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.
In the film, Jafar Panahi set a camera on the dashboard of a yellow cab as it drives through Tehran. He plays the cabbie who interviews the diverse characters that make up his fares.
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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2015 Berlin Film Festival full list of winners:
Golden Bear for Best Film
Taxi, Jafar Panahi
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
Pablo Larrain, El Club
Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives
Ixcanul, director: Jayro Bustamante
Silver Bear for Best Director (tie)
Radu Jude, Aferim!
Małgorzata Szumowska, Body
Silver Bear for Best Actress
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Silver Bear for Best Actor
Tom Courtenay, 45 Years
Silver Bear for Best Script
Patricio Guzman, The Pearl Button
Silver Bear for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the categories camera, editing, music score, costumes or set design (Tie)
Sturla Brandth Grovlen, Cinematographer: Victoria
Sergey Mikhalchuk and Evgeniy Privin, Cinematographers: Under Electric Clouds
Best First Feature Award for the Best Debut Film
600 Miles, director: Gabriel Ripstein
Audi Short Film Award
Planet Sigma, director: Momoko Seto
Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film)
Bad At dancing, director: Joanna Arnow
Golden Bear for Best Short Film
Hosanna, director: Na Young-kil
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Chinese thriller Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) has won the Golden Bear for best picture at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
Liao Fan won the prize for best actor in the same film, while Haru Kuroki won best actress for her role in the Japanese movie Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House).
American Richard Linklater was named best director for his film Boyhood.
An eight-person jury decides the awards.
This year it was headed by American director and producer James Schamus, probably most well-known for producing Brokeback Mountain.
Bai Ri Yan Huo features an overweight detective, played by Liao Fan, on the trail of a serial killer.
Chinese thriller Bai Ri Yan Huo has won the Golden Bear for best picture at this year’s Berlin Film Festival
Richard Linklater’s ambitious coming-of-age film Boyhood used the same child actors over a 12-year span.
Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, the festival opener, took the Silver Bear grand jury prize, while the Ethiopian film Difret, based on a real case of bride abduction in Ethiopia, took the audience award.
Berlin Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious film showcases in the world, but this year some critics complained of a dearth of strong entries, and a lack of films with strong political or social agendas.
Some 400 films have been screened during the 11-day festival, 23 of them in the competition category.
In 2013, the main prize was awarded to the Romanian film Child’s Pose.
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Romanian movie Pozitia Copilului (Child’s Pose) has picked up the coveted Golden Bear prize for best film at the 63rd Berlin film festival.
Child’s Pose, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, tells the story of a wealthy mother who uses her connections to try and stop her son from going to jail.
The film was a favorite among the 19 contenders. Calin Peter Netzer said he was “a little bit speechless” by the win.
An unemployed Roma from Bosnia-Hercegovina won the best actor award.
Nazif Mujic re-enacted his family’s real-life struggle to get vital medical treatment in the low-budget An Episode In the Life of an Iron Picker, which also picked up the runner-up Silver Bear award.
Calin Peter Netzer’s film is a tale of corruption and guilt in modern Romania.
It follows a rich and controlling mother, played by Luminita Gheorghiu, as she bribes witnesses into giving false statements to save her son from jail after he accidentally runs down and kills a boy.
US filmmaker David Gordon Green won best director at the festival for his comic road movie Prince Avalanche, while best actress went to Chile’s Paulina Garcia for her role as a Santiago divorcee in Gloria.
Romanian movie Child’s Pose has picked up the coveted Golden Bear prize for best film at the 63rd Berlin film festival