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BERLIN 2015 Awards

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Taking a Taxi to victory: Jafar Panahi wins the Golden Bear

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- BERLIN 2015: The Iranian director has won a well-deserved Golden Bear in absentia, while Radu Jude and Malgorzata Szumowska jointly won Best Director

Taking a Taxi to victory: Jafar Panahi wins the Golden Bear
Jafar Panahi's niece, holding the Golden Bear for Taxi

Immersed in an atmosphere of great unity, which was very much shared by the audience, the international jury, chaired by Darren Aronofsky, announced its verdict this evening at the Berlinale Palast, during the closing ceremony of the 65th Berlin Film Festival. The traditional good humour of this great film gathering directed by Dieter Kosslick was further enhanced by a huge range of positive emotions.

The big winner of this year’s Golden Bear was the great Iranian director Jafar Panahi for the astonishing Taxi – and for his courage, determination and sense of humour against all odds, as well as for his love of cinema. His film – a superb, funny and brilliantly metacinematic movie – takes place entirely in a taxi that he himself is driving (under his own name, of course!), while a camera placed on the windscreen films in (simulated) real time the sporadic comings and goings of the passengers, which include a pirate-video seller who wants to go into partnership with Panahi and a mischievous young aspiring director who is none other than the filmmaker’s niece and who is certainly not shy about giving some film lessons herself.

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European productions came to the fore from all quarters during the ceremony, which didn’t hold back in presenting ex aequo prizes, and the jury particularly admired the high quality of the selection. And so the Silver Bear for Best Director was shared by Poland’s Malgorzata Szumowska for Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
, an extremely refined film, and Radu Jude for Aferim! [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Radu Jude
film profile
]
, a completely picaresque adventure revolving around the enslavement of the Roma, which seems to hail from another era but is still very pertinent today. The excellent Romanian director made the most of his time at the podium to try to persuade his country’s institutions to provide more support for cinema.

The Best Actor and Best Actress Awards went to the two performers who play the mature married couple in the magnificent British film 45 Years [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Andrew Haigh
film profile
]
 by Andrew HaighTom Courtenay (honoured in 2001 for his work in film, particularly in Doctor Zhivago, and in the theatre) and Charlotte Rampling, who is quite simply sublime in the movie, as she has been for a long time. As they received their Silver Bears, the magnificent British actors both pointed out the amount of time that had passed since their first award ceremonies. 45 Years provided the jury with the perfect opportunity to bestow these very well-deserved acting awards upon two performers who can rightly see them as the crowning achievement of an incredibly long career.

The visual quality of the films in competition was fantastic this year, and thus the jury decided to double up the Silver Bear for the Best Artistic Contribution in order to reward two devilishly masterful examples of camerawork, using two highly contrasting styles: that of Evgeniy Privin and Sergey Mikhalchuk for the pictorial and chilling Under Electric Clouds [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Alexey German Jr, and that of Sturla Brandth Grøvlen for Victoria [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Sebastian Schipper
film profile
]
by Sebastian Schipper, which never stops moving; the 140-minute film brimming with action and intimacy was shot in a single take, creating an unbelievable effect, thanks to its talented DoP. 

Two very impressive European-Latin American co-productions that provide a window to forgotten worlds were awarded trophies: Ixcanul Volcano [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jayro Bustamante
film profile
]
 by Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala/France, the Alfred Bauer Prize), about a Mayan community, and the documentary The Pearl Button [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Patricio Guzman, which shines a spotlight on all of the people who have disappeared in Chile.

LIST OF WINNERS

Golden Bear for Best Film: Taxi, Jafar Panahi
Silver Bear – Jury Grand Prix: El Club, Pablo Larrain
Alfred Bauer Prize: Ixcanul Volcano, Jayro Bustamante
Silver Bear for Best Director: Radu Jude, Aferim!, and Malgorzata 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 Best Artistic Contribution: Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, Victoria, and Evgeniy Privin & Sergey Mikhalchuk, Under Electric Clouds
Best First Feature Film: 600 Miles, Gabriel Ripstein

Golden Bear for Best Short Film: Hosanna, Na Young-kil
Silver Bear:
Bad at Dancing, Joanna Arnow

Best Film Generation KPlusRainbow, Nagesh Kukunor
Best Film Generation 14PlusThe Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller

Best Film FIPRESCI CompetitionTaxi, Jafar Panahi
Best Film FIPRESCI PanoramaA Minor Leap Down, Hamed Rajabi
Best Film FIPRESCI ForumHand Gestures [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Francesco Clerici
Europa Cinemas LabelOut of Nature [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ole Giæver
film profile
]
, Ole Giæver and Marte Vold
Teddy AwardNasty Baby, Sebastián Silva

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