Iranian director Jafar Panahi won the main Golden Bear prize at the Berlin Film Festival for his anti-censorship movie ‘Taxi’.
In the film, he plays a Tehran taxi driver who captures the spirit of Iranian society in his chats with passengers.
But the film-maker wasn’t allowed to travel from Tehran to pick up the award because of Iranian government restrictions. So his family picked up his prize.
One of the Best Director prizes went to Polish film-maker Malgorzata Szumowska for the Yoga film ‘Body’.
“I was completely shocked in the good sense and it is rare for the Polish cimena to get the price in the Berlinale Film Festival,” said Szumowska.
Romania’s Radu Jude shared the Silver Bear for best director with her for his film ‘Aferim!’
The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to “El Club” (“The Club”) by Chilean director Pablo Larraín
Reporting from Berlin, our correspondent Wolfgang Spindler said:
“The awards jury sent out a symbolic message to Iran’s leaders by awarding the Golden Bear to Jafar Panahi. They wanted to show solidarity with a filmmaker who faces censorship, work restrictions and a travel ban by his own government.”