Touch Me Not wins Golden Bear top prize at Berlin festival

Director, screenwriter, editor and producer Adina Pintilie poses with her Golden Bear award for Best Film Touch Me Not during the awards ceremony at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, on Feb 24, 2018.
Director, screenwriter, editor and producer Adina Pintilie poses with her Golden Bear award for Best Film Touch Me Not during the awards ceremony at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, on Feb 24, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Touch Me Not, a film about intimacy and sex that shocked some viewers with explicit scenes, won the Golden Bear prize for best film at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday (Feb 24).

Romanian director Adina Pintilie said she had not expected to win the award for her film, which blurs reality and fiction as it follows several characters who seek intimacy yet also fear it.

"It's so important this is coming because we would like that the dialogue Touch Me Not proposes opens to the world so we invite you, the viewer, to dialogue," Pintilie said as she collected her Golden Bear trophy.

The Silver Bear award for best director was given to US director Wes Anderson for Isle of Dogs - an animated movie about a Japanese city that deports its dogs to a garbage dump island during an outbreak of canine flu.

Bill Murray, who was the voice of one of the dogs, collected the award at the gala ceremony on Anderson's behalf.

"I never thought that I would go to work as a dog and come home with a bear," he joked as he held the Silver Bear trophy.

Anthony Bajon received the award for best actor for his role as a drug addict who tries to kick his habit with the help of religion in Cedric Kahn's La priere (The Prayer).

And Ana Brun received the best actress award for her role as a reclusive woman who ends up taxiing older ladies around when her partner gets sent to prison in Marcelo Martinessi's Las herederas (The Heiresses).

The best screenplay award was given to Manuel Alcala and Alonso Ruizpalacios for Museo (Museum) about students stealing artefacts from Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology.

Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska's Twarz (Mug) - about a man who has a face transplant after an accident - took the Silver Bear grand jury prize.

Elena Okopnaya won an award for outstanding artistic contribution for costume and production design in Russian director Alexey German Jr.'s biopic Dovlatov about the 20th century writer Sergei Dovlatov.

The awards were decided by a six-person jury headed by German director Tom Tykwer. At the festival, which runs from Feb 15 to Feb 25, around 400 films are being screened. Of those, 19 were competing for the top Golden Bear prize.

The Berlinale is one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world. While there was no overarching theme this year, there were many films about migration and portraits of artists.