68th International Film Festival Berlin

15.02.2018 to 25.02.2018

Inge Kirsner, president of the Ecumenical Jury, congratulates prize winner Thomas Stuber (phto: D. Rasch)

The German competition entry "In the Aisles" by Thomas Stuber has won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. It is about the dreary world of a wholesale market in which the taciturn Christian (Franz Rogowski) is trained by an older colleague and falls in love with his colleague Marion (Sandra Hüller). The film also received the Gilde Film Award from the German Arthouse Cinemas. In the Panorama, the Ecumenical Jury awarded another German production, "Styx" by Wolfgang Fischer. The Forum Prize went to "Teatro de guerra" by Lola Arias from Argentina. In addition, the Swedish competition entry "Utøya - 22nd July" by Erik Poppe received a Commendation. The prizes in the Forum and the Panorama are each endowed with € 2,500.-. "Styx" was also awarded with the Label Europa Cinemas, "Teatro de guerra" with the CICAE Art Cinema Award.

The International Festival Jury headed by Jury President Tom Tykwer awarded the Golden Bear to "Touch Me Not" by Adina Pintilie from Romania. The Grand Prix of the Jury, a Silver Bear, went to "Twarc" (Mug) by Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska. Wes Anderson, director of the animated film "Isle of Dogs," which opened the 68th Berlinale on February 15, was honoured for Best Director.

19 films were screened in the International Competition, including the new works by Lav Diaz, Gus van Sant, Benoit Jacquot and Malgorzata Szumowska. Also four German films celebrated their world premiere in the competition: besides Thomas Stuber's film, Philip Groening's "My Brother's Name is Robert and He is an Idiot", "3 Days in Quiberon" by Emily Atef and "Transit" by Christian Petzold.

The actor Willem Dafoe was awarded a Golden Honorary Bear. The retrospective was dedicated to Weimar cinema. Among the films in the series "Berlinale Classics", which were shown in a new digital restoration, was the Israeli film "Life According to Agfa" by Assi Dayan, whose publication in Germany was promoted by the Protestant film work in the 90s. In the two competition sections for children's and youth films, Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus alone, 65 short and feature films were shown. In total, the festival presented about 350 films.

Link: Website des Festivals




In the Aisles
Directed by:

When life is a supermarket what we need is not found on the shelves but in the aisles. The film shows in an artistically  convincing way what is meant by: „Blessed are the pure in heart“.

U - July 22
Directed by:

The Ecumenical Jury commends Utøya 22. juli.  In a single take, with a hand held camera, the filmmaker creates a claustrophobic engagement with tragedy of the shocking attack that took the 69 lives of young people outside Oslo. The film plunges the audience into the anxiety and despair of the participants, and suggests the possibility of compassion and hope in the face of tragedy. 

Directed by:

Styx captures the attention of the Ecumenical Jury for the way it discovers the biblical story of the Good Samaritan in the challenge the EU faces in the arrival of desperate immigrants from Africa. It is a film of high artistic quality, which tells a tale of suspense, and confronts us with the ethical dilemma that individuals and nations must face when we are asked, “Who is my neighbour?” 

Theatre of War
Directed by:

More than 3 decades after the conflict has ended,  British and Argentinian veterans and  young actors explore the stories of the war in a setting that transcends theatre.  In this reenactment, the Falklands conflict stands for all wars and their traumatic consequences. War ends lives but here humanity prevails.

More about the festival

Germany's divided past and present refugee problems are film topics Jeffrey Mahan reflects in his report about this year's Berlin International Film Festival.