BERLIN – The jury at the Berlinale 2018 Awards, presided by German director Tom Tykwer, risked awarding the Golden Bear to Romania’s controversial “Touch Me Not,” while rewarding Latin America’s film industry with two Silver Bears for Paraguay’s “The Heiress” and another for Mexico’s “Museum.”
The Best Film award for “Touch Me Not” is likely to spark controversy with its long scenes exploring sex, sadomasochism and intimacy of every degree.
“The Heiress,” directed by Marcelo Martinessi, won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, named in honor of the festival’s founder, and a well deserved Best Actress Bear for Ana Brun, who dedicated the prize to the women of her country.
The film by Mexico’s Alonso Ruizpalacios, based on the robbery of 143 items from the National Museum of Anthropology in 1985, took the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay, while the Grand Jury Prize went to “Twarz” (Mug) by Poland’s Malgorzata Szumowska.
The United States scored in the Best Director category with the prize going to Wes Anderson for the animated film, “The Isle of Dogs.”
Germany, which entered four films in the festival, ended up empty handed, which could also be said about “Ang panahon ng halimaw” (Season of the Devil), by Filipino Lav Diaz, a director used to winning festival prizes for his films that last at least four hours.
As for the prizes for actors and actresses, there was no arguing over the results, either in the case of Best Actress Brun or of Best Actor Anthony Bajon, who played the part in “La Priere” of a young drug addict who redeems himself through prayer.
Adina Pintilie not only won the Golden Bear for Best Film, but also the prize for Best First Feature, and was the favorite of a jury determined not to be influenced by the preferences of critics or the public.