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Berlin Golden Bear Goes to China’s ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice,’ Jury Prize to ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’

BERLIN — Diao Yinan’s Chinese noir drama “Black Coal, Thin Ice” won the Berlinale’s Golden Bear on Saturday.

In what has been a seeming tradition in recent years, the festival jury, headed this year by James Schamus, spread the goods far and wide, with only “Black Coal” winning more than one award: actor Liao Fan nabbed the Silver Bear for his performance in the gritty crime drama about a boozed-up and jaded former detective who begins to investigate an old unsolved homicide case after a series of mysterious new murders in a northern Chinese factory district.

Richard Linklater picked up the Silver Bear for best director for the much loved “Boyhood,” starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette in a family drama shot over a 12-year period. Accepting the award, Linklater thanked the entire crew in making the film: “This prize is for best director but I’ll accept it for best ensemble.”

Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won the fest’s Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, while Japanese actress Haru Kuroki was honored for her performance in Yoji Yamada’s Japanese family drama “The Little House.”

Opening the Berlinale’s award ceremony, a beaming Dieter Kosslick announced that this year’s festival had set a new record, with 330,000 tickets sold, more than ever before.

Some 1,600 guests attended the closing ceremony, which was broadcast live on German pubcaster 3sat.

Other wins included Alain Resnais’ “Life of Riley,” which took the Silver Bear/Alfred Bauer Prize for “feature film that opens New Perspectives,” and Dietrich Brueggemann’s German drama “Stations of the Cross,” which won the Silver Bear for best script for the writer-director and his sister and co-writer Anna Brueggemann.

In addition, Lou Ye’s Chinese entry “Blind Massage” won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for cinematography thanks to the work of Zeng Jian.

The festival’s First Feature Film Award went to Alonso Ruizpalacios’ Mexican Panorama screener “Gueros.”

Ahead of the official awards ceremony, the Berlinale announced a slew of independent jury and audience awards to other films screening at the festival.

They are:

Guild of German Art House Cinemas prize:Boyhood

Ecumenical Jury

“Stations of the Cross” — best competition film

John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary” – -top Panorama pic

Athanasios Karanikolas’ “At Home” — best Forum title.

Special mentions: Yann Demange’s debut competition entry “’71,” about the troubles in Northern Ireland and Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires’ Canadian feature “Triptych,” which screened in Panorama

Amnesty International Film Prize: Jehane Noujaim’s “The Square”

CICAE Art Cinema Awards: Kutlug Ataman’s Turkish drama “The Lamb” for the Panorama section; Anja Marquardt’s U.S. drama “She’s Lost Control,” which centers on a New York sexual surrogate, for the Forum sidebar

Generation 14Plus: Sophie Hyde’s Australian family drama “52 Tuesdays,” about a teenager whose mother is undergoing gender transition

Special mention: Gabri Velazquez’s Spanish entry “Artico” with a special mention.

Generation 14plus International Jury: Grand prize – “Violet,” Bas Devos’ Belgian-Dutch drama about a young man dealing with his friend’s violent death

Special mention to Cao Baoping’s Chinese drama “Einstein and Einstein,” which examines the role of gender in family life

Generation Kplus Children’s Jury: best film — Avinash Arun’s Indian coming-of-age drama “The Fort,” which led the jury to state, “This film made us all want to discover India.”

Special mention: Masakazu Sugita’s Japanese drama “Joy of Man’s Desiring”

Generation Kplus International Jury: Grand Prix for best feature — Matias Lucchesi’s “Natural Sciences,” an Argentinian-French coproduction about a young girl who sets off on a quest to find the father she doesn’t know. Commenting on the winner, the jury said, “Strong in its simplicity, the film touched our hearts.”

Special mention: “The Fort”

Panorama Audience Awards: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s Ethiopian drama “Difret” and Stefan Haupt’s Swiss documentary “The Circle.” Second-place prizes went to Daniel Ribeiro’s feature “The Way He Looks” and John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s U.S. documentary “Finding Vivian Maier.”

French-German Youth Office’s Dialogue en perspective award: Ester Amrami’s German drama “Anywhere Else,” for films screening in the German sidebar Perspektive Deutsches Kino. Nicole Voegele’s “Fog” won an honorable mention.

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