Berlin Film Fest 2022: Awards in All Categories

Berlin Film Festival 2022

Credit: Avalon, Elástica, Vilaüt

Spanish director Carla Simón has won the Golden Bear, the top prize at the Berlin Film Fest, for her second feature “Alcarràs,” a moving drama about a Catalan farming family facing eviction from their land.

She received the prize from jury president M. Night Shyamalan, in a strong night for female filmmakers.

“Alcarràs” was one of the last Competition titles to unspool at the festival, but emerged as a hot favorite for the Bear following yesterday’s premiere, with unanimous critical adoration for her unassuming but emotionally stirring film, featuring an ensemble of entirely non-professional actors.

Simón’s win comes five years after her autobiographical debut “Summer 1993,” set in the same region of rural Catalonia, triumphed in the Berlinale’s youth-oriented Generation competition — a significant promotion for the 35-year-old writer-director.

With Simón’s Golden Bear following a Venice Golden Lion win for French director Audrey Diwan’s abortion drama “Happening,” which in turn followed her compatriot Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or triumph at Cannes for “Titane,” this marks the first time in history that the reigning winners of the most prestigious three prizes on the international festival circuit are all women.

Shyamalan’s jury, which also included newly minted Oscar nominee Ryusuke Hamaguchi and actor Connie Nielsen, rewarded a diverse range of films across the remaining Competition prizes, with only the German political satire “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush” taking two awards: Best Screenplay and Best Leading Performance for star Meltem Kaptan.

In the second year of the festival’s new policy of gender-neutral acting honors, female performers again took both the leading and supporting categories, with the latter going to Indonesian actor Laura Basuki for Kamila Andini’s lyrical political drama “Before, Now and Then (Nana).”

The second-highest honor, the Grand Jury Prize, went to South Korean helmer Hong Sangsoo for his wry comedy of manners “The Novelist’s Film” — on which the prolific multi-hyphenate takes solo directing, writing, producing, lensing, editing and scoring credit. He accepted the prize together with his personal and professional partner, Kim Minhee, who takes a leading role in this story of artists working out their creative blockages together. This was his third consecutive year in Competition at Berlin: Two years ago, his similarly droll “The Woman Who Ran” won him the Best Director prize.

This year, as it happens, that award went to a close friend and champion of Hong’s, veteran French auteur Claire Denis, for her sensually charged relationship drama “Fire.” IFC Films has already scored U.S. rights to the film, which stars Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon as a Parisian couple undone when past desires unexpectedly resurface. It’s a rare victory for Denis, who, despite longtime critical adulation, hasn’t won major festival jury prize since her 1996 film “Nenette and Boni” triumphed at Locarno.

The festival’s Jury Prize went to another female filmmaker, at the opposite end of her career: Mexican freshman helmer Natalia Lopez Gallardo for her debut feature “Robe of Gems.” Hitherto best known as an editor for major directors as Carlos Reygadas, Lisandro Alonso and Amat Escalante, Lopez Gallardo has made strong impact with her cryptic crime drama.

The Competition winners were rounded out by an Outstanding Artistic Contribution Award for Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh’s experimental dystopian vision “Everything Will Be OK” and a special mention for Swiss director Michael Koch’s Alpine tragedy “A Piece of Sky.”

In the festival’s other juried sections, female filmmakers swept the top prizes. Austrian docmaker Ruth Beckermann was a surprise Best Film winner in Encounters — Berlinale’s second-most prestigious competition, founded in 2020 — for her nonfiction film “Mutzenbacher,” an exploration of masculinity, sexuality and modernist Viennese literature.

Iraqi newcomer Kurdwin Ayub won the Best First Feature award — a prize considering debuts from multiple sections of the festival program — for her film “Sonne,” a dynamic study of Muslim feminist rebellion in Austria. Russian director Anastasia Veber won the the short film award for “Trap,” while the festival’s documentary prize went to the Myanmar Film Collective — an anonymous group of dissident filmmakers in Burma, for their “Myanmar Diaries,” shot in the aftermath of the territory’s February 2021 military coup.

The awards ceremony concludes the press portion of this year’s Berlinale, which was structurally compressed this year due to COVID-19, with all films in the program premiering in the fest’s first seven days — while the remainder of the event, which ends on Sunday, will be made up of repeat screenings for the public.

In the festival’s first full in-person edition since 2020, the pandemic was still prominent presence in proceedings, with daily testing required for press attending socially distanced screenings, and a palpably diminished crowd circulating around an unusually quiet Potsdamer Platz.

Isabelle Huppert, the festival’s honorary Golden Bear winner this year, was a pandemic casualty, ultimately unable to attend yesterday’s tribute ceremony in person after testing positive for the virus.

Golden Bear for Best Film: “Alcarràs,” Carla Simón

Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: “The Novelist’s Film,” Hong Sangsoo 

Silver Bear Jury Prize: “Robe of Gems” Natalia Lopez Gallardo

Silver Bear for Best Director: “Fire,” Claire Denis

Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance: “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush,” Meltem Kaptan

Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance: “Before, Now and Then (Nana),” Laura Basuki

Silver Bear for Best Screenplay: “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush,” Laila Stieler

Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution: “Everything Will Be OK,” Rithy Panh

Special Mention: “A Piece of Sky,” Michael Koch


Best Film: “Mutzenbacher,” Ruth Beckermann

Best Director: “Unrest,” Cyril Schäublin

Special Jury Award: “See You Friday, Robinson,” Mitra Farahani


Berlinale Documentary Award: “Myanmar Diaries,” The Myanmar Film Collective

Special Mention: “No U-Turn,” Ike Nnaebue


Best Debut Feature: “Sonne,” Kurdwin Ayub


Golden Bear for Best Short Film: “Trap,” Anastasia Veber

Silver Bear (Jury Prize): “Sunday Morning,” Bruno Ribeiro

Special Mention: “Bird in the Peninsula,” Atsushi Wada

Awards in other sections of the festival, announced earlier, include:


Crystal Bear (Children’s Jury Award) for Best Film: “Comedy Queen,” Sanna Lenken
Special Mention: “The Quiet Child,” Colm Bairéad

Crystal Bear (Children’s Jury Award) for Best Short Film: “Spotless,” Emma Branderhorst
Special Mention: “Luce and the Rock,” Britt Raes

International Jury Award for Best Film: “The Quiet Child,” Colm Bairéad
Special Mention: “Shabu,” Shamira Raphaëla

International Jury Award for Best Short Film: “Deer,” Hadi Babaeifar
Special Mention: “Vancouver,” Artemis Anastasiadou


Crystal Bear (Youth Jury Award) for Best Film: “Alis,” Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck
Special Mention: “Stay Awake,” Jamie Sisley

Crystal Bear (Youth Jury Award) for Best Short Film: “Born in Damascus,” Laura Wadha
Special Mention: “Nothing to See Here,” Nicolas Bouchez

International Jury Award for Best Film: (tied) “Kind Hearts,” Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes; “Skhema,” Farkhat Sharipov

International Jury Award for Best Short Film: “Goodbye Jérôme!,” Adam Sillard, Gabrielle Selnet, Chloé Farr
Special Mentions: “Blue Noise,” Simon Maria Kubiena; “Tinashé,” Tig Terera


Berlin Europa Cinemas Label Award: “Beautiful Beings,” Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson