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Roman Polanski & 'Honey': Berlin Film Festival Winners

Alain Sarde

Roman Polanski, in the news since his arrest in Switzerland last September and currently fighting extradition to the United States, received the Silver Bear for Best Director for the political thriller The Ghost Writer.

In The Ghost Writer, Ewan McGregor has the title role, becoming involved with a former British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan, above, based on Tony Blair), who has more than a few skeletons in his past, and is accused of war crimes for his devoted support of U.S. military policies in Iraq. Polanski finished The Ghost Writer while under house arrest at his home in Gstaad. The 76-year-old filmmaker, who won a Best Director Oscar in early 2003 for the Holocaust drama The Pianist, fled the US the day before he was going to be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The Ghost Writer producers Alain Sarde and Robert Benmussa accepted the award for Polanski. Sarde told the festival audience that the Polish filmmaker wouldn't have come regardless of his current circumstances “because the last time I traveled to accept an award I landed in jail.” (Polanski was arrested upon arriving in Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Zurich Film Festival.)

This is Polanski's second major Berlin Festival win. In 1966, his psychological drama Cul-de-sac was given the Golden Bear.

Semih Kaplanoglu

Semih Kaplanoglu's Turkish drama Honey, the final installment of an autobiographical trilogy that began with Egg (2007) and Milk (2008), was the unexpected winner of the 2010 Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear.

Honey was the second Turkish film [not the first as previously reported] to win the Golden Bear. The first one was Metin Erksan's Susuz yaz – as per the IMDb, known variously as Dry Summer, I Had My Brother's Wife, and Reflections – in 1964. Additionally, Fatih Akin's Head-On, a German-Turkish co-production set in Germany, won in 2004.

Set in a mountainous forest, Honey tells the story of a six-year-old boy (Bora Altas) who ventures into the woods after his wild honey-collecting father has gone missing. “The central performance is touching, truthful and overpoweringly charming,” wrote Nigel Andrews of the Financial Times. “One of those classic screen turns by a child, up there with The Kid and The Red Balloon.”

The Berlin 2010 jury was composed of German filmmaker Werner Herzog, the jury president; Chinese actress Yu Nan; Italian writer-director Francesca Comencini; Spanish producer Jose Maria Morales; Somali-born writer Nuruddin Farah; American Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger; and German actress Cornelia Froboess.

According to Screen Daily, festival director Dieter Kosslick remarked that this year's edition of the Berlinale sold more than 300,000 tickets. A record.

George Pistereanu, Ada Condeescu in Florin Serban's If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle
Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis in Alexei Popgrebsky's How I Ended This Summer
Shinobu Terajima in Koji Wakamatsu's Caterpillar
Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs in Babak Najafi's Sebbe
George Pistereanu, Ada Condeescu in Florin Serban's If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle (top); Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis in Alexei Popgrebsky's How I Ended This Summer (upper middle); Shinobu Terajima in Koji Wakamatsu's Caterpillar (lower middle); Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs in Babak Najafi's Sebbe (bottom)

Romanian filmmaker Florin Serban won two prizes for If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival: the Grand Prix Silver Bear and the Alfred Bauer prize for innovative filmmaking. If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle focuses on an incarcerated young man who takes a social worker hostage shortly before he is to be released from a youth detention center. The film is one more example of Romania's vibrant film scene.

Grigori Dobrygin and Sergei Puskepalis shared the Silver Bear for best actor for Russian director Alexei Popgrebsky's How I Ended This Summer, in which they play two men struggling against both mutual mistrust and the harsh environment of a deserted Arctic island. How I Ended This Summer also earned cinematographer Pavel Kostomarov the Silver Bear for best artistic achievement.

Shinobu Terajima won the Silver Bear for best actress for her performance as the wife of a glorified (and dismembered) war hero in Koji Wakamatsu's anti-war drama Caterpillar – in which the war hero turns out to have been a wife-beater and rapist when wearing civilian clothes. The festival's Golden Camera went to another Japanese entry, Yoji Yamada's About Her Brother, the Berlinale's closing-night film.

The Silver Bear for screenwriting went to 2007 Golden Bear winner Wang Quan'an (for Tuya's Marriage) and Na Jin for Apart Together, the festival's opening night film. Apart Together portrays the effects of the political realm on people's personal lives, as lovers are separated after Taiwan splits from Mainland China. In the film, an elderly man (Ling Feng) returns to the Mainland looking for his old love (Lisa Lu), now remarried. Upon accepting his award, Wang dedicated it to the city of Berlin, divided for decades until reunification 20 years ago.

The best first feature award went to Babak Najafi's Sebbe, which chronicles the life of a 15-year-old living in a small apartment with his single mother.

As previously reported, the Turkish drama Honey won the Golden Bear for Best Film, while Roman Polanski was chosen Best Director for the political thriller The Ghost Writer.

Bora Altas in Semih Kaplanoglu's Honey

From the Berlin Film Festival website:

Prizes of the Ecumenical Jury 

Since 1992, the international film organisations of the Protestant and Catholic Churches - INTERFILM and SIGNIS - have been represented by the Ecumenical Jury. It consists of six members and awards its main prize to a film entered in the Competition. It also awards two other prizes, both worth 2,500 Euros, one to a film from the Panorama and one to a film in the Forum. The prizes go to directors who have succeeded in portraying actions or human experiences that are in keeping with the Gospels, or in sensitising viewers to spiritual, human or social values. The jury members for the Berlinale 2010: Werner Schneider-Quindeau (president), Philip Lee, Ylva Liljeholm, Markus Leniger, Edgar Rubio und Alberto Ramos Ruiz.
 
The prize for a film from the Competition goes to

Bal | Honey  by Semih Kaplanoglu [above]

The prize for a film from the Panorama goes to

Kawasakiho ruze | Kawasaki's Rose  by Jan Hrebejk
 

The prize for a film from the Forum goes to

Aisheen [Still Alive in Gaza]  by Nicolas Wadimoff

Prizes of the FIPRESCI Juries 

The juries of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI), the international film critics association, view films from the Competition programme and the Panorama and Forum sections. They award a prize for the best film in each of these sections. The three FIPRESCI juries at the Berlinale 2010 are as follows: Samir Farid, Vladimir Ignatovski, Dita Rietuma (Competition); Rui Tendinha, Rolf-Ruediger Hamacher, Pierre Pageau (Panorama); Ronald Bergan (jury president), Caroline M. Buck, Robert Köhler (Forum).
 
The prize for a film from the Competition

En Familie | A Family 

Dir.: Pernille Fischer Christensen

The prize for a film from the Panorama

Parade 

Dir.: Isao Yukisada

The prize for a film from the Forum

El vuelco del cangrejo | Crab Trap 

Dir.: Oscar Ruíz Navia

Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas 

The jury of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas is composed of three members who run cinemas and are members of the Guild. The jury awards its prize to a film screened in the Competition. The jury members for the Berlinale 2010: Adrian Kutter, Hans-Werner Renneke and Christopher Bausch.
 
The members of the Jury award the Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas to

Shahada  by Burhan Qurbani

C.I.C.A.E Prizes 

The Confédération Internationale des Cinémas d'Art et d'Essai (C.I.C.A.E.), the International Confederation of Art House Cinemas, forms one jury for the Panorama and one for the Forum. Each jury awards one prize in its section. Jury members 2010: Nikos Grigoriadis, Volker Kufahl, Rosa Maino (Panorama); Julien Moeschler, Benjamin Scholz, Davide Zanza (Forum)
 
The members of the Panorama-Jury award the C.I.C.A.E. Prize to

Kawasakiho ruze | Kawasaki's Rose  by Jan Hrebejk
 

The members of the Forum-Jury award the C.I.C.A.E. Prize to

Winter's Bone  by Debra Granik

“Label Europa Cinemas" 

Launched for the first time in 2003 within the Cannes Film Festival, the Europa Cinemas Label has been created in order to help European films increase their distribution and raise their profile with audiences and media. The Label is since then awarded by a jury of 5 member exhibitors to a European film selected in the Directors' Fortnight section in Cannes and since 2004 in the Venice Days. Since 2005, Europa Cinemas has been cooperating with the Berlinale to award the Label in the Panorama section. The jury at the Berlinale 2010: Mark Cosgrove, Christophe Maffi, Iris Praefke, Laure Bacqué.
 
The jury awards:

Die Fremde | When We Leave 

Dir.: Feo Aladag

Dialogue en perspective 

In 2004, the prize “Dialogue en perspective", initially sponsored by TV5Monde in cooperation with the German-French Youth Office, was awarded for the first time to a film entry in the section Perspektive Deutsches Kino. In 2010, the German-French Youth Office will be the exclusive sponsor of the “Dialogue en perspective". The prize is the result of an intercultural dialogue on film between young people from two different countries: France and Germany. It is awarded to the film that equally impresses the young and critical jury members from both nations. The prize jury has seven members and is headed by a president. The French and German members are selected by the prize donators by means of a public call for application. The president of the jury is a professional whose work represents the cinematographic dialogue between France and Germany. This jury is the only one at the Berlin International Film Festival which is constituted after a public invitation to tender. In 2010, the jury will be headed by producer Roman Paul (Paradise Now) from Berlin. The other jury member: Lisa Aylin Berns, Mara Helena Klein, Nicolas Oxen, Maximilian van Aertryck, Severine Beaudot, Jonathan Rescigno and Sofiane Ouaret.
 

Lebendkontrolle | Outside  by Florian Schewe

Caligari Film Prize 

A three-person jury awards the Caligari Film Prize to a film in the Forum. The prize is sponsored by the “German Federal Association of Communal Film Work” and “filmdienst” magazine. The winning film is honoured with 4,000 Euros, half of which is given to the director, the other half is meant to fund distribution. The 2010 jury: Dörte Küll, Axel Röthemeyer, Esther Buss.
 

La bocca del lupo | The Mouth of the Wolf  by Pietro Marcello

NETPAC Prize 

The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) is an alliance of festival organisers and film critics whose aim is to support Asian film. The jury awards a prize to an Asian film screened in the Forum. Jury members this year are Tuck Cheong Wong, Vicci Ho and Jane Yu.
 
The members of the Jury award the NETPAC Prize to

Yi yè Tái bei | Au revoir Taipei  by Arvin Chen

Peace Film Award 

The jury is composed of 9 members and views films from every section. The 5,000-Euro prize is donated by the Peace Film Award Initiative in association with the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). The Peace Film Prize Jury can also award Special Mentions. The jury members for the Berlinale 2010: Monica Ch. Puginier, Marianne Wündrich-Brosien, Christoph Heubner, Christian Ziewer, Harriet Eder, Christoph Wermke, Oliver Passek, Mehdi Benhadj-Djilali, Jan Engelmann and Alice Ströver.
 

Son Of Babylon  by Mohamed Al-Daradji

Amnesty International Film Prize 

The German branch of Amnesty International has awarded the Amnesty International Film Prize for the first time at the Berlinale 2005. This award has already been presented at other international film festivals. The prize is worth 5,000 Euros. The jury will view films entered into the Competition, Panorama and Forum sections, paying special attention to documentaries. The aim of the prize is to draw the attention of audiences and representatives of the film industry to the theme of human rights and encourage filmmakers to tackle this topic. The jury members at the Berlinale 2010: Barbara Sukowa, Pagonis Pagonakis, Chloe Baird-Murray.
 
The Jury awards the Amnesty International Film Prize to

Son Of Babylon  by Mohamed Al-Daradji
 
ex aequo

Waste Land  by Lucy Walker, João Jardim, Karen Harley

Femina Film Prize 

The prize honours the “outstanding artistic contribution of a female technician” in a feature film from a German-speaking country in the areas of set design, camera work, costumes, music or editing. The aim of the prize is to highlight the contribution of the creative work of women towards the final result of a film. The prize is worth 3,000 Euros and is awarded annually by the Femina Film Prize Association, since 2005 within the scope of the Berlinale. The jury is comprised of three women working in the film industry. The jury members at the Berlinale 2010: Silke Fischer, Angelina Maccarone and Sabine Timoteo.
 
The Jury awards the Femina Film Prize to

Reinhild Blaschke 

for the production design in Im Schatten (In the Shadows) by Thomas Arslan (Forum)
With subtle perfection Reinhild Blaschke takes us into a world “in the shadows", into the places behind the places. Cars as mediators between characters and outside world, between city and surrounding countryside. The sanctuary in the forest still maintains a connection with urbanity by its angular forms and therefore keeps a unity. With just a few minimalistic escapes from functionality the rooms reveal the characters longings and still preserve an overall discretion.
Elements of red break gently through the blue and grey until it culminates in the blood of a bullet wound. Beyond stereotypes Reinhild Blaschke succeeds in translating film noir atmospheres into contemporary Berlin.

Teddy - Queer Film Award 

The Teddy Awards go to films that have a gay and/or lesbian context. The nine members of this international jury - for the most part, organizers of gay and lesbian film festivals - view films screened in all sections of the Festival. Chosen from a list of films selected by the jury, a 3,000-Euro Teddy is awarded to a feature film, a short film and a documentary. The Teddy Jury at the Berlinale 2010: Laura Coppens, Bard Yden, Michelle Mangan, Michael Gamilla, Sridhar Rangayan, Doris Senn, Pau Guillen and Gulya Sultanova.
 

Best Feature Film 

The Kids Are All Right  by Lisa Cholodenko

Best Documentary Film 

La bocca del lupo | The Mouth of the Wolf  by Pietro Marcello

Best Short Film  

The Feast Of Stephen  by James Franco

Teddy Jury Award  

Open  by Jake Yuzna

 

Readers' Juries and Audience Awards

Panorama Audience Award 

All Berlinale visitors can vote for the Panorama Audience Award by filling in a vote sheet. The prize was started in 1999 and is made possible by a joint initiative between the Berlin city magazine “tip", the radio channel “Radioeins” and the Panorama section itself.
 

Waste Land  by Lucy Walker, João Jardim, Karen Harley

The “Berliner Morgenpost” Readers' Jury 

The jury is made up of 12 readers of the daily newspaper “Berliner Morgenpost". It is awarded to a feature film in the Competition section. The 2010 jury includes Alexandra Lucht, Holger Kühne, Felix Feistel, Dr. Holger Mirek, Aline Noack, Sindy Schödel, Benjamin Teske, Arzu Tuncel Rollenhagen, Manuela Tischendorf, Katharina Hauck, Waldemar Mross and Olaf Marnczek.
 
This year's Berliner Morgenpost Readers' Prize goes to

En ganske snill mann | A Somewhat Gentle Man  by Hans Petter Moland

The ELSE Siegessäule Readers' Choice Award 

The jury, which is made up of seven readers of the Berlin gay and lesbian magazine “Siegessäule", takes into account all films with gay or lesbian content, regardless of which section they are in. The prize is awarded to a feature film. The 2010 jury: Jörg Michael Fehlhaber, Matteo Lodevole, Inga Pylypchuk, Katayun Pirdawari M.A., Ainara Katharina Tiefenthäler, Moritz G. C. Sander and Klaus Schrader.
 

Postcard To Daddy  by Michael Stock

The “Tagesspiegel” Readers' Jury 

Since the Berlinale 2007, the Berlin-based national daily newspaper “Tagesspiegel” has awarded a Readers' Prize. The jury consists of nine members and the prize is given to the best film in the Forum - along with 3.000 Euro.
 
This year's Tagesspiegel Readers' Prize goes to

Winter's Bone by Debra Granik

Prizes of the Berlinale Talent Campus 

Berlin Today Award 

For the Berlin Today Award, Campus participants must form international teams and develop an idea for a short film which has something to do with Berlin. Three projects are selected and produced in co-operation with the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Boxfish Films. The films are shown at the next year's Berlinale Talent Campus. The jury gives the best of these films the Berlin Today Award. British director Stephen Daldry will chair the jury in 2010.
 

Bryn Chainey (Australien)  

for Jonah and the Vicarious Nature of Homesickness

Score Competition 

The Score Competition offers three young composers or sound designers the opportunity to compose new scores for a pre-selected short film and record them with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg, with final mixing at the Film and Television Academy (HFF) “Konrad Wolf". The scores will premiere during the Berlinale Talent Campus, and the best score will be chosen by a jury and awarded during the Closing Ceremony. The winner will receive a trip to the finest sound studios in Los Angeles, sponsored by Dolby. French composer and Golden Globe winner Alexandre Desplat has committed to mentor the Score Competition 2010.
 

Camilo Sanabria (Colombia) 

From the Berlin Film Festival website:

The Golden Bear for the best short film goes to
Händelse Vid Bank [above]by Ruben Östlund (Sweden)
“His film is a real reflection on our times and the role played by media. Filmed with a single camera without a single cut, we zoom in and out of the picture as if using a CCTV camera. The dialogues are perfect, humanity is explained with humour.

The Silver Bear goes to Hayerida by Shai Miedzinski (Israel)
“The Israeli desert sets a dusty and intense background for a coherent road movie about loss. It's hard to depict grief, a transition for a family, but the director listens to the wind blow and frames the emotion.

The DAAD scholarship goes to Adrian Sitaru (Romania) for Colivia “A perfectly paced miniature, a chamber piece inside a Romanian tower block. Funny, heartfelt, with a wonderful rhythm. The director needs only 17 minutes to portray the three characters involved.

The nomination for the European Film Academy Short Film 2010 goes to Venus vs Me by Natalie Teirlinck (Belgium)
“An experimental attempt to recount childhood memories from the interior with a complex montage technique. Pictures, sound and editing blend into multilayered storytelling. The director magnificently negotiates the puzzle.

Photos: Courtesy of the Berlin Film Festival; Sebbe (Hanna Rydström / Garagefilm International)

Photo: Courtesy of the Berlin Film Festival


         
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3 Comments to Roman Polanski & 'Honey': Berlin Film Festival Winners

  1. Gstaad

    Great win and fully deserved.See you in Gstaad Roman!

  2. malgosia kessy

    Gratulacje, Panie Romanie!

    Zasluguje Pan na te nagrode,jak i na wiele innych w przeszlosci,a pominietych.
    Ktos musi bardo pana nie lubiec ..lub byc bardzo zazdrosnym..?
    Jestem z Panem i zaluje,ze nie moge nic zrobic przeciwko temu spiskowi.
    Polityka i obluda z niz zwiazana to najgorsza rzecz,-.

    Niech zyje sztuka!

    Pokoj,
    Malgosia

  3. That's pretty great to win best director at a huge film festival at 76 years old! Great work can't be denied. It is the film as a whole that helps to make a director.