‘Alcarràs’ Wins Top Prize at Berlin Film Festival

Second prize went to prolific South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo for “The Novelist’s Film,” a nuanced, conversational drama focusing on a series of encounters between a writer interested in making a movie. Hong had won the best director award at the Berlinale (known as the festival in Germany) just two years ago. The special jury award was given to director Natalia López’s first film, “Robe of Gems” set in the Mexican countryside.

The best director award went to Claire Denis for “Both Sides of the Blade,” starring Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon. Laila Stieler stars in the German movie “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. It won the best screenplay award with George W. Bush. The second film also won the best lead actor award of the festival to Cologne comedian Meltem Kaptan, who played Kurnaz. Best supporting actor was awarded to Laura Basuki in “Before, Now and After” for playing a woman in Indonesia in the 1960s who befriends her lover’s wife.

This year’s festival was dominated by coronavirus concerns. different Sundance Film FestivalGoing online in January, the Berlinale remained at an in-person event co-directed by Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek, including red carpets, press conferences and public screenings, with reduced capacities and stringent testing and mask protocols. (In a compromise, the European Film Market, the festival’s trade fair, was moved online.)

The decision sparked a backlash from some observers, who feared that despite the measures, the festival would encourage infections and burden Berlin hospitals amid a wave of Omicron cases. In a comment for RBBOne of the critics, a public broadcaster, argued that attending the festival would be like playing Russian roulette. He writes in the newspaper Die Zeitanother commentator, journalist Wenke Husmann, argued that the decision “seems to be mocking” public health concerns.

Correspondingly, the mood at last week’s opening gala was subdued, and the organizers got a little defensive, with politicians and entertainment figures fervent pleas from the stage about the importance of going to the movies. In her speech, German Minister of Culture Claudia Roth stated that the experience of going to movie theaters is important for social cohesion and democracy, and said, “Without this, we lose not only each other, but also ourselves.”

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