The Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer won the Berlin International Film Festival's coveted Golden Bear for best motion picture with "Child’s Pose," which he also wrote and produced. The film, about a mother trying to keep her son out of jail, was also an audience favorite at the Berlinale.
"I think that Romanian politicians should pay much more attention to the ambassador that our cinema is around the world," co-producer Ada Solomon said. "I want to thank those people who didn't help us and didn't support us and that made us more determined."
Other big winners include the American David Gordon Green, who won the Silver Bear for best director with his buddy picture "Prince Avalanche." The movie, the only comedy among the festival’s 19 contenders, stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch as roadway workers in Texas at crossroads in their lives.
The Bosnian director Danis Tanovic's entry, "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker," was made with just 17,000 euros ($22,750). Not a bad investment for taking home the Jury Grand Prize with the near-documentary about a Romany family who live by salvaging metal. The film’s male lead, Nazif Mujic, won the Silver Bear for best actor.
"I'm not an actor," Mujic, who says that he still has no regular job and collects scrap metal - as he did at the time the drama played out - told Germany's 3sat television. "I simply played my own story. I played myself in my family. I don't know what I should say."
Paulina Garcia won the best actress Silver Bear for her role in "Gloria," a Chilean and Spanish co-prodution about a 58-year-old woman during the Pinochet dictatorship. Another Silver Bear about life under political hardship went to Iran’s Jafar Panahi for "Parde" (Closed Curtain), a movie he co-directed with Kamboyiza Partovi despite the fact that he is banned from making films.
"It’s never been possible to stop a thinker and a poet," Panahi said in his acceptance speech.
"Child’s Pose" joins Milos Forman’s "The People vs. Larry Flynt" and Paul Thomas Anderson’s "Magnolia" among recent winners of the Golden Bear.
The annual film festival concluded its 63rd run on Saturday.
Up to 1,600 people attended the awards ceremony on Saturday night. The festival itself nearly sold out all 300,000 tickets for its screenings.