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Eastern European cinema dominates Berlin

Golden Bear winning director Călin Peter Netzer and producer Ada Solomon

A Romanian film about a rich mother who tries to use her connections to stop her son going to jail has won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival. The Golden Bear was awarded to Calin Peter Netzer for his film Child’s Pose. It had been the favourite throughout what some critics had described as a lack lustre 19-strong selection, but the director said he felt “a little bit speechless” by his win.

The runner-up, the Silver Bear for the Grand Jury Prize, went to the Bosnian film An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, whose lead actor, an otherwise unemployed Roma, took the Best Actor prize. Nazif Mujic re-enacted his own family’s struggles in the film.

Best Actress honours went to Chile’s Paulina Garcia for Gloria and the other big award of the 63rd Berlinale went to the American filmmaker David Gordon Green. He was voted the Best Director for his comic road movie, Prince Avalanche.

The festival’s Best First Feature prize – worth 50,000 euros – went to the Laos-set Australian coming of age drama, The Rocket. The prize is shared between the director Kim Mordaunt and the producer Sylvia Wilczynski. The director is also awarded a high-quality viewfinder, that the festival says is both a useful instrument and a memorable trophy.

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