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BERLINALE 2008 Awards

Golden Bear to The Elite Squad, Hawkins only European exception

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Golden Bear to The Elite Squad, Hawkins only European exception

After 10 days of films, the 58th Berlinale – which many critics considered not to be a particularly memorable edition – concluded this evening with The Elite Squad by Brazilian director José Padilha winning the Golden Bear.

Described as City of God from a cop's perspective, the film, which divided the critics both in Brazil and at the festival, won over the jury, presided by Costa-Gavras, which also decided to award Errol Morris' Iraqi drama Standard Operating Procedure with the Jury Grand Prix.

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The Best Director Silver Bear went to Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood, while Mexico’s Fernando Eimbcke won the Alfred Bauer Prize for Lake Tahoe.

None of the European competition titles were lucky this year. The only European winner was Britain’s Sally Hawkins, who received the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her role as Poppy, an optimistic school teacher in Mike Leigh's highly praised comedy Happy-Go-Lucky [+see also:
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(see news).

The Silver Bear for Best Actor went to Reza Najie for his performance in the Iranian film The Song of Sparrows by Majid Majidi.

Applying Poppy's positive thinking, Europe can only hope to do better next year.

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