Many had begged Christian Petzold's "Barbara" or Miguel Gomes' "Tabu" as the likely winner, as both received considerable critical acclaim. Instead, "Caesar" — a documentary about criminals performing Shakespeare — was handed the top prize care of a jury led by Mike Leigh.
"Mixed reviews out of Berlin and an experimental production method may hold 'Caesar' back from much of a wide release," Eric Kohn wrote in his Indiewire review, "although it has enough unique appeal to make its way to an alternative release or perhaps a solid television deal."
The film was picked up for US release shortly after that review by Adopt Films.
The other winners in the main competition were spread out to 6 other films, including both "Barbara" (which won best director) and "Tabu" (which won the Alfred Bauer Prize). Nikolaj Arcel's "A Royal Affair" was the only winner of multiple awards, taking both best actor and best screenplay.
Outside the official selection, Olivia Silver's "ARCADIA" topped the Kplus program, while Srdjan Dragojevic's "Parada" won the audience award for best feature in the Panorama.
Full list of announced winners across all sections of the festival is below. Check out more of Indiewire's coverage from the festival here.
Golden Bear: "Caesar Must Die," by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Silver Bear – The Jury Grand Prize: "Just The Wind," by Bence Fliegauf
Silver Bear – Best Director: Christian Petzold for "Barbara"
Silver Bear – Best Actress: Rachel Mwanza for "War Witch"
Silver Bear – Best Actor: Mikkel Boe Folsgaard for "A Royal Affair"
Silver Bear – Best Screenplay: Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg for "A Royal Affair"
Alfred Bauer Prize: "Tabu," by Miguel Gomes
Special Mention: "Sister," by Ursula Meier
Crystal Bear for the Best Kplus Feature Film: "ARCADIA," by Olivia Silver (USA)
Special Mention: "Kikoeteru, furi wo sita dake," by Kaori Imaizumi (Japan)
Crystal Bear for the Best Kplus Short Film: "Julian," by Matthew Moore (Australia)
Special Mention: "B I N O," by Bille Pleffer (Australia)
Grand Prix of the Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk for the Best Feature Film, endowed with 7,500 Euro: "Kauwboy," by Boudewijn Koole (Netherlands)
Special Mention: "GATTU," by Rajan Khosa (India)
Special Prize of the Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk for the Best Short Film, endowed with 2,500 Euro: "B I N O," by Bille Pleffer (Australia)
Special Mention: "L," by Thais Fujinaga (Brazil)
Panorama Section Audience Award, Fiction Film: "Parada" (The Parade), by Srdjan Dragojevic (Serbia, Republic of Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia)
Second Place: "Diaz – Don't Clean Up This Blood," by Daniele Vicari (Italy, Romania, France)
Third Place: "Xingu," by Cao Hamburger (Brazil)
Panorama Section Audience Award, Documentary Film: "Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present," by Matthew Akers (USA)
Second Place: "Call Me Kuchu," by Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright
Third Place: "La Vierge, les Coptes et Moi," by Namir Abdel Messeeh (France, Qatar, Egypt)
Short Film DAAD Scholarship Award: "The Man That Got Away," by Trevor Anderson (Canada)
EFA Nominee Berlin (Best European Short Film): "Vilaine Fille Mauvais Garcon," by Justine Triet
Dialogue in Perspective Prize (for French-German cultural dialogue): "This Ain't California," by Marten Persiel
Teddy Award For Best Feature Film – "Keep The Lights On," by Ira Sachs
Teddy Award For Best Documentary – "Call Me Kuchu" by Malika Zouhall-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright
Teddy Award For Best Short Film – "Loxoro," by Claudia Llosa
Teddy Award Jury Prize – "Jaures," by Vincent Dieutre
Special Teddy Awards: Mario Montez and Ulrike Ottinger