In 2020 the competitive section Encounters was introduced. Its goal is to support new voices in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms in the official programme. A three-member jury will choose the winners for Best Film, Best Director and a Special Jury Award.
Each winner will receive a golden bear plaque as their trophy, which will be presented during the Summer Special in June.
The members of the Jury - Florence Almozini, Cecilia Barrionuevo and Diedrich Diederichsen - have decided on the prizes in the Encounters section at the 71st Berlinale:
Videos of the award announcements and the reactions of the winners
by Alice Diop
“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
by Lê Bảo
“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
“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
“The film shows incredible agility in mixing different tones, film historical references and diverse, wonderfully verbose characters, topped off with a delicate yet hearty humour that is something very needed right now.”
Rock Bottom Riser
by Fern Silva
“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.”
The 2021 Jury
Florence Almozini (France) - Programmer
Florence Almozini is currently Senior Programmer at Large for Film at Lincoln Center, serving on committees including the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films, organising numerous retrospectives and overseeing the programming of new releases. At the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she worked from 1999 until 2013 as Director of BAMcinématek, she launched the venue’s first ever film festival, BAMcinemaFest. She has served on juries for the Mar del Plata and Tribeca film festivals as well as Cinema Tropical and the Gotham Awards and has been on the selection committee for Tournées Film Festival since 2012. She was awarded the French Order Chevalier of Arts and Letters in 2013.
Cecilia Barrionuevo (Argentina) – Artistic Director
Cecilia Barrionuevo has been the artistic director of the Mar del Plata International Film Festival since 2018 and a member of the festival’s programming team since 2010. Among her other work, she has been involved with the curation of “Neighboring Scenes: New Latin Cinema” at the Lincoln Center, Documenta Madrid and is an advisor at Antofacine in Antofagasta, Chile. Barrionuevo also co-edited several publications, including the bilingual collection of “Las Naves Cine”, and has taught film classes around the world. She is currently a member of the advisory board for the Film Study Center at Harvard University. In 2020 she was awarded with the honorary title of Chevalier of the Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture.
Diedrich Diederichsen (Germany) – Editor and Publisher
In the 1980s, Diedrich Diederichsen was the editor and publisher of music magazines such as “Sounds” and “Spex”. During the 1990s, he taught at universities in Frankfurt, Pasadena, Offenbach, Munich, Weimar, Bremen, Giessen, Vienna, Gainesville, St. Louis, Cologne, Salzburg and Los Angeles. From 1998 to 2006, he was Professor of Aesthetic Theory / Cultural Studies at the Merz Academy in Stuttgart, and since 2008 at the Institute for Art and Cultural Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. His publications include books and texts on pop music, politics, visual arts and The Sopranos.