MUSIC, THE ECHO and TOTEM among the films awarded at the 73rd Berlinale Film Festival

German director Angela Schanelec, following her Berlinale Best Director Award in 2019 for I Was at Home, But..., was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay by the Competition Jury for Music, her free contemporary adaptation of the myth of Oedipus. Presenting jury member Radu Jude lauded Music as “a great film that goes against the bookkeepers”.

Salvadoran-Mexican director Tatiana Huezo, whose first fiction feature Prayers for the Stolen was awarded at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, received both the Best Director Award in the Encounters competition section and the top prize from the separate Berlinale documentary jury for her acclaimed nonfiction return The Echo, an immersive portrait of a rural community in Mexico. The Encounters Jury was formed by members Angeliki Papoulia, Dea Kulumbegashvili and Paolo Moretti. “Cinema is a pathway of resistance and documentary is also a way of resisting: it is an act of love, of faith” said Huezo while accepting the award for Best Director. “To all the other women who make films in Mexico and who are opening up pathways and fighting hard, and to all the directors who came before us. To all these women, this one’s for you”.

Tótem by Lila Avilés, about a day in the life of a seven-year-old girl who is helping her aunts with a surprise party they’re throwing for her father, was chosen by the Ecumenical Jury as Best Film in Competition. To quote from the jury statement: “The Jury was genuinely blown away by the complex and sensitive way of illustrating the love holding this family together, neither forced nor idealized. It also highlights how Mexican culture deals with death and celebrates life at the same time.”

Finally, The Eternal Memory by Oscar-nominated Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi, focusing on the remarkable bond between a Chilean couple, the esteemed journalist Augusto Góngora and the actress and Chile's former Minister of Culture, Paulina Urrutia Fernández, took second place in the Panorama Audience Award – Documentaries.