The film directed by Calin Peter Netzer was awarded the Golden Bear for the Best Film at the 63rd edition of Berlin International Film Festival Saturday night.
This is Romania’s first Golden Bear at the Berlinale, considered as the second most important Europe film festival after Cannes.
Calin Peter Netzer’s film is a tale of corruption and guilt in modern Romania. It follows a rich and controlling mother, played by Luminita Gheorghiu, as she bribes witnesses into giving false statements to save her son from jail after he accidentally runs down and kills a boy. “Child’s Pose” was a favourite among the 19 contenders. The award was handed over to the director, Calin Peter Netzer, and producer Ada Solomon by the President of the Jury, Wong Kar Wai, one of the most acclaimed filmmakers. With the prize received on Saturday, Calin Netzer joins the club of major Romanian film laureates of the last years, next to Cristi Puiu, Cristian Mungiu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Florin Serban and Marian Crisan. ‘Child’s Pose’ is Netzer’s third feature film after the much awarded ‘Maria’ (2003) and ‘Medal of Honour’ (2010). After he had received the trophy, the film director said: ‘I will try to say something, although I am speechless. I thank the Berlinale for having us here, I thank the festival director, Dieter Kosslick, but also Razvan Radulescu, with whom I wrote the script for this movie.
The film producer, Ada Solomon, in turn, said: ‘I am more used to being a fighter than a winner. I thank our lead actress, Luminita Gheorghiu, because this prize is greatly hers, as well. And, of course, my thanks go to Calin Peter Netzer who made this film’
‘Romanian politicians should be more attentive to Romanian cinema and Romanian filmmakers, who are extraordinary ambassadors for Romania’, Ada Solomon added.
Netzer’s film also landed the international critique award FIPRESCI Friday night in Berlin.
Film critic Tudor Caranfil said ‘Child’s Pose’ is the first Romanian film to receive the Golden Bear trophy, noting that it was actually predictable that the movie would be among the ‘stars’ of the Berlin International Film Festival after its official screening last Monday. In what regards Luminita Gheorghiu, a favourite for the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the 2013 Berlinale, but who lost the trophy to Paulina García (‘Gloria’, director Sebastián Lelio), Tudor Caranfil said: ‘While there have been few quality films, actresses were absolutely brilliant’.
Film director Tudor Giurgiu in his turn said that, maybe after the ‘Child’s Pose’ received the Golden Bear in Berlin, Romanian authorities would wake up and understand that cinematography needs a different approach. ‘I don’t know what Romanian film should still demonstrate to also trigger an appropriate response from the authorities, who should wake up to reality and realise Romanian film industry is under-financed, that cinema theatres are closing down and that CNC is an organisation of the last century’ (…)/ This may be the last minute for all of us to wake up’, Tudor Giurgiu also said.
Filmmaker Stere Gulea also said the Golden Bear received by ‘Child’s Pose’ was the fruit of the directors’ remarkably serious work. Actress Ada Condeescu in turn said the Golden Bear is a great joy to Romania, to Romanian film industry and to the Romanian cinematography community: ‘I, too, congratulate from the bottom of my heart all those on the film crew. She further noted that she was convinced the performance of the actors in ‘Child’s Pose’ had ‘impressed the jury’.
Berlin film festival winners
Best film (Golden Bear) – “Child’s Pose”, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, Romania
Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear) – “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker”, directed by Danis Tanovic, Bosnia
Best Director (Silver Bear) – U.S. director David Gordon Green for “Prince Avalanche”
Best Actress (Silver Bear) – Paulina Garcia for Chilean film “Gloria”
Best Actor (Silver Bear) – Nazif Mujic for Bosnian film “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker”
Best screenplay (Silver Bear) – Jafar Panahi and Kamboziya Partovi for Iranian film “Closed Curtain”
Outstanding artistic contribution (Silver Bear) – Kazakh cameraman Aziz Zhambakiyev for “Harmony Lessons”
Alfred Bauer Prize (honouring innovation) – “Vic + Flo Saw a Bear”, directed by Denis Cote, Canada.