Catalan-language drama Alcarràs won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival as the headline awards were dominated by women. Two of the three best film prizes went to films from female directors, while both acting awards, which are gender-neutral, went to women, as did the best director award.
Alcarràs, directed by Carla Simón, came away with the festival’s top prize: a drama set in the Catalan countryside, it follows the difficulties of a farming family after their landowner decides to replace their peach trees with solar panels. It is the second feature from Simon, after the well received Summer 1993, released in 2017.
The third place jury prize went to acclaimed Mexican drama Robe of Gems, a debut feature from director Natalia López Gallardo, who previously worked as an editor on Carlos Reygadas’ Silent Light en Post Tenebras Lux. Separating them was South Korean director Hong Sang-soo, whose The Novelist’s Film took the second place grand jury prize.
Berlin introduced gender-neutral acting awards in 2021 en, as previously, both went to women. Best lead performance was won byMeltem Kaptan for her portrayal of a mother who takes on the US justice system to get her son released from Guantánamo Bay in Rabiye Kurnaz Vs George W Bush, while best supporting performance went to Laura Basuki for her role in Indonesian drama Nana.
Rabiye Kurnaz Vs George W Bush also took the best screenplay award for Laila Stieler, while veteran French film-maker Claire Denis won best director for Fire (Or Both Sides of the Blade), her new film, starring Juliette Binoche.
While the 2021 festival was entirely virtual, 2022’s staged in-person events while abiding by local pandemic restrictions. The most significant casualty was Isabelle Huppert, wie was unable to appear to collect her honorary Golden Bear lifetime achievement award after testing positive for coronavirus shortly before the scheduled presentation.
Golden Bear for best film Alcarràs (dir: Carla Simón)
Silver Bear grand jury prize The Novelist’s Film (dir: Hong Sang-soo)
Silver Bear jury prize Robe of Gems (dir: Natalia López Gallardo)
Silver Bear for best director Claire Denis for Fire (or Both Sides of the Blade)
Silver Bear for best leading performance Meltem Kaptan (Rabiye Kurnaz Vs George W Bush)
Silver Bear for best supporting performance Laura Basuki (Nana)
Silver Bear for best screenplay Laila Stieler (Rabiye Kurnaz Vs George W Bush)
Silver Bear for outstanding artistic contribution Rithy Panh and Sarit Mang (Everything Will Be OK)
Special jury mention A Piece of Sky (dir: Michael Koch)