Less women in the competition and few awards in the 71th Berlinale
The Covid year, also known as the Non-gender Acting Silver Bear in the Berlinale, bestows the big prize to a Romanian Film, after Pintilie's Golden Bear in 2018, directed by Radu Jude and produced by our very own dear Ada Solomon, Bad Luck banging or loony Porn.
Composed of former Golden Bear winners Ildikó Enyedi (2017), Nadav Lapid (2019), Adina Pintilie (2018), Mohammad Rasoulof (2020), Gianfranco Rosi (2016) and Jasmila Žbanić (2006), they picked Radu Jude to join their laurels with his Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn. The jury read “It's a film that has that rare and essential quality of a lasting artwork. It captures on screen the very content and essence, the mind and body, the values and the raw flesh of our present moment in time, of this very moment of human existence. It does so by provoking the spirit of our time by slapping it, by challenging it to a duel. It attacks the spectator, evokes disagreement, but leaves no one with a safety distance.”
Besides EWA Network's executive president, Ada Solomon, producer of Radu Jude's, few awards went to female-led films.
We must notice Maria Speth's Mr Bachmann and His Class scooped the Jury Silver Bear and the controversial non-gender Acting Silver Bears went to Maren Eggert, as Best Leading Performance playing a woman slowly falling in love with a robot in Schrader's I'm Your Man and Lilla Kizlinger getting the Best Supporting Performance gong for Forest – I See You Everywhere by Bence Fliegauf.
Eighteen titles have competed for the festival’s highest honor, of which only five films are directed by women, including two co-directions. It translates in a 28 percent of women-directed films in the main competition.
Céline Sciamma premiered her fifth film, Petite Maman, a story about two young girls exploring an important moment in the transition to adulthood. The film is poetically shot by Claire Mathon’s luminous autumnal cinematography,
Maria Schrader, the flamboyant winner an Emmy Prize for the Netflix title, Unorthodox, presented I’m Your Man (Ich bin dein Mensch).
Ballad of a White Cow (“Ghasideyeh gave sefid”), co-directed by Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha’s “, presents a classic trope of Iranian film, guilt and atonement.
The documentary Mr Bachmann and His Class (Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse), by Maria Speth, was honoured with the Silver Bear Jury Prize. The film pays tribute to a teacher and has been filmed over ten years.
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s Memory Box, whose story is built from the filmmakers own journal, tapes and wartime photographs and questions the role of memory in creating images.
This 71th Berlinale line-up, and also the list of winners, is a step back compared to the female presence in 2020 and definitely much less than in 2019, when the female presence peaked a 50% vying for the Golden Bear.
We must mention Han Shuai's film, which received the Grand Prix for Best Film at Generation K plus for Summer Blur.
A School in Cerro Hueso - Betania Cappato (Argentina)
And the Golden Bear for Best Short Film went to Olga Lucovnicova, in the international Belgium/Portugal/Hungary co-production, My Uncle Tudor (Nanu Tudor)