20 February 2017: This year's Berlin International Film Festival, featured a new prize – the Glashütte Original Documentary Award – endowed with €50,000 (split between the film's director and producer) sponsored by the Saxony-based watch manufacturer Glashütte Original. A total of sixteen documentaries from this year's Competition, Panorama, Forum, Generation, Berlinale Special and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sections as well as the Culinary Cinema special series were nominated. Director Raed Andoni and producer Palmyre Badinier were the lucky winners for their film Istiyad Ashbah - Ghost Hunting. In the film, Andoni places an advertisement in a newspaper in Ramallah that he is searching for former inmates of the Moskobiya interrogation center in Jerusalem. He has the inmates built a replica of the interrogation rooms and cells, in which they re-enact their interrogations and discuss their experiences during their detention.
Acclaimed German filmmaker Monika Treut is the winner of the Special Teddy Award. For over thirty years, Treut has been making transgressive, gender-bending narrative and documentary films which have won numerous awards at film festivals around the world. Some of her best-known films include Virgin Machine, My Father is Coming, Gendernauts, and Warrior of Light.
Treut has enjoyed retrospectives of her work in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Taipei, Toronto, Cambridge, Helsinki, Hamburg, Thessaloniki, Prague, Warsaw, Athens, Los Angeles and Lisbon.
Since 1990, Treut has also been teaching and lecturing at Colleges (Vassar, Hollins, and Dartmouth), Art Institutes (SFAI) and Universities (IU Bloomington, UI Chicago, UC San Diego and Cornell U) in the U.S.
Treut runs the Hamburg-based independent film production company, Hyena Films.
Annekatrin Hendel is the second big winner among German documentarians. Her latest film FIVE STARS (FÜNF STERNE) (IT WORKS! Medien, K 13 Studios) took home the Heiner Carow Prize, named after the acclaimed East German director of films such as "The Legend of Paula & Paula" and "Coming Out." The prize comes with €5000.
The jury statement: "Normally making a film requires extensive research and adequate financing. Without these prerequisites, it becomes a journey into the unknown. But therein also lies opportunity. Made in a small space during a period limited by illness, the film addresses friendship and takes stock of relationships. A cinematic experiment. It's good to have the opportunity to show one's courage and experiment."
For a list of all winners of the 2017 Berlinale, please click here.