Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s was awarded the Golden Bear for his latest movie Taxi at the 65th annual Berlin International Film Festival.
Jafar Panahi is banned from filmmaking in his home country and is not allowed to travel abroad.
Taxi was well-received by critics and buyers (Celluloid Dreams has international rights) during the festival.
Jafar Panahi previously won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay with 2013’s Closed Curtain, which resulted in its co-director and co-star, Kambozia Partovi — who was present in Berlin that year to accept the prize — having his passport confiscated by the Iranian authorities.
Tonight, Jafar Panahi’s wife and niece were on hand with the little girl ascending the stage to accept the prize. She was too emotional to speak, she said, and was swiftly comforted by jury members including Matthew Weiner and Audrey Tautou.
Pablo Larrain’s dark, and darkly comic, El Club, a treatise on the Catholic church through the prism of a group of exiled priests, was the Grand Jury Prize winner.
Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling won acting honors for their roles in 45 Years. The pair plays a couple preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary who is rocked by a secret from the past.
Darren Aronofsky’s jury also doled out double prizes in two categories: Best Director and Outstanding Artistic Contribution. In the former, Romanian director Radu Jude and Poland’s Małgorzata Szumowska shared the prize for Aferim! and Body, respectively.
Presenting the Artistic Contribution Silver Bears, Darren Aronofsky said of the first winner, Victoria cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovelen: “This film rocked my world.”
Of Under Electric Clouds Darren Aronofsky said: “The images will stay with everyone for a long time.”
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