Michael Winterbottom's tale of two Afghan refugees on a dangerous trek to Britain has proved the winner at this year's Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin.
On Saturday, the Berlinale jury announced Winterbottom's film In This World as winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film.
Their choice reflected the central theme of this year's festival, the thorny topic of migration. In a documentary-style account director Michael Winterbottom follows in his latest film the fate of two Afghans in a Pakistan refugee camp who seek a new life in Britain, undertaking a journey which is both long and hazardous.
Speaking earlier at the film festival, Winterbottom said he had been compelled to make the film due to the growing hostility
towards immigrants throughout Europe. "People say: 'These people shouldn't be here, they should be sent home'...but even if people are economic migrants, what's
wrong with that?" the director said after last week's screening.
Another British film, The Hours, which has already been nominated for nine Oscars, had also been considered a frontrunner for both best film and best actress.
On Saturday, the jury, headed by Canadian director Atom
Egoyan, chose all three actresses -- Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman (photo) and Julianne Moore -- starring in the triple tale based on Virginia Woolf's breakthrough novel "Mrs Dalloway", for the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress.
Among the prize winners is also U.S. actor Sam Rockwell, who has picked up a bear for his role as game
show mogul Chuck Barris in George Clooney's directoral debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
Spike Jonze's "Adaptation", starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl
Streep, was awarded a Silver Bear as overall film runner up.
The Silver Bear for Best Director went to Patrice Chéreau, for his film Son Frére (His Brother).
And German film had reason to celebrate too: surprise winner of the renowned Blue Angel award for best European film is the German movie Goodbye Lenin, the story of a young man, who shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall, brings the GDR back to life for the sake of his sick mother. The Berlin Bears will be awarded at a gala event Saturday evening.