Jafar Panahi's ‘Taxi’ wins Golden Bear at Berlinale

NEW DELHI: The Iranian 'Taxi' by Jafar Panahi - who cannot even leave his country as he is awaiting trial - bagged both the Golden Bear as well as the FIPRESCI (film critics) awards at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival at the Berlinale Palast.

The Silver Bear went to El Club (The Club) by Pablo Larrain of Chilea while the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives was given to Ixcancul (Volcano) by Jayro Bustamante from Guatemala.

The Silver Bear for Best Director was shared by two films: Radu Jude for Aferim! from Romania and Malgorzata Szumowska for Body from Poland.

The Silver Bears for best actress and best actor went to Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courteny respectively for the same film: In 45 Years by Andrew Haigh.

Interestingly, Panahi cannot even have credits in his films and his films do not exist 'officially' and are not 'distributable' there. The well written, directed and performed film is overtly political and a pithy indictment of the Iranian censorship laws as well as the 'sharia-based' criminal justice system of the theocratic regime. His award was collected by his niece.

The Silver Bears for Outstanding Artistic Contribution went to the German Sturla Brandth Grovlen for his 'one-take' cinematography in Victoria directed by Sebastian Schipper while the Russians Evgeniy Privin and Sergey Mikhalchuk got it for Pod Electricheskimi Oblakami (Under Electric Clouds) directed by Alexey German Jr.

Nagesh Kukunoor's Dhanak received two awards: the Special Mention by the Children's Jury Generation KPlus, and the Grand Prix of the Generation KPlus International Jury for the best feature-length film, endowed with  7,500 by the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk.

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