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Winners in Berlin

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David Lee Miller’s “My Suicide” about a world-weary teen who announces his intention to make a movie about his suicide and so triggers a storm of attention, has won the Berlinale’s Crystal Bear for best feature in the Generation 14plus youth film section.
The Generation youth jury said the pic, which stars Gabriel Sunday, David Carradine and Mariel Hemingway, persuasively tackles a rare theme, which is both current and extremely tragic for young people.
The jurors said they were not only fascinated by the film’s gripping content, but also the highly original way in which it was made. The protagonist’s loneliness and his longing for love are authentic and awe-inspiring.
A special mention went to Adam Elliot’s “Mary and Max”, an Australian animated work voiced by the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette and Eric Bana, about the relationship between two pen pals, an 8-year-old girl from Melbourne and a 44-year-old New Yorker afflicted by autism.
The jury said the clay-animated work was ironic, endearing and has an unrivalled aesthetic. Who am I and why am I? What is the meaning of friendship and how do I find my way to love and to my own self? Five years of production at the rate of five seconds a day definitely paid off.
New Zealand’s “Aphrodite’s Farm”, by Adam Strange, took the Crystal Bear for best short, while David Aronowitsch and Hanna Heilborn’s animated Scandinavian production “Slavar”, a documentary about a child slaves in Sudan, won special mention.
The Generation award ceremony and the screening of the winning film took place Friday in Berlin’s Babylon cinema a day before the Berlinale’s official competition awards show on Saturday.

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