18 February 2013 Claude Lanzmann received the Honorary Golden Bear in Berlin
Last weekend awards were handed out at the 63rd International Film Festival in Berlin – one of the most prestigious film events in the world. The honorary Golden Bear award went to French documentarian Claude Lanzmann. The most famous work of the 87-year-old director is Shoah (1985) – a monumental film about the Holocaust, which lasts nine and a half hours. As you may remember, Lanzmann visited Krakow during the 2nd Conrad Festival.
This time Polish filmmakers also had something to boast about. Bejbi blues by Katarzyna Rosłaniec was selected by the youth jury as the best film of the Generation 14plus section. It also received a special award from the international jury of this section. Apart from this, Małgorzata Szumowska’s film In the Name of… won the Teddy award, which is granted to the best film bringing up the topic of LGBT.
The Golden Bear statuette was granted to director Calin Peter Netzer for the Romanian film Pozitia Copilului (Child's Pose). The Silver Bear award for best director went to David Gordon Green, the American director of Prince Avalanche. The Silver Bear award for best script was won by Iranian director Jafar Panahi for the film Pardé (Closed Curtain). The Silver Bear award for best actor went to Nazif Mujic – a Romany from Bosnia and Herzegovina starring in Epizoda u żivotu beracza żeljeza (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker), whereas the best actress award was won by Paulina Garcia from Chile for her role in Gloria.
At the Berlinale, which is regarded as the most important European festival after Cannes and Venice, 19 films competed for awards in the main competition. During the eleven days of the festival, the organisers showed over 400 films. They were watched by 300,000 persons, which gives the Berlinale the absolutely leading position as an audience-oriented festival. Established in 1951, the Berlin Film Festival has been an event of high political significance since the beginning; in the Cold War period and even after 1989 it served as an important forum for filmmakers from the East and the West.