For the 70th time, the film festival in Berlin took place this year from 20. 02. – 01.03.2020. Due to the shift of the date for the first time promptly after the Oscars in America.
This year marked the awards numerous significant changes, whether in terms of personnel or content, this year’s Berlinale was probably different from all previous. For example, it was the first film festival under the new dual leadership, consisting of Carlo Chatrian, who takes over as artistic director, and Mariette Rissenbeek, who takes the place of executive director. The dynamic duo placed the Berlinale under a new star and set it on a new path.
Thus, the categories “Out of Competition” , “Culinary Cinema” and the “Native” series were abolished, and the category “Encounters” was introduced instead. From now on, all glamour films will run as extra galas. The new management also decided to suspend the Alfred Bauer Award, initiated in 1987, this year due to the current political situation and Bauer’s role in the Nazi era, according to the official reasoning.
However, as tradition has it, the event opened with a world premiere, this year it was “My Salinger Year” by Philippe Faladeaur, from the category “Berlinale Special”. The opening gala was moderated by actor Samuel Finzi
18 films were nominated for the Golden Bear, films by directors from all over the world. The best film was chosen by the jury, jury president this year: British actor Jeremy Irons.
The Berlinale was again supported this year by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, giving them a preliminary annual budget of 26 million euros.
“Berlin Alexanderplatz” directed by Burhan Qurbani
“DAU.Natasha” directed by Ilya Khrzhanovsky and Ekaterina Oertel
“Domangchin yeoja” directed by Hong Sang-Soo
“Effacer l’historique” directed by Benoit Deléphine and Gustave Kervem
“Favolasse” directed by Damiano D’Innocenzo and Fabio D’Innocenzo
“First Cow” directed by Kelly Reichardt
“Irradies” directed by Panh
“Never Rare, Sometimes Always” directed by Eliza Hittman
“El prófugo” directed by Natalia Meta
“Rizi” directed by Tsai Ming-Liang
“The Roads Not Taken” directed by Sally Potter
“Little Sister” directed by Stéphanie Chuhat and Véronique Reymond
“Le sel des larmes” directed by Philippe Garrel
“Sheytan vojud nadarad” directed by Mohammad Rasulof
“Siberia” directed by Abel Ferrera
“Todos os mortos” directed by Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra
“Undine” directed by Christian Petzold
“Volevo nascondermi” directed by Giorgio Diritti
The main prize was eventually won by “Sheytan vojud nadarad” by Mahammad Rasulof, but the director was not allowed to leave his home country, so he could not accept the award. Fortunately, his daughter was able to be there to receive the award at the film festival.
Another important award was received by the British actress Helen Mirren. She was allowed to call the Golden Bear of Honor hers, as a tribute to her life’s work and a tribute of five films.
The “Berlinale Camera” went this year to German filmmaker Ulrike Oettinger.
The new category “Encounters
The “Encounters” category is intended to present “aesthetically and formally unusual works by independent filmmakers.” In this category, a maximum of 15 feature films or documentaries are nominated as world or international premieres with a film length of 60 minutes or more and selected by a three-member jury.