Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s was awarded the Golden Bear for his latest movie Taxi at the 65th annual Berlin International Film Festival.
Jafar Panahi is banned from filmmaking in his home country and is not allowed to travel abroad.
Taxi was well-received by critics and buyers (Celluloid Dreams has international rights) during the festival.
In the film, Jafar Panahi set a camera on the dashboard of a yellow cab as it drives through Tehran. He plays the cabbie who interviews the diverse characters that make up his fares.
Jafar Panahi previously won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay with 2013’s Closed Curtain, which resulted in its co-director and co-star, Kambozia Partovi — who was present in Berlin that year to accept the prize — having his passport confiscated by the Iranian authorities.
Tonight, Jafar Panahi’s wife and niece were on hand with the little girl ascending the stage to accept the prize. She was too emotional to speak, she said, and was swiftly comforted by jury members including Matthew Weiner and Audrey Tautou.
Pablo Larrain’s dark, and darkly comic, El Club, a treatise on the Catholic church through the prism of a group of exiled priests, was the Grand Jury Prize winner.
Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling won acting honors for their roles in 45 Years. The pair plays a couple preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary who is rocked by a secret from the past.
Darren Aronofsky’s jury also doled out double prizes in two categories: Best Director and Outstanding Artistic Contribution. In the former, Romanian director Radu Jude and Poland’s Małgorzata Szumowska shared the prize for Aferim! and Body, respectively.
Presenting the Artistic Contribution Silver Bears, Darren Aronofsky said of the first winner, Victoria cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovelen: “This film rocked my world.”
Of Under Electric Clouds Darren Aronofsky said: “The images will stay with everyone for a long time.”
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2015 Berlin Film Festival full list of winners:
Golden Bear for Best Film
Taxi, Jafar Panahi
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
Pablo Larrain, El Club
Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives
Ixcanul, director: Jayro Bustamante
Silver Bear for Best Director (tie)
Radu Jude, Aferim!
Małgorzata Szumowska, Body
Silver Bear for Best Actress
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Silver Bear for Best Actor
Tom Courtenay, 45 Years
Silver Bear for Best Script
Patricio Guzman, The Pearl Button
Silver Bear for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the categories camera, editing, music score, costumes or set design (Tie)
Sturla Brandth Grovlen, Cinematographer: Victoria
Sergey Mikhalchuk and Evgeniy Privin, Cinematographers: Under Electric Clouds
Best First Feature Award for the Best Debut Film
600 Miles, director: Gabriel Ripstein
Audi Short Film Award
Planet Sigma, director: Momoko Seto
Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film)
Bad At dancing, director: Joanna Arnow
Golden Bear for Best Short Film
Hosanna, director: Na Young-kil
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Uber has temporarily cut the price of its cheapest service, UberX, by 20% to match the rate of New York City’s yellow taxis.
The move follows similar price decreases in San Francisco and Boston.
UberX price has been temporally cut to match the rate of New York City’s yellow cabs (photo Wikimedia)
Most analysts see the move as an effort to undercut competitors like Lyft and Hailo, as well as attracting newcomers.
Uber drivers – who are paid around 80% of the total fare – will be forced to accept lower payments as a result.
In a blog post announcing the fare changes, Uber countered: “What we’ve seen in cities across the country is that lower fares mean greater demand, lower pickup times and more trips per hour – increasing earning potential and creating better economics for drivers.”
In June, Uber raised $1.2 billion in capital, in a move which valued the car-sharing service at more than $18 billion.
However, Uber has faced competition from other companies, questions from regulators and angered traditional taxi drivers in cities across the globe, from Berlin to Paris to Madrid.
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Google has patented a way of linking online ads to free or discounted taxi rides to the advertising restaurant, shop or entertainment venue.
The transport-linked ad service could encourage consumers to respond more often to location-based special offers, experts say.
Algorithms would work out the customer’s location, the best route and form of transport, Google says.
Advertisers will mine huge databases recording people’s habits, likes and preferences so that ads can be highly targeted.
Google says, in future, customers could be driven to restaurants, bars, shops and venues by driverless cars
Combining this information with location data gleaned from Wi-Fi, cellular and GPS tracking will enable businesses to tailor their ads and special offers according to where people are, the time of day and their schedules.
The addition of free or cheap travel to the location will be the icing on the cake, Google hopes.
In August, Google’s venture capital arm invested $258 million in Uber, the San Francisco-based car hire network.
In the same way that advertisers bid against each other for the rights to Google keywords online, the company sees them competing on transport costs too.
The real-time system would help advertisers work out the costs of offering the transport sweetener versus the potential profit margins, Google said.
“Getting a potential customer to a business location in order to conduct a sale may be one of the most difficult tasks for a business or advertiser,” Google says in its US patent for the “transportation-aware physical advertising conversions” system.