Documentary ‘On the Adamant’ Wins Top Award at Berlin Film Festival

Other prizes at the festival go to “Afire,” “Bad Living” and actors Sofia Otero and Thea Ehre

On the Adamant

The documentary “On the Adamant” has been named the best film of the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin organizers announced on Saturday.

The film from director Nicolas Philibert (“Nenette,” “La Maison de la Radio”) follows life in a daycare center located on the Seine in Paris for adults with mental disorders. It is the first documentary to win the festival’s top prize since “Fire at Sea” in 2016.

German director Christian Petzold won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, essentially the runner-up award, for his drama “Afire,” while Philippe Garrel won the directing award for “The Plough.” The gender-neutral acting prizes went to Sofia Otero for “20,000 Species of Bees” in the leading performance category and Thea Ehre for “Till the End of the Night” in the supporting category.

The jury president was actress Kristen Stewart. The other jurors were actress Goldshifteh Farahani, directors Valeska Grisebach, Radu Jude and Carla Simón and Johnnie To and casting director Francine Maisler.

The festival ran from Feb. 16 through Feb. 26. Steven Spielberg was presented with an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement.

Here is the list of awards. Additional prizes from independent juries can be found here.

Golden Bear for Best Film: “On the Adamant” (“Sur l’Adamant”), Nicolas Philibert
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: “Afire” (“Roter Himmel”), Christian Petzold
Silver Bear Jury Prize: “Bad Living” (“Mal Viver”), Joao Canijo
Silver Bear for Best Director: Philippe Garrel, “The Plough”
Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance: Sofia Otero, “20,000 Species of Bees”
Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance: Thea Ehre, “Till the End of the Night”
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay: Angela Schanelec, “Music”
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution: Hélène Louvart for the cinematography of “Disco Boy”

Best Film: “Here,” Bas Devos
Best Director: “The Echo,” Tatiana Huezo
Special Jury Award: “Samsara,” Lois Patiño
Special Jury Award: “Orlando, My Political Biography,” Paul B. Preciado

GWFF Best First Feature Award: “The Klezmer Project,” Leandro Koch, Paloma Schachmann
Special Mention: “The Bride,” Myriam U. Birara

Berlinale Documentary Award: “The Echo,” Tatiana Huezo
Special Mention: “Orlando, My Political Biography,” Paul B. Preciado

Berlinale Series Award: “The Good Mothers”
Special Mention: “The Arkitekt”

Best Film: “Sweet As,” Jub Clerc
Special Mention: “Zeevonk,” Domien Huyghe
Best Short Film: “Closing Dynasty,” Lloyd Lee Choi
Special Mention: “Dede Is Dead,” Philippe Kastner

Best Film: “She – Hero,” Mira Fornay
Special Mention: “Longing for the World,” Jenna Hasse
Best Short Film: “Waking Up in Silence,” Mila Zhuktenko, Daniel Asadi Faezi
Special Mention: “Xiaohui and His Cows,” Xinying Lao

Best Film: “Adolfo,” Sofia Auza
Special Mention: “And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine,” Axel Danielson, Maximilien Van Aetryck
Best Short Film: “And Me, I’m Dancing Too,” Mohammad Valizadegan
Special Mention: “From the Corner of My Eyes,” Domonkos Erhardt

Best Film: “Hummingbirds,” Silvia Del Carmen Castanos, Estefania “Beba” Contreras
Best Short Film: “Infantry,” Lais Santos Araujo
Special Mention: “Mutt,” Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
Special Mention: “Incroci,” Francesca de Fusco

Best Short Film: “Les chenilles,” Michelle Keserwany, Noel Keserwanyver
Silver Bear Jury Prize: “Dipped in Black,” Matthew Thorne, Derik Lynch
Special Mention: “It’s a Date,” Nadia Parfan

Honorary Golden Bear: Steven Spielberg
Berlinale Camera: Caroline Champetier