Festivals: Berlinale 2024: These films have a chance of winning

People who struggle with life.

Festivals: Berlinale 2024: These films have a chance of winning

People who struggle with life. This is one of the main focuses of this Berlinale. For example in Matthias Glasner's drama "Die" with Corinna Harfouch and Lars Eidinger. The film about a broken family is in the running for the Golden Bear at the film festival alongside 19 other competition entries. This Saturday (February 24th) the jury will announce which films and achievements will be honored.

Jury president Lupita Nyong'o and her colleagues have watched films competing for the Golden Bear for almost forty hours over the past few days. Many of the contributions are also politically charged. They go beyond individual fates and thus reflect social problems.

These actors have a chance of winning a Silver Bear

In addition to the Golden Bear, other awards are also presented - for example to the actors. The Berlinale no longer distinguishes between gender when it comes to acting awards, but instead awards a Silver Bear for the best performance in a leading role and a supporting role. Harfouch has a good chance of winning this award in her role as a cold-hearted mother in "Die", but she faces strong competition. For example from Liv Lisa Fries, title actress in Andreas Dresen's drama "In Love, Your Hilde". Fries portrays Hilde Coppi (1909-1943), a resistance fighter during the Nazi era.

Lily Farhadpour is also very popular. In the Iranian tragicomedy "Keyke mahboobe man" ("My Favorite Cake") she plays an elderly woman who rediscovers her love life in Tehran. Nina Mélo in the melancholic love story "Black Tea", Rooney Mara in the social study "La Cocina" and Salha Nasraoui in the drama "Mé el Aïn" ("Who Do I Belong To") also deserve it. Raúl Briones Carmona in “La Cocina” and Oscar favorite Cillian Murphy in the Berlinale opening film “Small Things Like These” also have good prospects. What is particularly striking this year is the many strong performances by actresses.

Documentary and drama compete for the Golden Bear

Shortly before the finale of the film festival, the speculation about the favorite for the Golden Bear was shaken up again - with the late premiere of "Mé el Aïn". The drama by director Meryam Joobeur uses strong, artistically exaggerated imagery to tell the story of the life of a Tunisian farming family in the shadow of war and terrorism. The humanly gripping epic should have a strong chance with the jury because of its creative and political strength.

The chances are also good for the documentary “Dahomey” about the return of art treasures stolen from Africa. The French director Mati Diop intervenes in current social discussions and captivates with poetic passages - for example, one of the statues speaks to the audience offscreen several times.

"Keyke mahboobe man" ("My Favorite Cake") by Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha could also be of interest to the judges. On the surface, it seems to be a film that primarily thinks about love and self-determination in old age. But the widow's story is both impressive and touching as a picture of a society in which women are constantly oppressed. The Iranian directing duo was prevented from traveling to Berlin by Iranian authorities. “Keyke mahboobe man” is a critical favorite. The Austrian contribution “Des Teufels Bad”, a morbid psychological film by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala with Anja Plaschg in the lead role, also did well with critics.

German director with an opportunity to win prizes

Dresen's "In Love, Your Hilde" is eligible for the Grand Jury Prize. But it is also conceivable that the jury will succumb to the bizarre chamber play "Yeohaengjaui pilyo" ("A Traveler's Needs") by the South Korean director Hong Sang-soo. The French star actress Isabelle Huppert plays a woman who tries to make a living as a French teacher in South Korea.

Claire Burger could win the directing award with the coming of age story “Langue Étrangère” about a German-French school exchange. But as always: What one person likes, another person rejects. And: juries like to surprise people.

Berlinale program Overview of the Berlinale awards