Padilha drama tops Berlin Film Festival

Jose Padilha’s bloody Brazilian crime actioner “The Elite Squad,” an examination of police corruption and gang violence, took the Golden Bear at the 58th Berlin Film Festival on Saturday.

Prizes were spread out evenly among the year’s contenders, although corruption was an obvious theme running through most of the winners.

Paul Thomas Anderson took the Silver Bear for his Oscar-nominated film “There Will Be Blood,” which also won composer Jonny Greenwood the Silver Bear for artistic contribution.

“Standard Operating Procedure,” Errol Morris’ examination of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, won the Jury Grand Prize.

An emotional Sally Hawkins accepted the actress Silver Bear for her role as an extraordinarily happy and free-spirited young teacher in Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” dedicating the award to the helmer.

Iranian thesp Reza Naji took the actor nod for his work in Majid Majidi’s moving story of human corruption, “The Song of Sparrows.”

The Golden Bear win for “Elite Squad” took local critics by surprise, as the film had received mixed reviews, many of them accusing the pic of fascism and glorifying police brutality, but Padilha said his film reflects reality on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Some welcomed the decision to award the only action film in what many critics described as an uninspired lineup.

Indeed, this year’s fest was overshadowed by the bustling European Film Market and its much-talked-about titles, including Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming Che Guevara biopics.

The Rolling Stones, at least, helped deliver the most exciting opening night of the fest in years, attending the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s doc on the band, “Shine a Light.”

A slew of celebs, such as Madonna, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana,generated plenty of star wattage throughout the 11-day event.

Additional prizes went to Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai, who won the Silver Bear for script for “In Love We Trust,” and Mexican helmer Fernando Eimbcke, an alumnus of the Berlinale’s Talent Campus, who won the Alfred Bauer Prize for “Lake Tahoe.”

“It was a Berlinale of music, grand emotions and great artists. The groove was good, and Berlin this year was not cold but cool,” said fest topper Dieter Kosslick.

Some 1,600 guests attended the award celebration at the Berlinale Palast, including Christian Petzold, Volker Schloendorff, Wim Wenders, Martina Gedeck, Maria Schrader, Juergen Vogel, Jessica Schwarz and Chris Kraus. Also on hand: Francesco Rosi, who was honored with a Golden Bear for lifetime achievement and the Berlinale Homage, and Juan Luis Bunuel, whose father, Luis Bunuel, was similarly honored with this year’s retrospective.

Local jazz star Till Broenner provided the kudo evening’s jazzy entertainment, and Katrin Bauerfeind hosted the glitzy event, broadcast live on German pubcaster 3Sat.

The Berlinale sold some 230,000 tickets to moviegoers for the more than 380 films that screened at the fest, which wrapped Sunday.

The winners:

GOLDEN BEAR
“The Elite Squad” (Brazil)

SILVER BEARS

JURY GRAND PRIX
“Standard Operating Procedure” (Errol Morris, U.S.)

ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins (“Happy-Go-Lucky,” U.K.)

ACTOR
Reza Najie (“The Song of the Sparrows,” Iran)

DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood,” U.S.)

ARTISTIC CONTRIBUTION MUSIC
Jonny Greenwood (“There Will Be Blood,” U.S.)

ALFRED BAUER PRIZE
“Lake Tahoe” (Fernando Eimbcke, Mexico)

FIRST FEATURE FILM
“Asyl – Park and Love Hotel” (Kumasaka Izuru, Japan)

TEDDY
“The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela” (Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, Iceland)

FEATURE
“Football Under Cover” (David Assmann, Ayat Najafi, Germany) Documentary “Ta” (Felipe Sholl, Brazil) Short “Be Like Others” (Tanaz Eshaghian, U.S./Canada/Iran) Jury Prize VOLKSWAGEN AUDIENCE AWARD “Football Under Cover” (David Assmann, Ayat Najafi, Germany) SHORTS
“A Good Day for a Swim” (Bogdan Mustata, Romania, Golden Bear) “(Un)ravel” (Siddharth Sinha, India, Silver Bear)

DIALOGUE EN PERSPECTIVE
“Drifter” (Sebastian Heidinger, Germany)
“Star-Crossed” (Bettina Eberhard, Germany), Special Mention

PRIX UIP BERLIN
“Frankie” (Darren Thornton, Ireland)

DAAD SHORT FILM AWARD
“In the Theme” (Olga Popova, Russia)
“Surface” (Rui Xavier, Portugal), Special Mention “RGB XYZ” (David OReilly, Ireland), Special Mention

GENERATION KPLUS CRYSTAL BEARS
“Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame” (Hana Makhmalbaf, Iran/France)

Crystal Bear Feature
”The Ten Lives of Titanic the Cat” (Grethe Boe, Norway)

Special Mention Feature
“Nana” (Warwick Thornton, Australia)

Crystal Bear Short
“New Boy” (Steph Green, Ireland)

GENERATION 14plus CRYSTAL BEARS
“The Black Balloon” (Elissa Down, Australia)

Crystal Bear Feature
“Sita Sings the Blues” (Nina Paley, U.S.)

Special Mention Feature
“You, Me and Him” (Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil)

Crystal Bear Short
“Take 3” (Roseanne Liang, New Zealand) Special Mention Short

KINDERFILMFEST INTL. JURY PRIZES
“Go West! A Lucky Luke Adventure” (Olivier Jean Marie, France)

Grand Prix Feature
“Mutum” (Sandra Kogut, Brazil/France)

Special Mention Feature
“My Uncle Loved the Colour Yellow” (Mats Olof Olsson, Sweden)

Special Prize Short
“Post!” (Christian Asmussen, Matthias Bruhn, Germany) Special Mention Short

ECUMENICAL JURY PRIZE
“I’ve Loved You So Long…” (Philippe Claudel, France/Germany)

Competition
“In Love We Trust” (Wang Xiaoshuai, China) Special Mention “Boy A” (John Crowley, U.K.)

Panorama
“Corridor #8” (Boris Despodov, Bulgaria) Forum

FIPRESCI (INT’L. CRITICS ASSN.) PRIZES
“Lake Tahoe” (Fernando Eimbcke, Mexico)

Competition
“Mermaid” (Anna Melikian, Russia) Panorama “Brides of Allah” (Natalie Assouline, Israel) Forum

MANFRED SALZGEBER PRIZE
“Glasses” (Naoko Ogigami, Japan)
“Suddenly, Last Winter” (Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi, Italy) Special Mention

READERS’ JURIES AND AUDIENCE AWARDS

PANORAMA AUDIENCE AWARD
“Lemon Tree” (Eran Riklis, Israel/Germany/France)

TAGESSPIEGEL READERS’ PRIZE
“God Man Dog” (Singing Chen, Taiwan)

BERLINER MORGENPOST READERS’ PRIZE
“I’ve Loved You So Long…” (Philippe Claudel, France/Germany)

SIEGESSAEULE READERS’ CHOICE AWARD
“Be Like Others” (Tanaz Eshaghian, U.S./Canada/Iran)

TALENT CAMPUS PRIZE

VOLKSWAGEN SCORE COMPETITION
Conrad Oleak (Germany)

BERLIN TODAY AWARD
Maheen Zia, “Match Factor” (Pakistan)

GUILD OF GERMAN ART HOUSE CINEMAS PRIZE
“Restless” (Amos Kollek, Israel/Germany)

CICAE (Intl. Confederation of Arthouse Cinema)

PRIZES
“Revanche” (Goetz Spielmann, Austria)

Panorama
“United Red Army” (Wakamatsu Koji, Japan)

LABEL EUROPA CINEMAS PRIZES
“Revanche” (Goetz Spielmann, Austria)

CALIGARI FILM PRIZE
“Slingshot” (Brillante Ma. Mendoza, Philippines)

NETPAC PRIZE
“United Red Army” (Wakamatsu Koji, Japan) ”Paruthiveeran” (Ameer Sulthan, India), Special Mention

PEACE FILM AWARD
“Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame” (Hana Makhmalbaf, Iran/France)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FILM PRIZE
“Sleep Dealer” (Alex Rivera, U.S./Mexico)
“Be Like Others” (Tanaz Eshaghian, U.S./Canada/Iran), Special Mention

FEMINA FILM PRIZE
Maria Gruber, Set Design (“Revanche”)
Isabelle Baumgartner, Costume Design (“Teenage Angst”), Special Mention

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