Awards & Honours 2021

The majority of the prizes for the 71st Berlinale – including the winners of the Golden and Silver Bears – were already announced during the Industry Event in March. The Berlinale Documentary Award, the GWFF Best First Feature Award and the Crystal Bears of the Generation section were decided by the respective juries in the scope of the Summer Special.

The awards were presented to the winners in front of an audience during the Summer Special on June 13 at Museum Island. The Crystal Bears were presented at the premieres of the respective films.

All awards - official and independent juries - of the 71st Berlin International Film Festival announced:

Berlinale Awards 2021 (1.5 MB)

Videos of the award announcements and the reactions of the winners

International Jury

Golden Bear for Best Film
(awarded to the film’s producers)
Babardeală cu bucluc sau porno balamuc (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn)
by Radu Jude
produced by Ada Solomon

Jury statement:
“The Golden Bear goes to a film which has that rare and essential quality of a lasting art work. It captures on screen the very content and essence, the mind and body, the values and the raw flesh of our present moment in time. Of this very moment of human existence.
It does so by provoking the spirit of our time (i.e., zeitgeist), by slapping it, by challenging it to a duel. And while doing that, it also challenges this present moment in cinema, shaking, with the same camera movement, our social and our cinematic conventions.
It is an elaborated film as well as a wild one, clever and childish, geometrical and vibrant, imprecise in the best way. It attacks the spectator, evokes disagreement, but leaves no one with a safety distance.”
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize Guzen to sozo (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy)
by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Jury statement:
“In the place where dialogues and words usually end, the dialogues of this film only begin. That’s when they go deeper, so deep that, amazed and troubled, we ask ourselves: How much deeper can it go? The words of Hamaguchi are substance, music, material.
At first it looks almost minor: a man and a woman, sometimes two women, stand in a room with white walls. Then the scene moves forward, and as it advances you feel that the whole universe, including yourself, is standing there with them inside this simple room.”
Silver Bear Jury Prize Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse (Mr Bachmann and His Class)
by Maria Speth

Jury statement:
“In a film, you can draw attention to deep problems by sticking your finger into the wound or showing hope and giving inspiration as how to achieve a positive change. The latter is the strategy that the director of this tenderly powerful documentary chose to follow.
Always keeping the right distance, the film focuses on one of those ‘field workers’ of our society who defines the most formative years of our children, influencing deeply their attitude towards life. As seen through the eyes of the director, this teacher is unique: he reshapes, softens, and makes more human, and through that humanity makes much more efficient a system in crisis — our European educational system.
The film shows how far you can go simply with true respect, sincere communication, and with that magic all great teachers possess: sparking the fire of passion in their students by activating their fantasy.”
Silver Bear for Best Director Dénes Nagy for
Természetes fény (Natural Light)

Jury statement:
“Appalling and beautifully shot, mesmerising images, remarkable direction and a masterful control of every aspect of the craft of filmmaking, a narration that transcends its historical context. A portrait of war in which the observant gaze of the director reminds us again of the need to choose between passivity and taking individual responsibility.”
Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance Maren Eggert in
Ich bin dein Mensch (I’m Your Man)
by Maria Schrader

Jury statement:
“Her presence made us curious. Her charm made us empathic. And her palette of performing qualities allowed us to feel, laugh and ask questions. Confidently bringing to life an excellent script, supported by wonderful colleagues and her director, she created a memorable character that we can identify with – leading us to think about our presence and our future, our relations and what we really want for ourselves.”
Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance Lilla Kizlinger in
Rengeteg – mindenhol látlak (Forest – I See You Everywhere)
by Bence Fliegauf

Jury statement:
“Among the many outstanding miniature performances of Forest - I See You Everywhere we found one in particular especially strong and memorable. Lilla Kizlinger bears on her young shoulders with grace and delusive natural lightness a special responsibility. By the power of her interpretation alone, by her intensive presence, she pulls to the surface the hidden layers of the scene, actually defining the motive behind the film: the chilling menace of the world, what the children of today inherit from us grownups. Instead of telling us, explaining to us, she accomplishes the much more difficult task of raising in us the need to think about haunting, disquieting questions of our present. She enchanted us, and through enchantment, she made us think.”
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay Hong Sangsoo for
Inteurodeoksyeon (Introduction)
by Hong Sangsoo

Jury statement:
“More than telling a story, or advancing a narration with efficiency, this script fabricates those momentary intervals between one action and another, where, for an instant, a hidden truth of human life is suddenly revealed, bright and lucid.”
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution Yibrán Asuad for the editing of
Una película de policías (A Cop Movie)
by Alonso Ruizpalacios

Jury statement:
“The Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution goes to the masterful editing concept of a daring, innovative work of cinema which blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality and boldly explores the cinematic language’s ability to shift our perspective on the world. Playing an essential role in supporting the filmmaker’s unique vision, the montage skilfully deconstructs the multiple layers of reality and language to offer an in-depth, thought-provoking look into one of Mexico’s most controversial institutions.”

Jury Encounters

Best Film Nous (We)
by Alice Diop

Jury statement:
“A work that shows true delicacy and sensitivity in crafting a collective, choral portrait that is rich in meanings, nuance and, above all, lived experience.”
Special Jury Award Vị (Taste)
by Lê Bảo

Jury statement:
“A fearlessly clear composed and choreographic abstraction of social relations, using very concrete building blocks - slum architecture, football rules, cooking, the weight of human bodies - to construct a field of tensions, as stable as it is nervous, between a type of ascetic emancipation and dystopic regression.”
Best Director (ex aequo)
Das Mädchen und die Spinne (The Girl and the Spider)
by Ramon & Silvan Zürcher

Jury statement:
“A remarkable construction of a rigorous mise en scène serving the ambiguity of each character with grace, humour, subtlety, and ultimately embracing the complexity of human relationships.”
Best Director (ex aequo) Hygiène sociale (Social Hygiene)
by Denis Côté

Jury statement:
“The film shows incredible agility in mixing different tones, film historical references and diverse, wonderfully verbose characters, topped off with a delicate yet hearty humour that is something very needed right now.”
Special Mention Rock Bottom Riser
by Fern Silva

Jury statement:
“A tale about the loneliness of a very agitated rock: alone in the ocean, in the galaxies, in the universe. Along the way it encounters - in a virtuoso manner - unexpected and very diverse images for the necessity of a decolonisation of science.”

Jury GWFF Best First Feature Award

GWFF Best First Feature The Scary of Sixty-First
by Dasha Nekrasova
produced by Adam Mitchell, Mark Rapaport

Jury statement:
An audacious take on genre cinema that confronts contemporary issues such as global power structures, sexual abuse, conspiracy theories and the dark corners of the internet in a wildly twisted, witty and subversive manner. Perhaps in recognition that polite decorum may no longer be an effective tactic in sparking discourse around these burning issues.
Special Mention Mantagheye payani (District Terminal)
by Bardia Yadegari, Ehsan Mirhosseini
produced by Farzad Pak, Amin Mirhosseini

Jury statement:
A world of blurry presence and future, framed by drug addiction and physical decay. A situation populated by ancestors, threatened by an avalanche of ruinous waste. Sanity's chance is sought in poetry and analytical collages of historical and political importance.

Jury Berlinale Documentary Award

Berlinale Documentary Award Nous (We)
by Alice Diop
produced by Sophie Salbot

Jury statement:
The feminist principle of writing autobiographically, even if it hurts, redoubled the bet in this film. The “I” becomes a “We” and the We becomes a tempered I which travels the territory with the cadence of uncertainty. Due to Alice Diop’s curiosity about the human condition and her thoughtful language (or: the thoughtfulness in the language), the jury unanimously decided to give her the Berlinale Documentary Award for her film Nous.
Special Mention The First 54 Years – An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation
by Avi Mograbi
produced by Camille Laemlé, Serge Lalou

Jury statement:
Cinema can be looked at, but perhaps the most moving cinema is the one that looks at us, and with that look, transfers our very existence to another dimension. With very few visual and auditory resources, a handful of archive images and a profound insistence to tell, with more faith in art than in humanity, this film forces us to look and reflect on land, humans, politics, conscience, and challenges our comfortable understanding. The special mention of the jury goes to The First 54 Years – An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation by Avi Mograbi.

International Short Film Jury

Golden Bear for Best Short Film Nanu Tudor (My Uncle Tudor)
by Olga Lucovnicova

Jury statement: “In Nanu Tudor (My Uncle Tudor), Olga Lucovnicova leads us through the complexity of unraveling a childhood trauma. While intimate details gradually introduce us to a seemingly idyllic world of innocent nostalgia, her conversation with her Uncle Tudor builds up to expose her childhood horror and his unrepentant denial. Lucovnicova’s subtle cinematic gaze circles around her family members with precision. Her personal courage combined with cinematic mastery create a film that is both powerful and emotionally layered.”
Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) Xia Wu Guo Qu Le Yi Ban (Day Is Done)
von Zhang Dalei

Jury statement: “A family visit turns into a slow-paced loving farewell between a grandfather and his grandson. The intricately woven family dynamics and superb acting immerse us in a genuine moment in their lives. The superbly crafted mise-en-scène feels natural and unobtrusive. In Xia Wu Guo Qu Le Yi Ban (Day Is Done), Zhang Dalei’s rich cinematic language builds a sensitive family portrait that transcends the duration of the short form.”
Berlin Short Film Candidate For The European Film Awards Easter Eggs
by Nicolas Keppens

Honorary Awards of the Festival

– suspended for the Berlinale 2021 –

Juries Generation

Children’s Jury Generation Kplus
Crystal Bear for the Best Film Beans
by Tracey Deer, Canada

Statement of the Children's Jury: "This film, which is based on real events, has truly impressed us. We were incredibly moved by the story which unfolded. The excellent actors turned the scenes into touching moments. A film that depicts the racism and colonialism which unfortunately still exist in the world, and compels you to reflect upon it all."
Special Mention Una escuela en Cerro Hueso (A School in Cerro Hueso)
by Betania Cappato, Argentina

Statement of the Children's Jury: "The editing guides you to follow the film, to live in the story and to immerse yourself into the world of the protagonist. The film publicly addresses an important social issue, demonstrating that small things can be of great significance."
Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film – suspended for the Berlinale 2021 –
Generation International Jury
The Grand Prix of the International Jury in Generation Kplus for the Best Film Han Nan Xia Ri (Summer Blur)
by Han Shuai

Jury statement: “This film convinces with its energetic strong visual power and its outstanding combination of all levels of filmmaking. Thereby it creates a summer fairy tale that dances on the edge of a nightmare. In every second, one could sense the heat, the thick air and the pressure that is on the main character. The focus is always on the children’s feelings, perspective and perception, which gives the possibility to share the pain of finding ourselves and our way.”
Special Mention Una escuela en Cerro Hueso (A School in Cerro Hueso)
by Betania Cappato

Jury statement: “With beautiful, heart-warming and strong cinematic vision, the spectator gets invited to a hypnotic and spiritual journey. An intimate and personal film that leaves space and creates space, searches for the similarities, not the differences, looks openly into the world and thus enables a sensitive, hopeful vision of solidarity.”
The Special Prize of the International Jury in Generation Kplus for the Best Short Film – suspended for the Berlinale 2021 –
Youth Jury Generation 14plus
Crystal Bear for the Best Film Stop-Zemlia
by Kateryna Gornostai, Ukraine

Statement of the Youth Jury: "The film convincingly covers a variety of important topics which appeal to us as young people. Platonic love, queerness, solidarity and psychological stress reinforce the effect of the film as an authentic coming-of-age story. By virtue of creative visualisation techniques, it becomes clear in an artistic manner how our generation dreams, feels and experiences life. The message is conveyed that it is part of life to face certain fears in order to be able to enjoy the most exciting years of youth."
Special Mention Ninjababy
by Yngvild Sve Flikke, Norway

Statement of the Youth Jury: "This film has made a strong impression on us due to its humorous honesty on a subject that remains taboo in patriarchal societies. The inner vortex of emotions accompanying an unwanted pregnancy is articulated on screen through lively animation and evocative acting, thereby bearing witness to the feminist message, both artistically and dramaturgically."
Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film – suspended for the Berlinale 2021 –
Generation International Jury
The Grand Prix of the Generation 14plus International Jury for the Best Film La Mif (The Fam)
von Fred Baillif

Jury statement: “Like a rushing, energetic, pulsing heartbeat, this film pushes its characters and viewers in brutal honesty through different stories and incidents. Carried by captivating and strong acting performances it never loses its balance between power and vulnerability. The film pulls you in, never let’s go and hits straight to the heart.”
Special Mention Special Mention:
by Dash Shaw

Jury statement: “Portraying sensitive characters in a beautiful and brutal dystopian world, the film gives a ray of hope while it raises big questions. This outstanding artwork naturally handles topics like sex, gender, war, society and relationships. A stepping stone to question society and to never forget to use our imagination for new perspectives. A mind-blowing, disturbing, and visionary trip.”
Special Prize of the Generation 14plus International Jury for the Best Short Film – suspended for the Berlinale 2021 –