Berlinale 2009

By Ron Holloway

Spring 2009 Issue of KINEMA


Festival Politics
Asked whether the Berlinale has fostered an image as a "political" film festival, Christoph Schlingensief, the German jury member at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival (5-15 February 2009), blurted out: "A competition entry here scarcely stands a chance otherwise." Schlingensief, a highly motivated political filmmaker in his own right, hit the nail right on the head. You only have to look back at the past Golden Bear winners. In 2007, the Grand Prix went to Wang Quan'an's fiction-documentary Tu ya de hun shi (Tuya's Marriage, China). Set in rural Mongolia, Tuya's Marriage mirrored the plight of nomadic shepherds whose way of life is threatened by the government's misguided plans to move them to urban shelters. In 2008, it was awarded to José Padilha's Tropa de elite (The Elite Squad, Brazil). Set in 1997, when the Pope announced his visit to Brazil, that news triggered a drive by a Special Police Operation Battalion (BOPE) to rid the Rio slums of drug barons, cost what it may. More a fiction-documentary than a crime thriller, The Elite Squad chronicled how brutality, violence, torture, and executions became the order of the day, whether on the side of the law or beyond.

This year, at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival (5-15 February 2009), the Golden Bear was awarded to Claudia Llosa's La teta asustada (The Milk of Sorrow, Peru-Spain-Germany). The first Peruvian film ever programmed at the Berlinale, The Milk of Sorrow deals with the traumatic scars left on the populace, particularly women, following the bloody massacres perpetrated by the still active "Shining Path" guerrilla movement. According to the findings of a "truth commission" established in 2001, approximately 70,000 people were murdered between 1980 and 2000, when the Maoist "Shining Path" guerrillas had challenged the corrupt Fujimori government in open conflict. In addition, the commission recorded rapes, kidnappings, and other transgressions inflicted upon women and children by both sides. In the film's opening scene, the violence of these times is mirrored in a plaintive chant sung by an old woman on her deathbed. She sings of her rape as a pregnant mother and the brutal murder of her husband.

As the title hints, Claudia Llosa maintains that an undefined illness was passed on from a mother's breast to her offspring due to this prior rape and abuse under guerrilla terrorists. That the director also happens to be the niece of renown Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa - best known for The War of the End of the World (published in 1981), a germane historical novel questioning the idealization of violence - only added to the film's political message. The Milk of Sorrow stars Magaly Solier, whose stoically detached performance commands respect by her presence alone. Further, the film picks up where Claudia Llosa's previous Madeinusa (2005) had left off, the latter an internationally awarded debut feature depicting a distorted Catholic religiosity in the Peruvian Andes. The lead role in that film was also played by Magaly Solier. In The Milk of Sorrow Solier plays a vulnerable young Incan woman, whose inordinate fear of rape prompts her to place a potato in her vagina as a "shield" against unwanted intrusion on her body and soul. That scene alone prompted a lively give-and-take at the press conference. There, Llosa and Solier confirmed that the "potato shield" was a common practice among Incan women of the Andes. As timely as its political message is, The Milk of Sorrow lacks a dramatic context to lend the metaphorical tale extra depth and meaning. As was true of Tuya's Marriage and The Elite Squad, a sustained film life beyond the festival circuit is heartening, though doubtful.

Festival Incest

Coined by an observant critic at Berlinale, "festival incest" has become a fashionable practice at major European film festivals. Take Claudia Llosa's The Milk of Sorrow, for instance. The film is one of a handful that found its way to the Berlinale competition by way of the festival-sponsored World Cinema Fund (WCF). Founded in 2004, the WCF is a joint funding project supported by the Berlinale and the German Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Goethe Institute. Its aim is to support filmmakers in developing countries and regions which lack a constructive film industry. The focus is on feature films and feature-length documentaries with a strong cultural identity. With an annual budget of €500,000, the WCF has helped considerably to co-finance quality productions by creative filmmakers from the Near East, Africa, Latin America, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Caucasus. Of the 25 productions earmarked for WCF support over the past five years, nearly all have merited top awards at key international film festivals: Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, San Sebastian, Locarno, Pusan, Almaty, and Sundance.

Indeed, the WCF record of awarded prizes at the Berlinale is impressive, to say the least. Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now (Netherlands-Germany-France) was awarded the Blue Angel Prize for Best European Film at the 2005 Berlinale. Rodrigo Moreno's El Custodio (The Shadow, Argentina-Germany) was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize for Particular Innovation at the 2006 Berlinale. Ariel Rotter's El Otro (The Other, Argentine-France-Germany) was awarded the Silver Bear, Grand Jury Prize, plus a second Silver Bear for Best Actor (Julio Chavez), at the 2007 Berlinale. This year, WCF productions were the major award winners at the Berlinale. Besides the Golden Bear awarded to Claudia Llosa's The Milk of Sorrow, another Latin American entry, Adrien Biniez's Gigante (Uruguay-Argentina-Germany-Netherlands) was handed a bundle of prizes by international juries: Silver Bear - Grand Jury Prize, Alfred Bauer Prize for Particular Innovation, and Best First Feature Award. Not bad - four of the Berlinale's top prizes were awarded to the festival's own WCF films.

Viewed from this standpoint, "festival incest" is a festival funding formula that works like a charm. In fact, it has become a tradition. When and where did the practice of festival incest begin in the first place? Most critics credit the Cannes festival as the initiator by virtue of its visionary programming and adept scouting teams. A decade ago, when a trade publication statistically noted that practically every film in the festival sidebars (Un Certain Regard, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, Semaine International de la Critique) had received some kind of French funding, Gallic coin was dubbed a fast track to Cannes participation. The fact that a French coproduction partner may appear on the scene during the final stages of a film's postproduction, or exactly at the time when the Cannes selection committee is about to announce its decision, only adds to the Cannes mystique. After all, why wouldn't a cognizant French backer, someone who knows the festival public inside out, bet on a sure thing!

Once asked for my own opinion as to which festival director first launched a visible beneficial festival policy of production funding, I named Hubert Bals - the late Dutch founder-director of the Rotterdam International Film Festival, who honed cross-cultural film funding to a fine art. Twenty years ago, Hubert Bals put the Rotterdam film festival on firm ground by establishing a fund - subsequently named the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) in his honour - to support filmmakers from developing countries Over the past two decades, circa 750 projects have been supported by the HBF, approximately 80% of which were subsequently brought to completion. Annually, the fund distributes Euro 1.2 million to needy filmmakers - or double the funding budget of the WCF at the Berlinale. Dutch festival largesse doesn't stop there. Later, grateful filmmakers are invited to return to Rotterdam to show the films. The cream of the crop are then selected to contend for the festival's prestigious Tiger Awards, meaning additional cash purses.

Under Dieter Kosslick the Berlinale's WCF generally follows the same policy fostered by Rotterdam's HBF. However, since scouting is the key to festival film funding, the Berlinale appears to have a distinct advantage over Rotterdam in one respect: WCF co-directors Sonja Heinen and Vincenzo Bugno can rely on a link to knowledgeable heads of worldwide Goethe Institutes. For background information on past WCF funded film (2004-2008), as well as current information on 19 new WCF in-production projects, click on the

European Film Market
No doubt about it - the European Film Market (EFM) at the Berlinale has become a powerhouse of timely production turnover on a broad international scale. Last year, 430 companies from 51 countries booked stands in the roomy Martin-Gropius-Bau and adjacent facilities, in addition to 60 companies based in local hotels. Altogether, 1,073 buyers from 54 countries had been registered, an increase of 3% over 2007. Moreover, market screenings totalled just short of 1,100, programmed mostly in the market venues at the Cinemaxx and Cinestar multiplexes near the Potsdamer Platz.

This year, despite the worldwide economic turndown, the 2009 EFM "still remained stable and saw a healthy international turnover," according to market director Beki Probst. Altogether, 408 companies from 55 countries booked stands in the Gropius-Bau and the new "EFM Marriott Offices" located on three floors of the nearby Hotel Marriott on Potsdamer Platz. More than 6,300 trade participants were registered, 97 of whom were present for the first time at the EFM. That statistic alone places the EFM at the forefront of film markets, synonymous with Marché du Film at Cannes and the American Film Market (AFM) in Los Angeles. Just as significant were the 522 market premieres among the 700 EFM screenings.

To help boost lagging interest midway through the market, Beki Probst programmed a trio of "EFM Industry Debates" for exhibitors, buyers, and participants. Launched together with a local bank and trade publications (Variety, Screen International), the debates drew 600 participants, who argued the pros and cons of the film industry in the grips of the current financial crisis. Further, a new EFM initiative titled "Meet the Docs" focused on the documentary film as an integral component of the film market service. The European Documentary Network (EDN) helped with the coordination of this event. Last, but not least, the 400-page EFM catalogue issued by the Berlinale office, is packed with contact information on a couple thousand film companies, plus short synopses and credits on market screenings. No wonder the EFM is a favourite hangout for myriad festival directors, film programmers, and the committed cineaste.

Berlinale Specials
Altogether, 270,000 tickets were sold for Berlinale attractions - 30,000 more than in 2008. Add on free dockets for press and guests, and the collective festival attendance is said to have approached the 300,000 mark. Even festival director Dieter Kosslick expressed surprise when the Friedrichstadtpalast, a 1800-seat entertainment palace in downtown Berlin converted overnight into a venue for the film festival, drew packed attendance almost every single night. Indeed, with heavy TV coverage throughout the festival, the word spread quickly about a red carpet laid out for German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she attended the gala premiere of Hermine Huntgeburth's Effi Briest (Germany. Starring Julia Jentsch in the title role, this fifth screen adaptation of the Theodor Fontane literary classic took liberties with the all-too-familiar drama of a 17-year-old maiden forced into an unhappy marriage that would eventually lead to the tragic death of her lover in a duel. When Fontane's realist novel was published in 1895, Effi Briest was acclaimed a masterful response to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Flaubert's Madame Bovary, questioning the moral hubris of a constrained 19th-century Junker milieu.

By cloaking the story in a modern-day emancipatory context, Hermine Huntgeburth drained the literary classic of its heart-rending core. Instead of a tragic ending, with the young adulteress banished from her home and separated from her infant daughter, we see Effi strolling leisurely along Berlin's fashionable Kudamm boulevard. Nevertheless, the Effi Briest premiere did offer festival director Dieter Kosslick the opportunity to hand its producer, Günter Rohrbach, a well deserved Berlinale Kamera award. One of the mentors of the New German Cinema movement in the booming 1970s, Rohrbach helped considerably as a TV commissioning producer the careers of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Wolfgang Petersen, and Margarethe von Trotta, among others.

A few days later, crowds lined up early at the Friedrichstadtpalast to procure a ticket for another Berlinale Special: Kai Wessel's Hilde (Germany). A homage to the late Hildegard Knef (1925-2003), Germany's first postwar screen personality, Hilde stars pop-idol Heike Makatsch as the legendary singer-actress-writer. Although a runner at the box office, the biopic lacks stylistic finesse to hold its own as probing statement on the times. Inspired by Hildegard Knef's bestselling autobiography, Der geschenkte Gaul (The Gift Horse), published in 1970, Kai Wessel's Hilde speaks primarily to the book's readers. A key sequence sketches one of the scandals of postwar German cinema. In Willi Forst's Die Sünderin (The Sinner) (West Germany, 1950), a woman prostitutes herself to save a painter from going blind. The melodrama required that Knef appear naked in a key scene. All hell broke loose in the press when The Sinner wagered its German premiere. Known in the United States as Hildegarde Neff, where she was hailed in the press as the "thinking man's Marlene Dietrich," Hildegard Knef emigrated to the United States and carved out a remarkable stage career as a singer-actress. From 1954 to 1965, she is credited as playing Ninotchka a record 675 times in Cole Porter's musical comedy Silk Stockings. By comparison, in Kai Wessel's Hilde, Heike Makatsch can only hint of the charisma accorded the real-life Hildegard Knef. Not surprising, for she faced a formidable task in interpreting Knef's fabled career - once described by Ella Fitzgerald as "the world's greatest singer without a voice."

German Specials Platform
This year's Berlinale Specials section also served as a popular platform to highlight the cream of current German film production. When one notes that the German film productions in 2008 had recorded a high of 33.9 million admissions - or a 26.6% box office share (the highest mark since 1991) - Dieter Kosslick need not be clairvoyant to play this trump card as a major festival attraction. Altogether, he booked 50 German films for the 2009 Berlinale, offering slots in the sidebar "German Cinema" section for both commercial hits (Uli Edel's The Baader Meinhof Complex) and festival award winners (Andreas Dresen's Cloud 9). Besides the strong audience turnout for Effi Briest and Hilde, other new German productions programmed as Berlinale Specials also proved worthy seat fillers. Florian Gallenberger's John Rabe, top billing popular stage-and-screen star Ulrich Tukur, told the true story of an heroic deed by a Schindler-like Hamburg businessman. In 1937, during the appalling Rape of Nanking by invading Japanese troops, John Rabe saved thousands of Chinese civilians by opening the doors of the company's compound during the bombing of the capital. In Rudolf Thome's Pink Hannah Herzsprung, Germany's current "shooting star," plays a young poetess whose love poems get her entangled in trysts of her ill-chosen making. Another light-handed melodrama shot in a typical rambling mould, Pink marks Thome's 32nd low-budgeted, produced-and-directed production, 23 of which he has scripted himself. A pair of historically relevant documentaries were also programmed among the Berlinale Specials.

Detlef Gumm and Hans-Georg Ullrich's Berlin - Ecke Bundesplatz (Berlin - Corner Bundesplatz), a chronicle of ordinary people living in an old quarter of West Berlin, was screened in its entirety as a 5-part, 450-minute long-term observational documentary. Launched 24 years ago, Berlin - Corner Bundesplatz took the pulse of the times via the destines of its protagonists: a single mother on welfare, a school dropout sinking into drugs, a con-man lawyer convicted of fraud, a retired civil servant trying to piece his life together after the death of his wife. These, and other stories, mesh into a must-see urban kaleidoscope on the human condition. To celebrate the completion of the series, five new episodes in the Berlin - Corner Bundesplatz cycle were screened appropriately in the Cosima Kino venue on the Bundesplatz itself, followed by a gathering of the respective families in a local restaurant. A warming moment in Berlinale history, to say the least.

Finally, cinematographers/co-directors Michael Ballhaus and Ciro Cappellari chronicle in their off-the-shoulder documentary In Berlin the myriad changes that have taken place in the German capital since the fall of the wall 20 years ago. Among the VIPs declaring their love for the city are Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Polit-Talkshow Moderator Maybritt Illner, and writer Peter Schneider, along with resident artists interviewed about their works-in-progress. However, it's their casual conversation with everyday people - a film student, a kiosk vendor, a techno-club owner - that goes even further to take the pulse of "New Berlin" and explain its present fascination for attracting internationally renown artists and intellectuals to the city. Guaranteed a long life on the festival circuit, In Berlin is one of those "city films" in the mould of Walther Ruttmann's legendary Sinfonie einer Grossstadt (Symphony of a Great City, Germany, 1927). In this case, cameraman Michael Ballhaus's declaration of love for the city of his birth.

Spilt Milk
Asked if he regretted losing an aspired entry for the competition, Dieter Kosslick named Gus Van Sant's Milk (USA) In fact, his ire was raised when he discovered that the film had been screened outside the production country within days after its Beverly Hills premiere on October 31, 2008. For, according to FIAPF rules, the International Federation of Film Producers Associations could scratch Milk from Berlinale Bear consideration on the grounds of international "over-exposure." Well aware of the dilemma, Dieter Kosslick is reported to have pulled out all the stops to get producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen to premiere Milk at the Berlinale instead. To no avail. Instead, Gus Van Sant's Milk was programmed in the Panorama, together with Robert Epstein's vintage documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (USA, 1984), as a double-bill "celebration presentation" of a high-water-mark in Berlinale history that happened 15 years ago. Had Kosslick succeeded, it is quite likely that Milk would have been amply rewarded with festival kudos by a friendly jury headed by British actress Tilda Swinton.

Be that as it may, and given this year's circumstances, one wonders how Hollywood-produced films will fare in the future at the Berlinale. Box-office hits released in the US towards the end of year will perforce travel rapidly around the globe as attractive holiday fare, to say nothing of instant DVD consumption, pirated or otherwise. The rub is whether a prime Hollywood production needs Berlinale exposure in the first place. For that matter, the question could be extended to ask whether A-festivals in general still count as choice launching pads for international release. And whether the arcane FIAPF rules should be changed to accommodate the coming era of internet downloading, digital projection, and satellite distribution. On the other hand, the major A-festivals - Cannes, Berlin, Venice - can boast of discovering directorial talent, exploring timely thematic material, and signalling new and technical trends on the horizon.

Take Oren Moverman's The Messenger (USA), for example. Awarded a Silver Bear for Best Screenplay (Oren Moverman, Alessandro Camon), The Messenger was by far the most important film seen at the Berlinale, if not the best. The story of two Iraq War army veterans assigned to bring the bad news of husbands and sons killed in action to the relatives of the dead, the pair (Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster) are ill suited to each other's company in temperament and military code. Their arduous mission as messengers of bad news comes across as a labyrinthine odyssey into the self, along the lines of American cult director Hal Ashby's similar The Last Detail (USA, 1973) and Coming Home (USA, 1978). Despite some bumps in the narrative line, The Messenger is nonetheless a thought-provoking feature debut that deserves extensive festival programming and arthouse distribution.

Another Berlinale discovery was Adrian Biniez's Gigante (Uruguay-Argentina-Germany-Netherlands), a feature debut supported by the aforementioned World Cinema Fund and the Hubert Bals Fund. Set in suburban Montevideo, Gigante is the story of a shy, middle-aged giant who works the night shift as a security guard in a supermarket. Although his job is keeping an eye of employees at the supermarket, he takes a heartthrob interest in a younger cleaning woman and follows her home and to the movies in his off-hours. Soon the lumbering giant is living two lives, his own and the woman's. The day of awakening comes when workers at the supermarket are laid off, including the cleaning woman. A minimalist film composed mostly of looks and gestures, thus stripped to the bone of superfluous dialogue, Gigante introduces a talented Uruguayan writer-director who also scored the music for the film.

German New Wave
A leading Autor in the German New Wave, Hans-Christian Schmid is the moralist of the movement. Born in Altötting, a Bavarian pilgrimage locale, Hans-Christian Schmid capped his studies at the Munich Film Academy with the documentary Die Mechanik des Wunders (The Mechanism of Miracles), 1992), depicting how belief and enterprise go hand-in-hand in his home town. Years later, he returned to this strict religious milieu to make Requiem (2006), the story of a young epileptic whose penchant for hearing voices is misinterpreted as possession by the devil. Based on an actual incident that occurred in an isolated Catholic community at the beginning of the 1970s, Sandra Hüller's performance as the suffering girl merited her a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the 2006 Berlinale. Even more impressive as a statement on social conditions in eastern Germany at the Polish border after the fall of the Berlin wall, Hans-Christian Schmid's Lichter (Distant Lights, 2003) sketched the fates of five "losers" in an interlocking narrative that never loses sight of the tragicomic no matter how bitter it is for the protagonists to face the truth. Distant Lights was awarded the International Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize at the 2003 Berlin. "I feel a great sympathy for people who fight so hard for their happiness," Schmid said in an interview.

Perhaps this is the reason why he returned to the border with his Polish cameraman Bogumil Godfrejow to shoot the documentary Die wundersame Welt der Waschkraft (The Wondrous World of Laundry). Programmed at the Berlinale in the International Forum of New Cinema, The Wondrous World of Laundry chronicles the daily chores of Polish laundry women as they labour in shifts to wash, clean, and press the linen transported daily in trucks from Berlin luxury hotels. With the focus primarily on the needs of the women to assure a steady income in the household, albeit with sacrifices on the family, we know from the start where the director's sympathies lie.

Cinematographer Bogumil Godfrejow also collaborated on Hans-Christian Schmid's Sturm (Storm), one of the two German competition entries at the Berlinale Set in Den Haag, where the International Criminal Tribunal holds court, Storm depicts the moral dilemmas placed on the conscience of a woman prosecutor, Hannah Maynard (Kerry Fox), assigned to investigate the guilt of a former Yugoslav commander accused of the rape and murder of Bosnian women and civilians. Since the alleged crimes took place in a small town of today's Srpska Republic, a stronghold of Serb nationalists, Hannah is required to find a reliable eyewitness to confront the indicted commander in court.

In the end, she succeeds - but at a cost. She finds herself compromised by her own lawyer husband, whose client is the European Union. And, of course, his overriding interest in this legal thriller is to move beyond the case to open the door for Serbia's eventual entry into the EU. Shot in English, Storm is one of those cross-European productions that requires at least a history lesson to unravel the relevant details behind the travesties of the Bosnian War (1992-95), particularly the charge of genocide that happened more than a decade ago within the time scale of this film. In this respect, Goran Duri, the name of the accused commander in the film, might easily be construed as General Ratko Mladi, who has yet to be turned over to the Tribunal by Serb authorities. Storm, for all its dramatic immediacy, comes to life only when the key witness, a rape victim placed by Romanian actress Annamaria Marinca, arrives in Den Haag to tell her story. The case may be lost, but humanity triumphs.

Maren Ade's Alle Anderen (Everything Else), the other German entry in the Berlinale competition, introduces a talented 33-year-old women filmmaker directing her second feature. Although at her press conference she effectively sidestepped the question as to whether Everything Else contained something autobiographical, Maren Ade did concede that the film spoke to a common predicament afflicting her generation - namely, drifting, indecision, reluctance to discard illusions, fear to accept failure. Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) and Chris (Lars Eidinger) are a young couple on an extended holiday in Sardinia. Since they can stay as long as they wish in the villa of Chris's well-to-do parents, their only problem is how to spend their time when not arguing, playing one-upmanship, or simply musing over what to prepare for dinner. Meanwhile, Chris, an architect with a sure hand for quirky dreamhouse design, has hopes of winning an architectural contest to fund his lingering creative ambitions. Supported by Gitti, who still believes in his talent, he finds himself unable to tell her the truth when he doesn't even place fourth in the contest. The showdown to test their fragile relationship happens when an uninvited couple happens on the scene. He, a brazen loudmouth, who knows the tricks of artistic funding. She, a flighty giggler, who proudly sprouts her pregnancy. Put on the defensive, Gitti rises to the occasion, while Chris retreats into his shell. And that's the whole film. Save that Birgit Minichmayr was awarded a Silver Bear for Best Actress in Alle Anderen. A stage actress with an impish comic presence on the screen, Minichmayr is the shooting star in the German New Wave.




Golden Bear
La teta asustada
(The Milk of Sorrow, Peru), dir Claudia Llosa

Silver Bear, Grand Jury Prize - ex aequo
(Uruguay), dir Adrian Biniez
Alle Anderen
(Everyone Else, Germany), dir Maren Ade

Silver Bear, Best Director
Asghar Farhadi, Darbareye Elly, (About Elly, Iran)

Silver Bear, Best Actress
Birgit Minichmayr, Alle Anderen (Everyone Else, Germany), dir Maren Ade

Silver Bear, Best Actor
Sotigui Kouyate, London River (Algeria-France-UK), dir Rachid Bouchareb

Silver Bear, Best Screenplay
Oren Moverman, Alessandro Camon, The Messenger (USA), dir Oren Moverman

Silver Bear, Outstanding Artistic Contribution (Music)
Gabor Erdelyi, Tamas Szekely, Katalin Varga (UK-Romania-Hungary), dir Peter Strickland

Alfred Bauer Prize, Film of Particular Innovation - ex aequo
(Uruguay), dir Adrian Biniez
(Sweet Rush, Poland), Andrzej Wajda

Best First Feature Award
(Uruguay), dir Adrian Biniez

Special Mention - Generation Program
(The Girl, Sweden), dir Fredrik Edfeldt

Golden Bear, Short Film
Please Say Something
(Ireland), dir David O'Reilly

Jury Prize, Short Film
(UK), dir David Elliott

Berlinale Short Film Nominee for European Film Awards 2009
Die Leiden des Herrn Karpf. Der Geburtstag
(The Suffering of Mr. Karpf: The Birthday, Germany), dir Lola Randl

DAAD Short Film Award
(Cuba), dir Susana Barriga

Special Mentions
(Belgian), dir Leila Albayaty
contre - jour
(Germany), dir Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller

Generation Kplus Jury

Crystal Bear, Best Feature Film
C'est pas moi, je le jure!
(It's Not Me, I Swear!, Canada), dir Philippe Falardeau

Special Mention
Max Pinlig
(Max Embarrassing, Denmark), dir Lotte Svendsen

Crystal Bear, Best Short Film
Ulybka Buddy
(Buddha's Smile, Russia), dir Bair Dyshenov

Special Mention
Oh, My God!
(Norway), dir Anne Sewitsky

Generation 14plus Jury

Crystal Bear, Best Feature Film
My Suicide
(USA), dir David Lee Miller

Special Mention
Mary and Max
(Australia), dir Adam Elliot

Crystal Bear, Best Short Film
Aphrodite's Farm
(New Zealand), dir Adam Strange

Special Mention
(Slaves, Sweden-Norway-Denmark), dir David Aronowitsch, Hanna Heilborn

International Jury Generation Kplus - Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk

Grand Prix, Best Feature Film
C'est pas moi, je le jure!
(It's Not Me, I Swear!, Canada), dir Philippe Falardeau

Special Mention
(The Girl, Sweden), dir Fredrik Edfeldt

Special Prize, Best Short Film
Oh, My God!
(Norway), dir Anne Sewitsky

Special Mention
(Australia), dir Julius Avery.


FIPRESCI (International Critics) Jury

La teta asustada
(The Milk of Sorrow, Peru), dir Claudia Llosa

(North, Norway), dir Rune Denstrad Langlo

Ai no mukidashi
(Love Exposure, Japan), dir Sono Sion

Ecumenical Jury

Lille Soldat
(Little Soldier, Denmark), dir Annette K. Olesen

Special Mentions
London River
(Algeria-France-UK), dir Rachid Bouchareb
My One And Only
(USA), dir Richard Loncraine

(France), dir Philippe Lioret

Treeless Mountain
(Republic of Korea-USA), dir Kim So Yung

Prize of Guild of German Art House Cinemas

(Storm, Germany-Denmark-Netherlands), dir Hans-Christian Schmid

C.I.C.A.E. Jury (International Confederation of Art House Cinemas)

(Spain), dir Roberto Caston

Cea mai fericita fata din lume (The Happiest Girl in the World
, Romania-Netherlands), dir Radu Jude

Label Europa Cinemas - Panorama - ex aequo
(North, Norway), dir Rune Denstrad Langlo
(France), dir Philippe Lioret

Amnesty International Award - Panorama
(Storm, Germany-Denmark-Netherlands), dir Hans-Christian Schmid

Peace Film Award - Generation
The Messenger
(USA), dir Oren Moverman

NETPAC (Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema) Prize - Forum - ex aequo
Eoddeon gaien nal
(The Day After, Republic of Korea), dir Lee Suk-Gyung
Ma dai fu de zhen suo
(Doctor Ma's Country Clinic, China), dir Cong Feng

Caligari Prize - Forum
Ai no mukidashi
(Love Exposure, Japan), dir Sono Sion

Dialogue en Perspective Award - Perspektive Deutsches Kino
, dir Anna Deutsch

Special Mention
, dir Michael Koch

Actors Awards
Franziska Petri in Für Miriam (For Miriam), dir Lars-Gunnar Lotz
Jacob Matschenz in Fliegen (Fly), dir Piotr J. Lewandowski

Femina Film Prize - Panorama
Silke Fischer for production design in Alle Anderen (Everyone Else), dir Maren Ade

Panorama Awards

Teddy Awards

Best Feature Film - Panorama
Rabioso sol, rabioso cielo
(Raging Sun, Raging Sky, Mexico), dir Julián HernándezBest Essay - Panorama
Fig Trees
(Canada), dir John GreysonBest Short - Forum
A Horse Is Not a Metaphor
(USA), dir Barbara Hammer

Berliner Morgenpost Readers Award - Competition
(Storm), Germany-Denmark-Netherlands), dir Hans-Christian Schmid

Tagesspiegel Readers Award - Forum
Hayat var
(My Only Sunshine, Turkey-Greece-Bulgaria), dir Reha Erdem

Panorama Audience Award
The Yes Men Fix the World
(USA), dir Mike Bonanno, Andy Bichlbaum, Kurt Engfehr

Siegessäule Readers Award - Panorama
City Of Borders
(USA), dir Yun Suh

Berlinale Talent Campus Awards

Volkswagen Score Competition
Atanas Valkov (Poland)

Berlin Today Award
Supriyo Sen (India) for Wagah

Special Mention
Gina Abatemarco (USA) for My Super Sea Wall

Honorary Golden Bear
Maurice Jarre (France), composer

Berlinale Camera Awards
Günter Rohrbach (Germany), producer
Claude Chabrol (France), director
Manoel Oliveira (Portugal), director

Author Information

Ron HOLLOWAY (1933-2009) was an American critic, film historian, filmmaker and correspondent who adopted Europe as his home in the early fifties and spent much of his life in Berlin. He was an expert on the study of German cinema and against all odds produced, with his wife Dorothea, the journal German Film, keeping us up-to-date with the work of directors, producers and writers and the showing of German films around the world.

In 2007, Ron Holloway and his wife were awarded the Berlinale Camera Award. Ron also received the Bundesverdienstkreuz (German Cross of Merit), Polish Rings, Cannes Gold Medaille, the American Cinema Foundation Award, the Diploma for Support of Russian Cinema and an honorary award from the German Film Critics' Association.

Ron was also a valued contributor to Kinema for the past fifteen years.