Feb 01, 2023
Berlinale 2023: Berlinale Documentary Award – Funded by rbb

Emilie Bujès, Mark Cousins and Diana Bustamante

The Berlin International Film Festival has long been committed to the diversity of documentary forms. A distinct award for the best documentary film was launched in 2017. The Berlinale Documentary Award, endowed with 40,000 Euros in prize money, will be sponsored by public broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb).

In total, 20 documentary forms from the sections Competition, Berlinale Special, Encounters, Panorama, Forum, Generation and Perspektive Deutsches Kino are nominated for the Berlinale Documentary Award. The prize money will be shared by the director and the producer of the winning film. The award will be presented during the official Award Ceremony at the Berlinale Palast on February 25, 2023.

A three-member jury will pick the winner:

Emilie Bujès (France/Switzerland)

Emilie Bujès has been the artistic director of the festival Visions du Réel in Nyon since 2017. Among other activities, she has served as a programming consultant at Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes, a deputy artistic director at the Festival International du Film de La Roche-sur-Yon, and a commission member at Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP) in Paris. She was a curator at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève; an instructor at the universities HEAD–Geneva and HKB in Bern; has contributed to the programme design of cultural institutions such as the Vilnius Contemporary Art Center and Transmediale, and has co-edited a book entitled “Encircling the Image of Trauma”. In 2014, she received the Swiss Art Award for Art and Architecture Mediation.

Diana Bustamante (Colombia)

In her roles as a producer, director and programmer, Diana Bustamante has been making significant contributions towards establishing Colombian cinema as an international constant for many years. Her productions have been presented in the Forum section at the Berlinale twice already: In 2010, Crab Trap by Oscar Ruíz Navia, which received the FIPRESCI Award, and in 2015, Jorge Forero’s Violencia. Her other production credits include César Augusto Acevedo’s Land and Shade (2015), Refugiado (2014) by Diego Lerman, and Julio Hernández’ Buy Me a Gun (2018), which celebrated their premieres at Cannes. She co-produced the film Memoria by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, which received the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2021, and from 2014 to 2018, she served as the artistic director of the Cartagena International Film Festival.

Mark Cousins (Scotland/Northern Ireland)

Filmmaker and writer Mark Cousins’ themes are looking, cinema, childhood, politics and cities. His first feature documentary The First Movie (2009) won the Prix Italia. He received the Manfred Salzgeber Award at the Berlinale 2009. His 930-minute work The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) – based on his book of the same name and which screened in Berlinale Special, among others – received the Peabody Award and influenced film culture around the world. His other films include Atomic (2015), The Eyes of Orson Welles (2017), Women Make Film (2019) and The Story of Looking (2021). In 2022, his My Name is Alfred Hitchcock and The March on Rome premiered in Telluride and Venice, respectively.

The following films are nominated for the Berlinale Documentary Film Award:


Sur l'Adamant (On the Adamant) by Nicolas Philibert

Berlinale Special

Love to Love You, Donna Summer by Roger Ross Williams, Brooklyn Sudano

Berlinale Special Gala

Kiss the Future by Nenad Cicin-Sain
Superpower by Sean Penn, Aaron Kaufman


El eco (The Echo) by Tatiana Huezo
Le mura di Bergamo (The Walls of Bergamo) by Stefano Savona
Orlando, ma biographie politique (Orlando, My Political Biography) by Paul B. Preciado
Shidniy front (Eastern Front) by Vitaly Mansky, Yevhen Titarenko


Au cimetière de la pellicule (The Cemetery of Cinema) by Thierno Souleymane Diallo
Stams by Bernhard Braunstein
Under the Sky of Damascus by Heba Khaled, Talal Derki, Ali Wajeeh


Anqa by Helin Çelik
Gehen und Bleiben (Leaving and Staying) by Volker Koepp
Jaii keh khoda nist (Where God Is Not) by Mehran Tamadon
El juicio (The Trial) by Ulises de la Orden
Notre corps (Our Body) by Claire Simon


Hummingbirds by Silvia Del Carmen Castaños, Estefanía „Beba“ Contreras
My ne zgasnemo (We Will Not Fade Away) by Alisa Kovalenko

Perspektive Deutsches Kino

Sieben Winter in Teheran (Seven Winters in Tehran) by Steffi Niederzoll
Vergiss Meyn Nicht (Lonely Oaks) by Fabiana Fragale, Kilian Kuhlendahl, Jens Mühlhoff

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February 1, 2023