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BERLINALE 2020 Awards

Mohammad Rasoulof's There Is No Evil triumphs at the Berlinale

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- BERLINALE 2020: Never Rarely Sometimes Always received the Grand Jury Prize, Hong Sangsoo was crowned Best Director, Paula Beer won Best Actress and Elio Germano bagged Best Actor

Mohammad Rasoulof's There Is No Evil triumphs at the Berlinale
Best Actor Elio Germano, actress Baran Rasoulof from the Golden Bear winner There Is No Evil and Best Actress Paula Beer with their awards on the stage of the Berlinale Palast

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof's There Is No Evil [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 has triumphed at the 70th Berlinale, picking up the Golden Bear. The director himself was not present at the ceremony, nor at the festival. Banned from filmmaking in his country since 2017, Rasoulof made the Golden Bear-winning film while appealing this decision. He was subsequently sentenced to one year in prison, which was confirmed three weeks ago (read more here).

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There Is No Evil has, following its Berlinale premiere, been perceived as his most direct critique of Iran's government to date – and especially its death-penalty policies. “Four stories showing the web of an authoritarian regime as it weaves among ordinary people, drawing them towards inhumanity, a film that asks questions about our own responsibility and choices we all make in life. The Golden Bear goes to There Is No Evil by Mohammad Rasoulof,” proclaimed Jeremy Irons, who was presiding over the Berlinale jury this year.

The award was received by the director's daughter, actress Baran Rasoulof, who plays one of the roles in the film, and producers Farzan Pak and Kaveh Farnam. “I had a unique and magnificent experience after the screening of the film in the big, beautiful theatre [of the Berlinale Palast], when people put their hands together for Mr Rasoulof,” said Farnam. “It was a very special kind of feeling, and I looked at his seat. His seat was empty. Then I looked at other seats, and I found that he was in all of the seats. There were very strong faces, with a big ‘no’ to censorship.

“Mohammad was with us yesterday, and Mohammad is with us right now. And I thought about how this is all happening in Berlin. I think this story reminds us of something: there is no wall in the world that can stop our ideas, our belief – our love is spreading everywhere.”

Farnam then addressed the Golden Bear statuette he was holding in his hands, calling it his new friend who would be travelling to his beautiful country very soon: “Hug Mohammad, hug my master, my teacher, my friend. Mohammad will show you Iran. And you will find what kind, peaceful and lovely people we are. My people are only giving a message of peace and love to all humankind. We love everyone. We are lovely people, you will see it. Thank you!”

Prior to the awarding of the Golden Bear, the jury announced that the unofficial second-place prize, the Silver Bear Grand Jury Award, went to Never Rarely Sometimes Always by US filmmaker Eliza Hittman.

The Silver Bear - 70th Berlinale Special Award, newly established to replace the traditional Alfred Bauer Award, which has been pulled due to the recent discovery of the Berlinale founder's Nazi-related past, went to Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern's Delete History [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo picked up the Silver Bear for Best Director for The Woman Who Ran, while Best Actress went to Paula Beer for her role in Undine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Petzold
film profile
]
by Christian Petzold, and Elio Germano bagged the Best Actor gong for Hidden Away [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giorgio Diritti
film profile
]
 by Giorgio Diritti.

Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo received the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay for Bad Tales [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fabio and Damiano D’Innocenzo
film profile
]
, while the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution went to DoP Jürgen Jürges for the lighting and cinematography on Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Jekaterina Oertel's DAU. Natasha [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ilya Khrzhanovskiy
film profile
]
.

In the newly established Encounters section, The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by CW Winter and Anders Edström won Best Film, while Cristi Puiu picked up Best Director for Malmkrog [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cristi Puiu
film profile
]
. Sandra Wollner pocketed the Special Jury Award for The Trouble With Being Born [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sandra Wollner
film profile
]
, and a Special Mention went to Matías Piñeiro's Isabella [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

The Best Documentary Award, which is given to one of the 21 non-fiction titles shown across the key sections of the Berlinale, was bestowed upon Rithy Panh for Irradiated [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rithy Panh
film profile
]
, which screened in competition, while a Special Mention went to Notes from the Underworld [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
film profile
]
by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, which played in Panorama.

Similarly, the GWFF Best First Feature Award was given to a film from a pool of 21 titles playing across various sections, and both the winner, Los conductos [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Camilo Restrepo, and the recipient of a Special Mention, Melanie Waelde's Naked Animals [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, screened in the newly established Encounters, confirming that the introduction of the strand was a good decision by the new Berlinale management team.

Here is the full list of award winners:

Competition

Golden Bear for Best Film
There Is No Evil [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Mohammad Rasoulof (Germany/Czech Republic/Iran)

Silver Bear – Grand Jury Prize
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - Eliza Hittman (USA)

Silver Bear for Best Director
Hong Sangsoo - The Woman Who Ran (South Korea)

Silver Bear for Best Actress
Paula Beer - Undine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Petzold
film profile
]
(Germany/France)

Silver Bear for Best Actor
Elio Germano - Hidden Away [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giorgio Diritti
film profile
]
(Italy)

Silver Bear for Best Screenplay
Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo - Bad Tales [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fabio and Damiano D’Innocenzo
film profile
]
(Italy/Switzerland)

Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution
Jürgen Jürges, cinematographer - DAU. Natasha [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ilya Khrzhanovskiy
film profile
]
(Germany/Ukraine/UK/Russia)

Silver Bear – 70th Berlinale Special Prize
Delete History [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern (France/Belgium)

Encounters

Best Film
The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- CW Winter, Anders Edström (USA/Sweden/Japan/Hong Kong/UK)

Special Jury Award
The Trouble With Being Born [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sandra Wollner
film profile
]
- Sandra Wollner (Austria/Germany)

Best Director
Malmkrog [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cristi Puiu
film profile
]
- Cristi Puiu (Romania/Serbia/Switzerland/Sweden/Bosnia and Herzegovina/North Macedonia)

Special Mention
Isabella [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Matías Piñeiro (Argentina/France)

Best Documentary Award
Irradiated [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rithy Panh
film profile
]
- Rithy Panh (France/Cambodia)
Special Mention
Notes from the Underworld [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
film profile
]
- Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel (Austria)

GWFF Best First Feature Award
Los conductos [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Camilo Restrepo (France/Colombia/Brazil)
Special Mention
Naked Animals [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Melanie Waelde (Germany)

Berlinale Shorts

Golden Bear for Best Short Film
T – Keisha Rae Witherspoon (USA)

Silver Bear - Jury Prize for Short Film
Filipiñana – Rafael Manuel (Philippines/UK)

Audi Short Film Award
Genius Loci - Adrien Mérigeau (France)

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