Daily | Golden Bear for BLACK COAL, THIN ICE

Black Coal, Thin Ice

Lun Mei Gwei and Fan Liao in ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’

Diao Yinan’s Black Coal, Thin Ice has won the Golden Bear for the best film in Competition at the 64th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival. It’s also won the Silver Bear for Best Actor, which goes to Liao Fan. Notes on the film from myself and others.

The 2014 International Jury, presided over by James Schamus (other members: producer Barbara Broccoli, Danish actress Trine Dyrholm, Iranian filmmaker and painter Mitra Farahani, Greta Gerwig, Michel Gondry, Tony Leung and Christoph Waltz) have presented the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize to Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Anderson sent a message, read out by Greta Gerwig, noting that this is the first major prize he’s won at a film festival.

The Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives goes to Alain Resnais for Life of Riley. Notes on the film.

Silver Bear for Best Director: Richard Linklater for Boyhood. My thoughts on the film are here.

Silver Bear for Best Actress: Haru Kuroki for her performance in Yoji Yomada’s The Little House. Notes on this one are forthcoming in a final Berlinale 2014 Diary entry.

Silver Bear for Best Script: Anna and Dietrich Brüggemann, the brother and sister writing team on Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross). Notes on the film.

Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the categories camera, editing, music score, costume or set design: Zeng Jian for his cinematography in Blind Massage. Director Lou Ye’s accepted on his behalf. Notes.

The Best First Feature Award goes to Alonso Ruizpalacios’s Güeros.

The Golden Bear for Best Short Film goes to Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel’s Tant qu’il nous reste des fusils à pompe (As long as shotguns remain). Silver Bear: Guillaume Cailleau’s Laborat. The International Short Film Jury has also nominated Gabriel Abrantes’s Taprobana for the short film award at this year’s European Awards, to be presented in December. And the DAAD Short film prize goes to Dustin Guy Defa‘s Person to Person.

Ken Loach received the Honorary Golden Bear the other day, and this year’s Berlinale Camera has been presented to Karl Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors.

Johannes Holzhausen’s Das große Museum (The Great Museum) wins this year’s Caligari Award. Says the jury: “With a beautifully gliding camera in pursuit, a man propels himself through the endless corridors of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum on a scooter—and comes to a stop by a photocopier. It’s hard to imagine a more visually sumptuous presentation of the balancing act between culture and bureaucracy. The film is full both of ironically tinged references and endearingly depicted protagonists who give their blood, sweat and tears to preserving works of art. The director succeeds at taking an informative, humorous and intelligent look behind the scenes of a major museum, a museum that must assert itself within the international marketplace.”

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) has named Alain Resnais‘s The Life of Riley as the best feature in Competition this year. Best Film in the Panorama program: Daniel Ribiero’s The Way He Looks. And the Best Film in the Forum: Ayumi Sakamoto’s Forma.

Forum films winning awards from other independent juries:

  • The Award of the Conféderation Internationale des Cinémas D’Art et Essai (C.I.C.A.E.). Anja Marquard’s She’s Lost Control.
  • The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. Athanasios Karanikolas’s Sto spiti (At Home).
  • The 24th NETPAC-Preis (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema). Kelvin Kyung Kun Park’s Cheol-ae-kum (A Dream of Iron) and Jung Yoon-suk’s Non-fiction Diary.
  • The Tagesspiegel Readers’ Jury. Pavol Pekarčík, Ivan Ostrochovský and Peter Kerekes’s Zamatoví teroristi (Velvet Terrorists).
  • The Amnesty International Award. Jehane Noujaim’s The Square.

The Panorama Audience Awards:

The Ecumenical Jury presents its prize for best film in Competition to Dietrich Brüggemann’s Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross); special mention goes to Yann Demange’s ’71. Best of the Panorama: John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary; special mention: Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires’s Triptyque (Triptych). And the Forum winner is Athanasios Karanikolas’s Sto spiti (At Home).

Blind, directed by Eskil Vogt, has won the Europa Cinemas Label as best European film in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section,” reports Leo Barraclough for Variety.

The FGYO-Award Dialogue en perspective, presented by a French-German-Israeli jury, goes to Ester Amrami’s film Anderswo (Anywhere Else). Honorable mention: Nicole Vögele’s film nebel (fog).


The members of the Youth Jury in Generation 14plus present the Crystal Bear for the Best Film to Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays, saying: “The situation is exceptional but familiar. This year’s winning movie is both suprising and touching. It is a movie about family and the quest for identity, and despite all the conflicts, the protagonists stay connected through their love to each other. The moving story is presented in a fascinating structure and convinces with strong characters, humor, clever ideas and sensitivity.”

Special Mention. Gabri Velázquez’s ärtico (arctic). “This film dared to do it differently. In a unique manner this film interwoves sentences, rhythm, audio and content, creating an overall picture. Supported by strong images it developed its very own film language und impressed us with that.”

Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film. Petros Silvestros’s Mike. “We’ve decided on a short movie that illustrates an intricate topic in only a few minutes. The movie creates a frame which spectators then can fill with their own imagination, leaving space for their own interpretation. With subtle imagery, this film tells a story that takes an unexpected turn.”

Special Mention Short Film. Neil Triffett’s Emo (the musical). “This year’s special mention goes to a movie that takes a look at group identity and peer pressure, with a surprising and pleasant lightness of touch. It convinced us with its firework of funny dialogues, melodies and humour, making fun of itself while never becoming ridiculous.”

The members of the Generation 14plus International Jury present the Grand Prix of the Generation 14plus International Jury for best feature to Bas Devos’s Violet. “For its abstract exploration of emotions following a tragic death and because of its exquisite sculpture of cinematography, sound and story.”

Special Mention. Cao Baoping’s Einstein and Einstein. “As the family welcomes a new highly priced son the complexities of a teenage girl’s emotional world is examined in a very subversive way. This family drama slowly reveals the layers of gender relationships in modern day China.”

The Special Prize of the Generation 14plus International Jury for the best short film goes to Sakaris Stórá’s Vetrarmorgun (Winter Morning). “On a small isolated island community in the northern Atlantic two girls are standing up to the adversity of being stigmatized.” The prize is presented for “its honest and bitter portrayal of the bond between these best friends.”

Special Mention. Kristoffer Kiørboe’s Søn. “With precision in direction and because of the stunning performance this film shows us in a very tender way the conflicts of being caught between divorced parents.”

The members of the Children’s Jury Generation Kplus present the Crystal Bear for the Best Film to Avinash Arun’s Killa (The Fort), saying that it “convinced us in all respects: with his good camera work and the great actors, but also because of its incredibly beautiful nature images which blend perfectly with the music. This film made us all want to discover India.”

Special Mention. Masakazu Sugita’s Hitono Nozomino Yorokobiyo (Joy of Man’s Desiring). “Out of so many wonderful movies, this film in particular touched us and carried us away. Due to the fantastic actors, especially the terrific young protagonists, we could empathize with their experiences and were even moved to tears. Down to the smallest details, in this story everything fits together.”

Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film. Ga-eun Yoon’s Sprout. “A child embarks on an adventure through its own city, to prove that it is no longer too young. Through everyday and yet strange encounters, the girl collects on the road a lot of experience. The story, and how it was told, touched us deeply.”

Special Mention. Aditya Ahmad’s Sepatu Baru (On Stopping the Rain). “We saw a touching story about a girl who wishes with all her heart that it stops raining. Through its wonderful imagery, this film gave us an understanding of the tradition of a faraway country.”

The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for best feature goes to Matías Lucchesi’s Ciencias Naturales (Natural Sciences). “This film shows us a pure, distilled and unsentimental journey towards identity. It is a captivating tale with wonderful acting and a clear vision. Strong in its simplicity, the film touched our hearts.”

Special Mention. A good day for Avinash Arun, whose Killa has also won the Crystal Bear. “A beautifully photographed story about the challenges of being a boy. This film had wonderful pace and rhythm. Never reverting to clichés, the fresh performances left us feeling we were right there with the characters.”

The Special Prize of the Generation Kplus International Jury for best short goes to Leonid Shmelkov’s Moy lichniy los’ (My Own Personal Moose). “A whimsical understanding of the human condition told with a deft hand, and a unique sense of humour. Achieved with great craft skills and heart.”

Special Mention. Roland Ferge’s el (away). “An elegant and formal artistic vision that resonates meaning beyond the seams of the film. A visual poem!”


The Teddy is “a societal engaged political award, which is given to films and people, that communicate queer themes and content on a large scale and contribute with this to more tolerance, acceptance, solidarity and equality in society.” A jury made up of primarily organizers of LGBT film festivals select three winners from all sections of the Berlinale.

Best Feature. Daniel Ribeiro’s The Way He Looks. Says the jury: “A joyous debut feature from a director who combines great writing, characterization, performance, camera, and music to deliver a film that soars above the well-explored coming of age genre, giving new meaning to the old adage ‘love is blind.'”

Best Documentary/Essay Film. Stefan Haupt’s The Circle. “A film that reflects on personal Queer histories in mid-twentieth century Switzerland, brings to light the necessity and urgency to resist and engage with homophobia as it proliferates around the planet.”

Best Short. Roy Dib’s Mondial 2012. “A film that takes us on a journey, both literal and personal through a hazardous landscape where invisibility is a necessary aspect of Queer survival.”

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