The 66th Berlin Film Festival: ‘Fire at Sea’ Wins Top Prize

Lav Diaz & Gianfranco Rosi

Gianfranco Rosi‘s refugee documentary Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) won the Golden Bear for best film at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday, beating out several other politically-charged dramas.

The documentary about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of African migrants have flooded, was heavily tipped to take the top award and Rosi’s victory came as no surprise to those attending the festival.

The Best Director award went to Mia Hansen-Love‘s French pic Things to Come (L’Avenir), a drama starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman in her 50s reassessing her life, while the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to Danis Tanovic’s Bosnian drama Death in Sarajevo (Smrt u Sarajevu), an ensemble piece a la Robert Altman set entirely in a Sarajevo hotel. The Alfred Bauer Prize, named after the festival’s founder, went to Filipino director Lav Diaz‘s challenging eight-hour historical drama A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery.

Meryl Streep headed the seven-person Berlin Festival jury that chose this year’s winners. Check out the list of winners below.

Golden Bear for Best Film: Fire at Sea from Gianfranco Rosi
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: Death in Sarajevo from Danis Tanovic
Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize: A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery from Lav Diaz
Silver Bear for Best Director: Mia Hansen for Things to Come
Silver Bear for Best Actress: Trine Dyrholm for The Commune
Silver Bear for Best Actor: Majd Mastoura for Hedi
Silver Bear for Best Script: United States of Love from writer-director Tomasz Wasilewski
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution: Crosscurrent from Mark Lee Ping-Bing
Best First Feature: Hedi from Mohamed Ben Attia
Golden Bear for Best Short Film: Balada De Um Batráquio from Leonor Teles
Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film): A Man Returned from Mahdi Fleifel
Audi Short Film Award: Anchorage Prohibited from Chiang Wei Liang