The winners have been announced at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, with Alcarràs being awarded the top prize – the Golden Bear. 

Carla Simon’s Alcarràs has won the Golden Bear at the 72nd Berlin Film Festival, Deadline reports. It is the highest prize awarded at the festival, presented to the picture voted as the best in its international competition. The full list of winners, including Alcarràs, was announced on Wednesday night at the Berlinale Palast.

Simon’s drama follows a family of Catalonian peach farmers whose lives are turned upside down when the owner of their estate dies and his son decides to sell the land. The change threatens their entire livelihood. Alcarràs is Simón’s second feature film, and she previously won the festival’s Best First Feature award for her debut Summer 1993, which was released in 2017.

Other winners at the festival include Hong Sang-soo’s The Novelist, which was awarded the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, and Natalia Lopez Gallardo’s Robe Of Gems, which picked up the Silver Bear Jury Prize. Claire Denis, who helmed Both Sides Of The Blade, received the Silver Bear for Best Director.

The festival introduced gender neutral awards ahead of last year’s festival, and has continued with them this year. Unfortunately, the festival had to run in a condensed format due to the pandemic, premiering all of its films over the course of six days, which concluded with the awards ceremony that took place on Wednesday night. It has not been entirely smooth sailing, with a handful of festival-goers testing positive for covid, including Isabelle Huppert. The French actor, who has been awarded the honorary prize, had to accept the award virtually.

The 72nd Berlin Film Festival runs until 20th February.

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