This year’s Berlin jury was headed by Kristen Stewart, and the selections promised to reflect the actress’ famously good taste in movies. But a strong lineup featuring a variety of innovative films from the world’s top directors ensured that their job was never going to be easy.
From a timely documentary about the war in Ukraine to a variety of dramas about men trapped in small spaces (see: “Inside” and “Manhole”), the eclectic collection of films had something for everyone.
Berlinale 2023 | Nicolas Philibert | 'On the Adamant'
At last year’s festival, Carla Simon’s Spanish Drama “Alcarras” won the coveted Golden Bear. Several of the biggest names in global cinema also walked away with big prizes, as Claire Denis won the Silver Bear for Best Director for “Both Sides of the Blade” and Hong Sang-soo won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize for “The Novelist’s Film.”
This year’s jury gave the Golden Bear award to the French documentary “On the Adamant.” Nicolas Philibert’s film tells the story of a unique mental health treatment facility that uses art as a primary method of care.Kristen Stewartpraised the film for expanding the jury’s understanding of what constitutes art. The Silver Bear for Best Director went to Philippe Garrel for “The Plough,” while the Silver Bear for Best Lead Performance notably went to child star Sofia Otero for “20,000 Species of Bees.”
Sofia Otero | The winner of Silver Bear for Best Lead Performance
This year’s festival also saw Steven Spielberg make the trip to Berlin to accept the honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement. He delivered a passionate acceptance speech where he reflected on his unique relationship with German audiences and made it clear that he has no plans to retire any time soon.
“If this honor means that my work has found a home in Germany, then tonight, I feel like I’m home too,”Spielberg said (via Variety). “This honor has particular meaning for me because I’m a Jewish director. I’d like to believe that this is a small moment in a much larger, ongoing effort of healing the broken places of history – what Jews call Tikkun Olam, the repairing and restoring of the world.”
Still filming, Spielberg, 76, wins Berlin lifetime award | GMA News Online
Keep reading for the complete list of winners from the 2023 Berlin Film Festival.
Golden Bear for Best Film
On the Adamant dir. Nicolas Philibert
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
Afire, dir. Christian Petzold
Silver Bear Jury Prize
Bad Living, dir. João Canijo
Silver Bear for Best Director
Philippe Garrel for The Plough
Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance
Sofía Otero for 20,000 Species of Bees, dir. Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s
Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance
Thea Ehre for Till the End of the Night, dir. Christoph Hochhäusler’s
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay
Music, dir. Angela Schanelec
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution
Cinematographer Helene Louvart for Disco Boy, dir. Giacomo Abbruzzese
Here, dir. Bas Devos Best Director
Tatiana Huezo for The Echo Special Jury Award(ex aequo)
Samsara, dir. Lois Patiño/Orlando, My Political Biography, dir. Paul B. Preciado
GWFF Best First Feature Award
The Klezmer Project, dirs. Leandro Koch and Paloma Schachmann
Berlinale Documentary Award
The Echo, dir. Tatiana Huezo
Berlinale Short Film Awards
Golden Bear Best Short Film
Les chenilles, dirs. Michelle Keserwany, Noel Keserwany
Silver Bear Jury Prize
Dipped in Black, dirs. Matthew Thorne, Derik Lynch