Berlinale's Golden Bear For Imprisoned Iranian Director Mohammad Rasoulof's "There Is N
Berlinale 2020 was really lucky with its timing. Planned to open a week later, it would have probably resulted in an inevitable cancellation due to this year's nightmare - coronavirus. However, it hasn't happened and the Golden Bear for Best Film was sent to Iran. Though it was handed by Jeremy Irons, the head of the international Jury, to the film cast and crew, the Iranian director of There Is No Evil Mohammad Rasoulof wasn't there, as he faces a travel ban and a one-year prison sentence for “spreading propaganda.”
There is No Evil, the film directed in secret, focuses on people who carry out executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mohammad Rasoulof isn't the first Iranian director to receive the Golden Bear at Berlinale: Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation was awarded in 2012 and Jafar Panahi’s Taxi Tehran in 2015.
The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to American writer-director Eliza Hittman's Never Really Sometimes Always, which shows a drama of a pregnant teen who travels from a small town in Pennsylvania to New York to get an abortion.
South Korea just proved the fact that it is a forge of excellent directors. This time it was Hong Sang-soo from South Korea who took home a Silver Bear for Best Director for his The Woman Who Ran, which centers around a woman who visits her old friends.
The Silver Bear for Best Actress and Actor subsequently went to a German actress Paula Beer for her role of a mythical water nymph who finds love in contemporary Berlin in Christian Petzold’s Undine and to Italian actor Elio Germano who embodied Italian painter Antonio Ligabue in Giorgio Diritti’s Hidden Away.
See all Awards here.
This year Berlinale underwent organizational changes and introduced a dual-leadership structure headed up by the artistic director Carlo Chatrian (former artistic director of Locarno Film Festival) and the executive director Mariette Rissenbeek (former managing director at German Films). They slightly changed the format of the festival and introduced a new section called Encounters to feature “aesthetically and structurally daring works.” However, a number of film critics still blamed Competition for "unnecessary, mediocre and disappointing films", or, as German critic Andreas Kilb, argued that the festival hadn't had “many more truly great and prize-worthy contributions” than in previous Berlinales.
With Berlinale 2020 over and some other film festivals cancelled across the world the eyes are now on Cannes. The one of the most famous film festivals is scheduled for May 13-23, so lets keep our fingers crossed and hands washed.