Films from Asia are the clear winners at the 2014 Berlinale film festival in the German capital.
Chinese thriller “Black Coal, Thin Ice”, scooped the top Golden Bear prize, while Liao Fan, who played the lead role in the film, won the Silver Bear for Best Actor.
Told through flashbacks, the story is about a former policeman investigating gruesome murders in 1990s northern China.
“Black Coal, Thin Ice” director Diao Yian played around with a number of styles to help his film differ from other, more traditional thrillers.
“In my movie I worked with long shots which have a more arthouse feel,” he said. “I liked the idea of making a thriller and experimenting with stylistic elements which are unusual for this type of film.”
Meanwhile, the Best Actress award went to Haru Kuroki for her role in the Japanese film “The Little House”.
“What was important for my role in the film “The Little House”, was to learn how it feels to wear a Kimoni,” she said. “Then to understand how to move in it and the impact it has on your body language.”
The film takes place in the period running up to and during World War II.
“Blind Massage” completed Asia’s winning streak. The Chinese-French film was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Artistic Contribution.
The awards ceremony marked the end of an unusually successful film festival for China, as euronews’ correspondent in Berlin highlighted:
“The Bear hunt is over. The clear winners at this year’s festival are films from Asia with 4 Bear awards. It’s certainly unexpected as this is the first Golden Bear award in seven years to go to a film made in China.”
But it wasn’t an entirely clean sweep for Asia.American Richard Linklater took the Best Director Silver Bear for his film “Boyhood”, which uses the same child actors over a twelve-year span.
He dedicated the award to the film’s cast and crew.
“This is for the 400 people who worked on the film over 12 years you know. The best director award means nothing to me, but the fact that we had a great reception in Berlin, that we connected with audiences and felt such a connection to the movie we put out there means everything.”