Chinese thriller Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) has won the Golden Bear for best picture at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
Liao Fan won the prize for best actor in the same film, while Haru Kuroki won best actress for her role in the Japanese movie Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House).
American Richard Linklater was named best director for his film Boyhood.
An eight-person jury decides the awards.
This year it was headed by American director and producer James Schamus, probably most well-known for producing Brokeback Mountain.
Bai Ri Yan Huo features an overweight detective, played by Liao Fan, on the trail of a serial killer.
Chinese thriller Bai Ri Yan Huo has won the Golden Bear for best picture at this year’s Berlin Film Festival
Richard Linklater’s ambitious coming-of-age film Boyhood used the same child actors over a 12-year span.
Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, the festival opener, took the Silver Bear grand jury prize, while the Ethiopian film Difret, based on a real case of bride abduction in Ethiopia, took the audience award.
Berlin Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious film showcases in the world, but this year some critics complained of a dearth of strong entries, and a lack of films with strong political or social agendas.
Some 400 films have been screened during the 11-day festival, 23 of them in the competition category.
In 2013, the main prize was awarded to the Romanian film Child’s Pose.
British director Ken Loach won an Honorary Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, recognising films such as Kes and Cathy Come Home.
Ken Loach, 77, has addressed reports that his next film will be his last, as he received a lifetime achievement prize in Germany.
“We’ll have to see,” said Ken Loach noting that filmmaking requires “a physical stamina” that tails off “when you get into the wrong end of the 70s”.
He was also celebrated with a gala screening of Raining Stones, a 1993 film about a poverty-stricken suburban family that Ken Loach said was “still relevant” and, despite the subject, “quite a cheerful film”.
Ken Loach has spent a lifetime battling to make uncompromising films, often focusing on Britain and Ireland’s overlooked underclasses.
The Oxford University graduate began his film career in what was known as “kitchen-sink” realism.
Ken Loach won an Honorary Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival
He came to prominence in 1966 with Cathy Come Home, a Jeremy Sandford television play about a family’s slide into poverty and homelessness.
Kes, released in 1969, was his first major feature film. The story of an abused teenager and his falcon, it remains one of the director’s best-known works in the UK.
Since then, he has made more than 30 films, and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2006 for The Wind that Shakes the Barley, about Ireland’s struggle for independence.
It was Ken Loach’s seventh entry for the festival’s top film prize, but his first win. He previously won the jury prize in 1990 for Hidden Agenda, about a British army shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland.
Ken Loach’s next film is Jimmy’s Hall, about James Gralton, the Irish communist leader who set up a dance hall in County Leitrim, which he used to disseminate his political views.
The Berlin Film Festival continues this weekend with the premiere of literary adaptation The 100 Year-Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared; and a screening of the first two episodes of Netflix’s political drama House Of Cards.
It culminates with an awards ceremony on Sunday.
In 2013, Berlin Film Festival’s main prize was awarded to Romanian film Child’s Pose.
The Grand Budapest Hotel has opened this year’s Berlin Film Festival to rave reviews.
A notable absentee from Berlin is the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died on Sunday of a suspected drug overdose.
Philip Seymour Hoffman had been due to attend the festival to promote his film God’s Pocket.
Instead, a screening of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar-winning performance in the film Capote will be screened in tribute on Tuesday.
“He was one of the greatest actors we had in the world,” festival director Dieter Kosslick told the Reuters news agency.
The Grand Budapest Hotel has opened this year’s Berlin Film Festival to rave reviews
Wes Anderson’s latest movie The Grand Budapest Hotel stars British actor Ralph Fiennes as the famous concierge Gustave H, who woos octogenarian blonde widows at an Alpine hotel. When one dies in mysterious circumstances and leaves him a valuable painting, it sets in motion a chain of murder and mayhem.
It co-stars an enviable line-up of actors including Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law and Tom Wilkinson.
Wes Anderson is a European festival favorite. His last film, Moonrise Kingdom, opened the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and earned him an Oscar nomination for best screenplay.
His previous films include The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Royal Tenenbaums.
The eight-member jury, chaired by Brokeback Mountain producer James Schamus includes Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz and actress Greta Gerwig.
It will announce the winner of the prestigious Golden Bear and other prizes on February 15.
Other films screening out of competition include Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and Calvary, a black comedy drama starring Brendan Gleeson and Chris O’Dowd.
Romanian movie Pozitia Copilului (Child’s Pose) has picked up the coveted Golden Bear prize for best film at the 63rd Berlin film festival.
Child’s Pose, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, tells the story of a wealthy mother who uses her connections to try and stop her son from going to jail.
The film was a favorite among the 19 contenders. Calin Peter Netzer said he was “a little bit speechless” by the win.
An unemployed Roma from Bosnia-Hercegovina won the best actor award.
Nazif Mujic re-enacted his family’s real-life struggle to get vital medical treatment in the low-budget An Episode In the Life of an Iron Picker, which also picked up the runner-up Silver Bear award.
Calin Peter Netzer’s film is a tale of corruption and guilt in modern Romania.
It follows a rich and controlling mother, played by Luminita Gheorghiu, as she bribes witnesses into giving false statements to save her son from jail after he accidentally runs down and kills a boy.
US filmmaker David Gordon Green won best director at the festival for his comic road movie Prince Avalanche, while best actress went to Chile’s Paulina Garcia for her role as a Santiago divorcee in Gloria.
Romanian movie Child’s Pose has picked up the coveted Golden Bear prize for best film at the 63rd Berlin film festival