Nadav Lapid's Satire 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear at Berlinale 2019

February 17, 2019

Berlinale 2019 Golden Bear

As another film festival comes to an end, it's time to celebrate and commemorate with the announcement of the awards. The 69th Berlin Film Festival is finishing up, and the winners were revealed at the Closing Ceremony, including the winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Film. That top prize was given to a film called Synonyms, directed by Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid (seen above), regarded by most critics as the best of the fest anyway. It's a French-Israeli dramatic satire set in Paris that's about the difficulties of immigration and integration. Other big winners include François Ozon's By the Grace of God about abusive priests, and the documentary Talking About Trees covering Sudanese cinema. Full list of the winners below.

Here are the top awards at the 69th Berlin Film Festival. For the full list including shorts visit

Golden Bear for Best Film
Synonyms (Synonymes), directed by Nadav Lapid

Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu), directed by François Ozon

Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives
System Crasher (Systemsprenger), directed by Nora Fingscheidt

Silver Bear for Best Director
Angela Schanelec for directing I Was at Home, But (Ich war zuhause, aber)

Silver Bear for Best Actress
Yong Mei in So Long, My Son (Di jiu tian chang), directed by Wang Xiaoshuai

Silver Bear for Best Actor
Wang Jingchun in So Long, My Son (Di jiu tian chang), directed by Wang Xiaoshuai

Silver Bear for Best Script
Maurizio Braucci, Claudio Giovannesi, Roberto Saviano for Piranhas (La paranza dei bambini)

Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution
Rasmus Videbæk for cinematography in Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester), directed by Hans Petter Moland

Best First Feature Award endowed with €50,000, funded by GWFF
Oray, directed by Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay

Best Documentary Award endowed with €50,000, funded by Glashütte Original
Talking About Trees, directed by Suhaib Gasmelbari

Talking About Trees producer Marie Balducchi, and director Suhaib Gasmelbari


Panorama Audience Award for a Fiction Film
37 Seconds, directed by Hikari
2nd Place: Stitches (Šavovi), directed by Miroslav Terzić
3rd Place: Buoyancy, directed by Rodd Rathjen

Panorama Audience Award for a Documentary Film
Talking About Trees, directed by Suhaib Gasmelbari
2nd Place: Midnight Traveler, directed by Hassan Fazili
3rd Place: Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto

Teddy Audience Award
Brief Story from the Green Planet (Breve historia del planeta verde), directed by Santiago Loza

Berliner Morgenpost Readers' Jury Award
System Crasher (Systemsprenger), directed by Nora Fingscheidt

Tagesspiegel Readers' Jury Award
Monsters (Monștri), directed by Marius Olteanu

That puts a final cap on the 69th Berlin Film Festival, wrapping up 10 days of cinema in Germany, as well as our own coverage here on FirstShowing. Berlinale is another prominent film festival taking place early every year, showcasing great films from all over the world. The 2019 international jury included: Juliette Binoche (President), Justin Chang, Sandra Hüller, Sebastián Lelio, Rajendra Roy and Trudie Styler. Congratulations to all of the winners! This year's picks for all the prizes seem to be a varied selection of the very best of the festival and the very worst, which is not so surprising. I'm very happy to see Synonyms win the Golden Bear, totally deserves it for being so original. Watch out for these films and many others playing at festivals soon.

Find more posts: Awards, Berlinale, Movie News

1 Comment


SO LONG, MY SON is definitely on my list for this year.

DAVIDPD on Feb 18, 2019

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