x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Berlinale draws to close after Romania claims top prize

The 63rd Berlin Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday after awarding its Golden Bear top prize to the Romanian film Child's Pose.

The 63rd Berlin International Film Festival closed Sunday after awarding its Golden Bear top prize to Child's Pose, a mother-son psychodrama set among post-communist Romania's new ruling class.

Directed by Calin Peter Netzer, a member of Romania's renowned new wave in cinema, it tells the story of a wealthy and controlling mother who fights to get her son acquitted after he kills a poor teenager with his car.

"I want to thank the jury for this amazing prize, this wonderful prize," Netzer told the panel led by the Chinese director Wong Kar Wai, saying he was "shell-shocked" by the honour.

The Berlinale handed two prizes to the Bosnian docudrama An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker. Nazif Mujic, the real-life protagonist of the picture about a Roma couple denied life-saving medical treatment, was the surprise winner of the Silver Bear Best Actor prize. The low-budget film also took the runner-up jury prize.

David Gordon Green picked up Best Director for his quirky US buddy picture Prince Avalanche. The movie, the only comedy among the 19 contenders at the festival, stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch as motorway maintenance workers in Texas at crossroads in their lives.

Best Actress went to Chile's Paulina Garcia for Gloria, a feel-good movie about a middle-aged divorcee who refuses to give up on a shot at happiness.

Best Screenplay went to Closed Curtain by the Iranian dissident director Jafar Panahi and his longtime collaborator Kambuzia Partovi, a film made in secret in defiance of a ban by the authorities in Tehran.

A debut feature from Kazakhstan, the bullying drama Harmony Lessons, grabbed a Silver Bear for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement for its cinematographer Aziz Zhambakiyev. - AFP