The 68th Berlin Film Festival awarded its highest honour, the Golden Bear, to the Romanian movie Touch Me Not on Sunday. Adina Pintilie’s debut film is about an elderly British woman exploring her body and her sexuality, and features many scenes of nudity.
Pintilie thanked her actors in her acceptance speech “for your courage”. Touch Me Not also won the Best First Feature award.
Among the 19 contenders for the Golden Bear were Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, David and Nathan Zellner’s Damsel, Christian Petzold’s Transit, Marcello Martinesse’s The Heiresses and Erik Poppe’s U – July 22. The six-person jury was headed by German director Tom Tykwer. “We found out that what we would like to give an award for what cinema can do today, but for what it will be able to do one day,” Tykwer said.
The Best Director award went to Wes Anderson for his acclaimed stop motion feature Isle of Dogs, in which a young boy travels to an island where dogs have been quarantined to look for his missing pet. Bill Murray, who voices the canine named Boss in the movie, accepted the prize on behalf of the director. “I never thought I’d go to work as a dog and come home with a bear,” Murray said.
The runner-up award, the Silver Bear Grand Jury prize, was bagged by Twarz, Malgorzata Szumowska’s film about the first man in Poland to receive a face transplant. The Best Actress prize was won by Ana Brun for The Heiresses. Brun plays a lesbian whose partner is imprisoned. The Heiresses also won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, named for the founder of the prestigious festival.
The best actor award went to Anthony Bajon for Cedric Kahn’s The Prayer. The French actor plays a heroin addict who turns to religion to overcome addiction.
The best screenplay award was given to Alonso Ruizpalacios and Manuel Alcala for Ruizpalacios’s Museum. Gael Garcia Bernal plays a thief who steals artifacts from Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology.
Ruth Beckermann’s The Waldheim Waltz, about former United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim who was revealed to have Nazi connections, won the Glashutte Original documentary award. The Golden Bear for Best Short Film went to Ines Moldavsky’s The Men Behind the Wall. The Audi Short Film Award was won by Reka Bucsi for Solar Walk. The Silver Bear for Short Film Jury Prize went to Samuel Ishimwe’s Imfura.
The Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the categories of camera, editing, music score, costume or set design went to Elena Okopnaya for the costumes for Alexey German Jr’s Dovlatov, a biopic of Russian novelist Sergei Dovlatov.
A total of 396 films were screened at the festival, including two by Indian directors – Q’s Garbage and Payal Kapadia’s short film And What is the Summer Saying.