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‘Dahomey’ Clinches top prize at 74th Berlin Int’l Film Fest


Published : 26 Feb 2024 09:07 PM
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The 74th Berlin International Film Festival, renowned as the Berlinale, has drawn its curtains, unveiling the victors in a dazzling ceremony hosted at the esteemed Berlinale Palast. In contention were 20 captivating films, meticulously scrutinized by a panel of distinguished jurors representing a global array of talents.

At the helm of the International Jury stood Lupita Nyong'o, the Kenyan-Mexican luminary and Oscar winner, etching her name in history as the first black president of the jury at this esteemed event. Joining her were luminaries such as Ann Hui, Christian Petzold, Albert Serra, Jasmine Trinca, and Oksana Zabuzhko, all lending their expertise to the selection process.

The Encounters Jury, comprised of Lisandro Alonso, Denis Côté, and Tizza Covi, played a pivotal role in adjudicating winners across prestigious categories including Best Film, Best Director, and the Special Jury Award.

The coveted Golden Bear for Best Film was triumphantly seized by "Dahomey," a compelling documentary crafted by the visionary Franco-Senegalese director Mati Diop. The film delves into the intricate complexities surrounding Europe's restitution of looted antiquities to Africa, a poignant narrative that resonated deeply with audiences and jurors alike. Diop, humbled by the accolade, underscored that the honor extends not only to her but also to the entire community depicted in the film.

South Korean maestro Hong Sang-soo clinched the runner-up Grand Jury Prize for his cinematic masterpiece "A Traveller's Needs," a captivating collaboration with French screen legend Isabelle Huppert. Hong's wry humor colored his acceptance, quipping, "I'm not quite sure what you saw in this film," in acknowledgment of the jury's discerning taste.

Meanwhile, the illustrious French auteur Bruno Dumont was bestowed with the third-place Jury Prize for "The Empire," a riveting exploration of the timeless conflict between good and evil, set against the picturesque backdrop of a French fishing village.

In a nod to exceptional directorial prowess, Dominican filmmaker Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias was celebrated as the Best Director for his thought-provoking docudrama "Pepe," delving into the enigmatic legacy of a hippopotamus once owned by the notorious Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar.

The 74th Berlin International Film Festival served as a vibrant celebration of diverse voices and compelling narratives, further solidifying its stature as a preeminent platform for cinematic brilliance and cultural dialogue.