73rd International Film Festival Berlin

16.02.2023 to 26.02.2023

The Ecumenical Jury at the Berlinale 2023 has awarded its Prize in the International Competition to "Tótem" (Mexico, Denmark, France 2023) by Lila Avilès. The Golden Bear was won by the French documentary "Sur l'Adamant" (France, Japan 2022) by Nicolas Philibert, which the Ecumenical Jury awarded a Commendation. The Ecumenical Jury prizes of €2,500 each in the Panorama and Forum went to "Sages-femmes" (Midwives, France 2022) by Léa Fehner (Panorama) and to "Jaii keh khoda nist" (Where God Is Not, France, Switzerland 2023) by Mehran Tamadon (Forum). The prize money is donated jointly by the Catholic German Bishops' Conference ann the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)

A Silver Bear (Grand Jury Prize) was awarded to "Roter Himmel" (Germany 2023) by Christian Petzold and "Viver mal" (Bad Living, Portugal, France 2023) by João Canijo (Jury Prize). Also receiving a Silver Bear were Philippe Garrel for Best Director for "Le grand chariot" (The Plough, France, Switzerland 2022) and Angela Schanelec for Best Screenplay for "Music" (Germany, France, Serbia 2023).

In the Encounters section, "Here" (Belgium 2023) by Bas Devos was awarded Best Film. The Fipresci jury also awarded its prize to this film in the same section, giving awards to "The Survival of Kindness" (Australia 2022) by Rolf de Heer in the International Competition, "Stille Liv" (The Quiet Migration; Denmark 2023) by Malene Choi in the Panorama and "Între revoluţii" (Between Revolutions, Romania, Croatia, Qatar, Iran 2023) by Vlad Petri in the Forum.

The CICAE Art Cinema Award went in the Panorama to "Das Lehrerzimmer" (Germany 2023) by Ilker Çatak, which also won the Label Europa Cinemas Award, and in the Forum to "El rostro de la medusa" (The Face of the Jellyfish, Argentina 2022) by Melisa Liebenthal.  Other prizes went to "De facto" (Austria, Germany 2023) by Selma Doborac (Caligari Film Prize), "Seven Winters in Tehran" (Germany, France 2023) by Steffi Niederzoll (Peace Film Prize) and "Al Murhaqoon" (The Burdened, Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia 2023) by Amr Gamal (Amnesty International Film Prize).

Link: Homepage of the festival



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The film is a moving portrait of a family who is dealing with the terminal illness of a young man. The story is told from the point of view of his little daughter and unfolds during one special day. The jury was genuinely blown away by the complex and sensitive way of illustrating the love holding this family together, neither false nor idealized. It also highlights how Mexican culture deals with death and celebrates live at the same time.

On the Adamant
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The Ecumenical Jury awards the documentary On the Adamant for the respectful approach to a group of mentally challenged people on a daycare-center on a barge on the river Seine by fostering a sense of community.

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The Ecumenical Jury awards Midwives for the strong and genuine depiction of the midwife ward of a public hospital in Paris. The film shows the intensity of their daily work and the challenges they encounter and overcome. The film brilliantly shows the short-comings of the system on one hand and the dedication of the staff accompanying women who are about to bring new lives into the world on the other hand. The seamless integration of drama and documentary adds to the impact of the film

Where God Is Not
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How can the horror of political imprisonment and torture be told? The Iranian filmmaker and architect Mehran Tamadon, who has lived in France since his youth and returns to his homeland time and again for projects, has found an impressive way. He places his characters Homa Kalhori, Taghi Rahmani and Mazyar Ebrahimi in a space which recreates their former prisons - „where God is not“, as one of the jailors said.  And as such, becomes a rogue scenario that triggers in them memories of past suffering, humiliation and torture. An original cinematic device allowing for a performative reenactment to sharing their harrowing experiences, which becomes a denunciation of a reality that is still Iran’s nowadays. 

More about the festival

"I have forgotten the feeling of seeing," says Viera Čákanyová at the beginning of "Poznámky z Eremocénu" (Notes from the Eremocene). In the cinema, a sentence like that can send a shudder through your limbs. Karsten Visarius reports about the Forum section of the Berlinale.
After two years of Corona restrictions, the 73rd Berlinale took place again able to take place as a presence festival.According to its own claim, the Berlinale sees itself as a festival of solidarity with the disenfranchised and oppressed of the world. Accordingly, there have been demonstrations of solidarity with women in Iran and Ukraine.
One of the most frequently asked questions to the Ecumenical Jury is: What criteria do you use to choose your prizes? We are not looking for the "better Jesus film", explained jury member Kerstin Heinemann in an interview. In fact, there is a list of points to consider. Outstanding artistic quality is just as much a part of it as respect for human dignity, Miriam Hollstein, president of the Ecumenical Jury at the Berlinale 2023, writes in her festival report.
After two years of limitations due to the Corona pandemic, the 73rd Berlinale is back to its usual scope. It will open on 16 February with the romantic comedy "She Came to Me" by Rebecca Miller, which will be screened as a Berlinale Special Gala.