Chinese films dominate Berlin Film Festival awards, 'Black Coal Thin Ice' wins top prize

The 2014 Berlin Film Festival turned out to be a coming out party of sorts for Chinese film. Two Chinese films won major awards at the festival, including the top prize, the Golden Bear.

The internaitonal jury, which included actors Greta Gerwig and Christoph Waltz and producer James Schamus, gave Diao Yinan’s Black Coal, Thin Ice the Golden Bear as the best film screened in competition. Actor Liao Fen won the Silver Bear for Best Actor for his performance in the film.

According to the New York Times, China’s government had an interesting reaction to the gritty crime drama. The win was praised by the Xinhua news agency, although the film itself portrays a detective in a poor light. Diao also rejected the glitz of Beijing and Shanghai and was more interested in showing the daily lives of the average Chinese citizen.

“Like a surgical operation, it dissects people’s characters, showing the emotional condition of contemporary Chinese people,” co-producer Shen Yang told Xinhua.

Another Chinese film won a major award. Zeng Jian won for his cinematography for Blind Message by Lou Ye. Chinese director Ning Hao’s No Man’s Land was also a strong contender for the top prize.

Two Hollywood figures were honored for their work. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize and Richard Linklater took home the Best Director prize for Boyhood.

The other winners were:
Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize - Alain Resnais’ Life of Riley
Silver Bear for Best Actress - Haru Kuroki, The Little House
Silver Beat for Best Script - Dietrich Brüggemann & Anna Brüggemann, Stations of the Cross

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commmons

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