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Tears, triumph and a trip down memory lane were all on the agenda as Beki Probst, director of the European Film Market, received a Berlinale Kamera award for her 30 years of work running the Berlin Film Festival’s accompanying sales event.

Probst was greeted in the Martin Gropius Bau by a drum roll and a cascade of blue balloons. She then filled the building’s main screening room with friends, colleagues and business partners.

Prominent guests included Marco Mueller, Piers Handling, and Cannes’ Jerome Paillard. There were video messages from Jean Prewitt, Katriel Schory, Wieland Speck and the EFM’s current head Matthijs Wouter Knoll, among others. Many spoke of Probst’s dress sense, kindness and endurance.

Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick was on hand to offer guests water in case they ran out of tears. And he revealed that sheets of Berlinale wrapping paper may be among the secrets of Probst’s always immaculate wardrobe.

Reflecting Probst’s multicultural background, Italian producer, Roberto Cicutto summed up Probst’s personal and professional qualities. “Beki combines the light of the Mediterranean, the culture of the Grand Tour travelers, the opulence of Ottoman art, German efficiency, and the security of a Swiss bank.”