Anderson, sometimes criticised for failing to break out of his distinctively eclectic style,  has impressed critics with his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel, in which his famous brand of quirkiness is pushed to a whole new level. This was reflected in the jury’s decision, who awarded the film the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.

Unsurprisingly, given the rapturrous reaction to his film’s screening, Richard Linklater was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director. Linklater’s film, Boyhood , which actually premiered at Sundance, is a one-of-a-kind film project about a boy growing up, that has been following the same group of actors since 2002. The director takes his signature “real-time” approach to a whole new level.

The surprise gem of this festival, the German film Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross),  about religious fanaticism, won the Dietrich and Anna Brüggemann an award for Best Script.

Haru Kuroki won a Silver Bear for Best Actress for her performance in Chiisai Ouchi, about  a woman who looks back on her life in Tokyo during and before World War II.

More details about the awards can be found here.

 

 

 

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