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Weekend of Awards and Protest as 53rd Berlinale Concludes

Weekend of Awards and Protest as 53rd Berlinale Concludes

Weekend of Awards and Protest as 53rd Berlinale Concludes

by Eugene Hernandez

Demonstrators trickled through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin as Saturday’s anti-war march came to a close. The protest, which reportedly drew 500,000 people, took place on the final weekend of the policitally-charged 2003 Berlinale.

Photo by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

It is difficult to report from the final weekend of the 53rd Berlinale without mentioning the large anti-war demonstration that was held in Berlin on Satuday. During Friday night’s Teddy Awards ceremony, Festival organizer Dieter Kosslick and Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowerweit openly encouraged festival-goers to attend the march and protest. In fact, throughout the final days of the Berlinale, flyers for the demonstration were distributed widely throughout the event. On Satuday, as the jury gathered in Potsdamer Platz to unveil the festival’s winners, not far away two large groups marched to the Tiergarten park and met at the Siegessaule (a local monument featured prominently in Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire”) for the afternoon demonstration. The gathering drew, by police estimates reported locally, upwards of 500,000 people.

A contingent from this year’s first Talent Campus gathering of emerging filmmakers marched in an anti-war demonstration, carrying a banner with messages that included, “The Reasons For This War are Wrong, ” “Stop Mad Cowboy Disease,” and “No More Bushit.”

Throughout this year’s Berlinale, participants and attendees seized the spotlight to express opposition to the potential war in Iraq. Festival-goers donned signs advocating peace and during on stage sessions and press conferences filmmakers and celebrities echoed anti-war sentiment. At the US Embassy party earlier in the week, guests wore signs that read, “American Against the War.” And during the festival, a group of filmmakers recorded comments from festival attendees and collected opinions under the banner, “Freedom2Speak.” The final project was screened on Sunday night.

“After a toothless decade,” offered Variety’s Adam Dawtrey in a summary of the 2003 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, “The Berlin bear has discovered its political bite again in the face of global crisis.”

“Towards tolerance,” the festival’s motto from Dieter Kosslick, was prominent throughout the event. “The Berlinale considers itself a platform for political discussion. This year’s motto – toward tolerance – highlights this position,” Kosslick told Variety. “Within the Berlinale program. there are numerous films that contribute to social and political discussion.”

Festival jurors this year accepted the challenge issued by Kosslick, awarding the festival’s top award, the Golden Berlin Bear, to Michael Winterbottom for his new film, “In This World,” the story of two Afghan refugees living on the Pakistani border after the bombing began in October of 2001. The film also won the Peace Film Prize and it received the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.

Also winning an award from the Ecumenical Jury was the Israeli film, Nir Bergman’s “Knafayim Shvurot” (“Broken Wings”). The film, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and won the festival’s Panorama audience award, also won the International Confederation of Art Cinemas award. Another Sony Picture Classics acquisition, Isabel Coixet’s “My Life Without Me” was an award winner; it won the Prize of the German Art House Cinemas.

The FIPRESCI award for a competition film went to Hans-Christian Schmidt’s “Lichter,” while the critics award for a Panorama section film went to Christian Petzold’s “Wolfsburg” and the award for a film in the Forum section went to Piotr Trzaskalski’s “Edi.”

Speaking in the final edition of Screen’s festival daily over the weekend, Kosslick reiterated his view that this year’s Berlinale was, “A statement for peace.”


The complete list of prize-winners at the 53rd Berlinale:

International Jury Awards

Golden Berlin Bear – “In This World” directed by Michael Winterbottom

Jury Grand Prix, Silver Berlin Bear – “Adaptation” directed by Spike

Silver Berlin Bear for Best Director – Patrice Chereau (“Son Frere”)

Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actress – female ensemble of Meryl Streep,
Nocole Kidman, Julianne Moore (“The Hours”)

Silver Berlin Bear for Best Actor – Sam Rockwell (“Confessions Of A
Dangerous Mind”)

Silver Berlin Bear for an individual artistic achievement- to screenwriter
and director Li Yang for “Mang Jing”

Silver Berlin Bear for Best Film Music – Majoly, Serge Fiori, Mamadou
Diabate (“Madame Brouette” by Moussa Sene Absa)

AGICOA Award The Blue Angel for Best European Film, endowed with Euros
25,000 to the director Wolfgang Becker (“Good Bye, Lenin!”)

Alfred Bauer Prize, awarded in memory of the festival founder, for a work of
particular innovation – “Ying Xiong” directed by Zhang Yimou

Golden Berlin Bear for Short Film – “(A)Torsion” by Stefan Arsenijevic

Short Film Jury Prize, Silver Berlin Bear – ex aequo to “In Absentia”
directed by Lucia Cedron and “The Tram No 9” by Stepan Koval

Prix UIP Berlin – “(A)Torsion” by Stefan Arsenijevic

Prize of the Churches of the Ecumenical Jury

Competition – “In This World” by Michael Winterbottom

Panorama – “Broken Wings” by Nir Bergman

Forum – “Edi” by Piotr Trzaskalski


Competition – “Distant Lights” (Lichter) directed by Hans-Christian

Panorama – “Wolfsburg” directed by Christian Petzold

Forum – “Edi” directed by Piotr Trzaskalski

Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas

“My Life Without Me” directed by Isabel Coixet

Readers’ Prize of the Berliner Morgenpost

“The Hours” directed by Stephen Daldry

C.I.C.A.E. Prize

Panorama prize – “Broken Wings” directed by Nir Bergman

Special Mention – “Seville, South Side” directed by Dominique Abel

Forum prize – “Mango Yellow” directed by Claudio Assis

Special Mention – “Power Trip” directed by Paul Devlin

LVT Manfred Salzgeber Prize

“Pure” directed by Gillies MacKinnon

Panorama Short Film Award

“Misdemeanour” directed by Jonathan LeMond

New York Film Academy prize

“I Could Have Been Human” directed by Garine Barbara Medajska

Special Mention – “Underdog” directed by Eran Merav

Panorama Audience Prize

“Broken Wings” directed by Nir Bergman

Prize of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk

Feature Film Grand Prix – “Wallah Be” directed by Pia Bovin

Special Mention – “Elina” by Klaus Haro and “The Boy Who Wanted To Be A
Bear” directed by Jannik Hastrup

Short Special Prize – “Pipsqueak Prince” directed by Zoia Trofimova

Special Mention – “Houdini’s Hound” directed by Sara Johnsen

Crystal Bear

Best Feature Film – “Elina” by Klaus Haro

Special Mention – “Miss Entebbe” by Omri Levy and “Carol s Journey” by
Imanol Uribe

Best Short Film – “Pipsqueak Prince” by Zoia Trofimova

Special Mention – “Birju” by Heeraz Marfatia

Peace Film Prize

“In This World” directed by Michael Winterbottom

Teddy Awards

Best Feature Film – “A Thousand Peace Clouds Encircle The Sky, Love, You
Will Never Stop Being Love” directed by Julian Hernandez

Best Documentary – “Talk Straight – The World Of Rural Queers” directed by
Jochen Hick

Best Short – “Precious Moments” directed by Lars Krutzkoff and Jan

Special Teddy 2003 – F.W. Murnau

Readers’ Prize of the Siegessaule

“The Event” directed by Thom Fitzgerald

Wolfgang Staudte Award 2002

“Forest” directed by Benedek Fliegauf

Caligari Prize 2002

“Salt” directed by Bradley Rust Gray


“The Blessing Bell” directed by Sabu

Special Mention – “Bird-Man Tale” directed by Garin Nugroho

Don Quixote Prize of the International Federation of Film Societies

“Edi” directed by Piotr Trzaskalski

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