Mon. Feb 17th, 2020

66th Berlinale WINNERS: Refugee doc ‘Fire at Sea’ takes the Golden Bear

Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare), directed by Gianfranco Rosi wins 66th Berlinale Golden Bear for Best Film
Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare), directed by Gianfranco Rosi wins 66th Berlinale Golden Bear for Best Film


The jury of the 66th Berlinale film festival — led by Meryl Streep (President), Lars Eidinger, Nick James, Brigitte Lacombe, Clive Owen, Alba Rohrwacher and Malgorzata Szumowska — have awarded the Golden Bear to the very timely refugee documentary Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare), directed by Gianfranco Rosi.

Famed Filipino director Lav Diaz took home the Alfred Bauer Prize for his 8-hour epic A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery and jokingly referred to it in his acceptance speech as a “short film.”

Acting awards went to Majd Mastoura for Hedi and Trine Dyrholm for The Commune. Last year’s Best Actress winner, Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) went on to an Oscar nomination this year.

The full list of winners:

berlinale-golden-bearGolden Bear for Best Film: Fire at Sea (Gianfranco Rosi)

Silver Bear for Best Script: United States of Love (Tomasz Wasilewski)

Silver Bear for Best Artistic Contribution: Mark Lee Ping Bin for his cinematography in Crosscurrent

Silver Bear for Best Director: Mia Hansen-Løve for Things to Come

Silver Bear for Best Actor: Majd Mastoura for Hedi

Silver Bear for Best Actress: Trine Dyrholm for The Commune

Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize: Lav Diaz for A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery

Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: Death in Sarajevo (Danis Tanović)

Golden Bear for Short Film: Batrachian’s Ballad (Leonor Teles)

Silver Bear for Short Film: A Man Returned (Mahdi Fleifel)

Audi Short Film Award: Anchorage Prohibited (Chiang Wei Liang)


A total of four juries have announced awards for films screening in the two strands of the program aimed at younger viewers, Generation.

Generation 14plus Youth Jury:

Generation 14plus International Jury:

Generation Kplus Children’s Jury:

Generation Kplus International Jury:

  • Grand Prix: Pepa San Martín’s Rara. Special Mention: Mete Gümürhan’s Young Wrestlers.
  • Best Short Film: Myrsini Aristidou’s Semele. Special Mention: Omar Robles and José Permar’s Aurelia and Pedro.


FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique):

Teddy Awards, “the most outstanding queer film prize in the world,” celebrating the 30th anniversary:

The Ecumenical Jury:

Guild of German Art House Cinemas: Anne Zohra Berrached’s 24 Weeks.

CICAE (Confédération Internationale des Cinémas d’Art et d’Essai):

Caligari Film Prize (Forum only): Tamer El Said’s In the Last Days of the City.

Europa Cinemas Label (Panorama only): Bouli Lanners’s The First, the Last.

Made in Germany – Perspektive Fellowship: Janna Ji Wonders for Walchensee Forever.

Peace Film Prize: Maher Abi Samra’s A Maid for Each.

Amnesty International Film Prize: Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea and Mehrdad Oskouei’s Starless Dreams.

Heiner Carow Prize, “for the promotion of German cinematic arts to a documentary, feature or essay film in the Panorama section”: Doris Dörrie’s Fukushima, mon Amour.

Panorama Audience Award:

Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Jury: Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea.

Tagesspiegel Readers’ Jury: Petr Vaclav’s We Are Never Alone.

ARTE International Prize, for “one of the projects selected for the Berlinale Co-Production Market”: Alvaro Brechner for Memories from the Cell.

Eurimages Co-Production Development Award: Pierre Földes for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Special mentions: Alvaro Brechner for Memories from the Cell and Moonika Siimets for The Little Comrade.

VFF Talent Highlight Pitch Award: Producer Max Serdiuk for Tank.

“Each year, the Robert Bosch Stiftung issues three Film Prizes for International Cooperation between young German filmmakers and their partners from the Arab World”:

  • Feature: Thsweesh.
  • Documentary: Miguel’s War.
  • Animation: Four Acts for Syria.

1 thought on “66th Berlinale WINNERS: Refugee doc ‘Fire at Sea’ takes the Golden Bear

  1. Very excited to finally see Fire at Sea in New York theaters, a very important film and an absolute must watch for everyone.

    “Winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale, Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary observes Europe’s refugee crisis from Lampedusa, a Mediterranean island where hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty have landed in recent decades. Rosi chronicles the harrowing work of rescue operations alongside the daily rhythms of the island’s locals: a doctor who treats casualties and performs autopsies; a widow who spends most of her day cooking and praying; and Samuele, a feisty pre-teen from a family of fishermen for whom the comings and goings of refugees to the island is simply a peripheral fact of life. With its emphasis on the quotidian, the film reclaims an ongoing tragedy from the abstract sensationalism of media headlines.”

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