The Berlinale’s main award ceremony took place on Saturday, 20 February 2016, at 7.00 pm (CET) — see www.berlinale.de
- 20 February | The Golden Bear went to Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea), a documentary by Gianfranco Rosi about the Italian island of Lampedusa, which has become synonymous with the hardships and the hopes of refugees. The decision of the International Jury was a foreseeable response both to the circumstances and to the politically singular curatorial decision to include this film into the Berlinale’s competition section usually kept for feature films.
- 20 February | The Silver Bears also found their way to well-deserved owners: Death in Sarajevo by Danis Tanović received the Grand Jury Prize; the eight-hours-long Philippines and Singapore coproduction A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery directed by Lav Diaz received the Alfred Bauer Prize for a Feature Film That Opens New Perspectives; Mia Hansen-Løve received the Silver Bear for Best Director for her film L’ avenir (Things to Come); Trine Dyrholm received the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her role in Kollektivet (The Commune) directed by Thomas Vinterberg; the Silver Bear for Best Actor went to the Tunisian actor Majd Mastoura for his role in Inhebbek Hedi by Mohamed Ben Attia; the Pole Tomasz Wasilewski received the Silver Bear for Best Script for United States of Love, which he also directed; and finally the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution went to Mark Lee Ping-Bing for his camerawork in the Chinese production Crosscurrent directed by Yang Chao.
- 20 February | The Berlinale public has cast its votes and gave the 18th Panorama Audience Awards to two Israeli films: Junction 48 by Udi Aloni for best fiction film and Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? by Tomer and Barak Heymann for best documentary.
- 19 February | The members of the Youth Jury in the Generation 14plus section Crystal Bear Award to Mellow Mud by Renārs Vimba (Latvia, 2016), a film that tells the story of the 17-year-old and her younger brother who are left behind when their mother emigrates to England. The jury’s Special Mention went to Zhaleika by Eliza Petkova (Germany, 2016) that subtly tells the tale of a young woman’s emancipation also portraying the customs and traditions of a village set in rural Bulgaria.
- 19 February | The Independent Teddy Award Jury has spoken! The award in Best Short category was awarded to the animation film Moms on Fire by Joanna Rytel. The winner of the Best Documentary/Essay Film category is Sara Jordenö’s Kiki, a film about the world of today’s young black LGBT community. The Special Jury Prize goes to the Chilean film You’ll Never Be Alone by Alex Anwandter — a story about and introverted Juan, manager of a mannequin factory, who lives alone with his eighteen-year-old gay son, Pablo.
- 19 February | The main award ceremony of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival will take place on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7.00 pm at the Berlinale Palast in Berlin. A live stream will be available at www.berlinale.de.
- 18 February | This year, the Berlinale hosted activities aimed directly at refugees. In cooperation with the Support Centre for Young Refugees and Migrants, 18 refugees had the opportunity to visit and observe various areas behind the scenes in the festival offices. With the participation of 953 people, the “sponsored cinema visit” project was organised with Berlin’s non-profit refugee aid organisations. And for the first time in Berlinale history, the festival specifically urged visitors to make a donation collecting EUR 25,000 so far.
- 17 February | “I am just a cameraman,” put on a modest air the German cinematographer, Michael Ballhaus as he receives Berlinale’s Honorary Golden Bear. Among others, he worked with such renowned film directors as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola.
- 16 February | The Diary of Anne Frank (directed by Hans Steinbichler), Germany’s first film adaptation of Anne Frank’s story, premiers at Berlinale’s youth section “Generation.” The film will open in German cinemas at the beginning of March. “We’ve always been astonished that no German adaptation was ever made,” said producers M. Walid Nakschbandi and Michael Souvignier.
- February 16 | The turnout of visitors at the festival’s 66th edition has been impressive. “Once more, the Berlinale is proving to be a huge crowd-puller,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick. At the festival’s halfway point, almost 250,000 tickets have been sold.
- February 15 | The competition documentary Fuocoammare, or Fire and Sea, by the Italian director Gianfranco Rosi, has enjoyed enthusiastic reviews since its premiere. The film that deals refugee crisis thus becomes a strong candidate for the Golden Bear.
- February 14 | The producer Ben Barenholtz, one of the leading figures in the American indie film scene, received his Berlinale Camera award, in attendance were Joel and Ethan Coen and Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick. The ceremony was the start of a new tradition: from now on this prestigious award will be presented to an outstanding producer at the EFM every year.
- February 14 | The European Film Market (EFM), an international platform for trading in film rights and audio-visual content within the scope of the largest public film festival in the world, reports a rising number of visitors and exhibitors this year.
- February 14 | The European Shooting Stars 2016 have been welcomed to Berlin. The award was introduced in 1998 by European Film Promotion (EFP), a pan-European network of film promotion and export organisations. It is supported by the EU’s MEDIA Programme. The following ten young European actors to receive the award this year are: Marth Canga Antonio (Belgium), Atli Óskar Fjalarsson (Iceland), Jella Haase (Germany), Tihana Lazović (Croatia), Kacey Mottet Klein (Switzerland), Daphné Patakia (Greece), Reinout Scholten van Aschat (The Netherlands), Sara Serraiocco (Italy), María Valverde (Spain) and Lou de Laâge (France).
- February 13 | Tim Robbins received the prestigious Berlinale Camera award.
- February 12 | George Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, met Angela Merkel to openly support her refugee politics.
- February 11 | 20 films at the Berlinale have been supported by the European Union’s MEDIA programme receiving overall €1.9 million of EU investment. Among these, 5 compete for the Silver and Golden Bear Awards. Since 1991, the programme has supported EU film industry with a total of €2.4 billion.
- February 11 | Katja Nicodemus (film critic, journalist): “It is a curatorial statement to include documentaries in Berlinale’s competition section. […] It would be odd, if Berlinale did not react on contemporary world affairs. Its primary mission, however, is not to make political statements but to tell the stories behind the headlines.”
- February 11 | The Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, Monika Grütters, underlined the empathetic character of cinema: “Films shows one thing very clearly: There are more things that unite us, humans than make us different.”
- February 11 | The festival opened with a Gala Celebration in the presence of international film celebrities and local German politicians. The Gala was followed by the screening of Hail, Caesar! directed by the Coen brothers.
- February 11 | Meryl Streep, the president of Berlinale’s International Jury: “I’m very committed to equality and inclusion. […] This jury is evidence that, at least, women are included and, in fact, they dominate this jury.”
- February 10 | Dieter Kosslick (festival director): “Berlinale was founded to promote Völkerverständigung (international understanding); and Willkommenskultur is exactly that.”
Berlinale 2016 Live Coverage:
Opening article by Daniel Tkatch