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FIPRESCI award at the Berlinale 2024

FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) ) is the international federation of film critics that awards prizes at all the important film festivals. The Jury for the Berlinale Forum 2024 consisted of Nicolás Medina (Uruguay), Sebastiaan Khouw (The Netzerlands) and Schayan Riaz (Germany). FIPRESCI awards prizes for each section of the Berlinale.

The award for the Forum section goes to THE HUMAN HIBERNATION by Anna Cornudella Castro, a thought experiment equal parts sci-fi and meditation, shot in searing images.

The jury statement reads as follows: “In an age where the meaning of films is spoon-fed to the audience, it’s refreshing to see a very personal picture open to all kinds of interpretations. In this brave film shot in challenging surroundings, there are profound reflections on life, nature, family and humankind’s place in the world. Combining extraordinary sound design with delicate uses of photography, this never feels like the work of a first-time filmmaker.”

Ecumenical jury 2024

The award of the Ecumenical jury for a Forum film goes to the Latvian filmmaker Dāvis Sīmanis and his film MARIJAS KLUSUMS (Maria’s Silence). The prize is sponsored by the Evangelical Church in Germany and is endowed with 2,500 Euros.

The jury states: „This black and white film relates the real story of silent film actress Maria Leiko travelling from Germany to Soviet Russia and trapped by the regime. Maria and the Latvian theatre company in which she was enrolled become victims of the massive purges of this period. The jury appreciated the transformation of the main character who witnessed the evils of the system and eventually decided on choosing silence as a form of resistance against outrageous violence.“

Additionally a commendation went to INTERCEPTED von Oksana Karpovych. “Conversations between Russian soldiers and their families were intercepted by Ukrainian army. In this documentary, Director Oksana Karpovych confronts recordings of those conversations with images of destroyed Ucrainian houses and villages. That confrontation creates a collision and a striking portrayal of war.”

The Ecumenical Jury 2024 was headed by the Czech Benedictine nun Francesca Simuniová. The jury included the filmmaker Karin Becker (Munich), the film expert Anita Nemes (Hungary), the French film critic Jacques Champeaux, the American religious scholar Brent Rodriguez Plate and the Latvian producer Marta Romanova-Jekabsonen.

The Ecumenical Jury honors films that focus on important social and interreligious issues. There are ecumenical juries at over 30 festivals and they are made up of equal numbers of different denominations.

Amnesty Film Prize

At the Amnesty Film Prize, which is awarded by the human rights organization Amnesty International Germany, Oksana Karpovych received an honorable mention from the Amnesty jury for INTERCEPTED.

CICAE Arthouse Cinema Award

This year's CICAE Arthouse Cinema Award goes to filmmaker Narges Kalhor and her film SHAHID, a ludicrous work between reality and fiction, theater and musical. From the jury statement: “The Arthouse Cinema Award 2024 goes to a unique and bold piece of filmmaking that manages to tear down conventions and borders. For its stylistically and thematically multi-layered approach that crafts a very honest and intimate film that uses self-irony while touching upon significant and consequential issues. For a director that manages to gracefully balance reality and fiction, humour and tragedy, various art forms and emotions into a powerful cinematic blend.”

The Arthouse Cinema Award is the CICAE award given at major international festivals by an international jury of arthouse cinema exhibitors and programmers, which aims at bringing high-quality films to the arthouse cinemas. The jury consisted of Anca Caramelea, Andrea Crozzoli and Stefan Malešević.

Caligari film award

Narges Kalhor and her film SHAHID received the Caligari film award already on Friday evening (23.2.) at a ceremony in the Betonhalle at silent green Kulturquartier. In der Jury-Begründung erklärt die Caligari-Jury:

“Just as Narges Kalhor has to find her identity between different countries, cultures and languages, the film constantly switches its own registers with virtuosity: between fiction and documentation; tragedy and comedy; genre cinema and experimental film; slow motion and fast motion; Film, film within the film and behind the scenes. He consistently questions his own form; again and again the fiction becomes fragile and new false bottoms open up. The circular movement turns out to be a spiral into the depths of one's own biography and the collective past.”

Link to the Caligari news and the complete statement of the jury

Teddy Awards

Forum Expanded does not go away empty-handed either. Zuza Banasińska receives the Teddy Award for Best Short Film for her GRANDMAMAUNTSISTERCAT.

The Teddy jury stated the following reasons for the prize: “We have awarded this film for its playful feminist autofictional queering of chauvinistic propagandistic archival materials produced by a communist era polish educational film studio and its witty interrogation of the perpetuation of binarized gender norms embedded within them.”

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