The 70th Berlin Film Festival – one of the largest public film festivals in the world – was held from 20th February to 1st March 2020. It was also the first edition of the festival headed by the director duo Mariette Rissenbeek (Executive Director) and Carlo Chatrian (Artistic Director).
The Golden Bear, which is the top award at the festival, was awarded to Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof. He was awarded this honour for his film ‘There is No Evil,’ a drama about capital punishment and its impact on the society. Unfortunately, Rasoulof is currently under a travel ban on charges pertaining to his earlier films and could not collect his award in person. In 2017, he was banned from directing and produced this award-winning movie in secret.
The Golden Bear for Best Film of the 70th #Berlinale goes to “Sheytan vojud nadarad” (There Is No Evil), directed by #MohammadRasoulof and produced by Mohammad Rasoulof, Kaveh Farnam, and Farzad Pak. pic.twitter.com/JaRLwGBkGR
— Berlinale (@berlinale) February 29, 2020
His daughter, Baran – who also stars in the movie – collected the award on his behalf while Rasoulof addressed a news conference through a video call.
Rasoulof, earlier, released a statement expressing his sorrow at missing the premiere of “There Is No Evil.” He said, “I am sorry that I will not be able to come to Berlin to watch the film alongside the audience; however, the right to choose between being present or absent at the festival is simply not mine. Imposing such restrictions very clearly exposes the intolerant and despotic nature of the Iranian government.”
Jeremy Irons headed the seven-member jury at the festival and said that the movie showed “the web an authoritarian regime weaves among ordinary people, drawing them towards inhumanity”.
The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize was awarded to American director Eliza Hittman for her movie ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always,’ a drama about teen pregnancy and abortion in the United States.
Here is the entire list of award winners.
- Golden Bear for Best Film: “There Is No Evil,” Mohammad Rasoulof
- Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” Eliza Hittman
- Silver Bear for Best Director: Hong Sang Soo, “The Woman Who Ran”
- Silver Bear for Best Actress: Paula Beer, “Undine”
- Silver Bear for Best Actor: Elio Germano, “Hidden Away”
- Silver Bear for Best Screenplay: “Bad Tales,” the D’Innocenzo Brothers
- Silver Bear 70th Berlinale: “Delete History,” Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern
- Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution, Costume or Set Design: “Dau. Natasha,” Jürgen Jürges
- Berlinale Glashütte Original – Documentary Prize: “Irradiated,” Rithy Panh
- Best First Feature: “Los conductos,” Camilo Restrepo
- Golden Bear for Best Short Film: “T,” Keisha Rae Witherspoon
- Silver Bear for Short Film Jury Prize: “Filipiñana,” Rafael Manuel
- Audi Short Film Award: “Genius Loci,” Adrien Mérigeau
What is the Berlin Film Festival?
The Berlin Film Festival, also called the Berlinale, is one of the biggest film festivals in the world. It is traditionally held each year in February in Berlin, Germany. Created in 1951, it has “developed into a place of intercultural exchange and a platform for the critical cinematic exploration of social issues.”
Each year, around 400 films of varied genres, lengths, and formats are presented at the Berlinale.
A big congratulations to all the winners from Team Newsum! We hope to see many such inspiring movies this year…