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Berlinale's Golden Bear Awarded To Dahomey, Nonfiction By Mati Diop




Documentaries become a new form of cinematographic success. Last weekend one of the major film events of the year - Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) concluded with the Golden Bear going to the documentary the second year in a row. Dahomey by a French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop snatched the top prize of the festival, also confirming it went to the Black director for the first time of the Berlinale history.


Mati Diop is not a newcomer, although documentary is a new genre she has tried this time. In 2019 she has already won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival with her fictional debut Atlantics. Dahomey is about France returning 26 ancient artifacts from the Kingdom of Dahomey to Benin to correct its colonialist injustice, which happened in the 19th century.


The second highest award of the festival - the Grand Jury Prize - went to a well-known Korean director Hong Sangsoo's A Traveler's Needs, a light and playful comedy with a French woman mysteriously adrift in Seoul. The Silver Bear Jury Prize was handed to French filmmaker Bruno Dumont for his science-fiction farce The Empire.


It's been three years when Berlinale decided to establish gender-neutral acting prizes, which until this year somehow appeared in female actors' hands. But this year Sebastian Stan was the best for his role in Aaron Schimberg’s A Different Man. The British actress Emily Watson won a supporting acting award for her role of a mother superior concealing Magdalene laundry abuses in the 80s Ireland in a book adaptation Small Things Like These.


See the full list of winners of Competition here.

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