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Berlin crowdpleasers House of Hummingbird, from Korean director Kim Bo-ra, and Stupid Young Heart, from Finnish filmmaker Selma Vilhunen, scooped up the top prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival’s Generation 14plus sidebar for youth-oriented films.
The members of the Generation 14plus international Jury — Nanouk Leopold, Pascal Plante and Maria Solrun — gave House of Hummingbird the Crystal Bear for best film, saying the directional debut, a feminist coming-of-age story about an isolated, lonely 14-year-old girl living in mid-1990s Seoul, showed “the maturity of an enduring artist.”
Another female coming-of-age tale — Rima Das’ Bulbul Can Sing — received a special mention from the international jury.
The members of the 14plus youth jury — made up of young people selected by the festival — tapped Stupid Young Heart, the story of young about-to-be parents who pick the wrong role models and land with right-wing extremists, as their best film Crystal Bear winner.
Director Vilhunen is a talent to watch, having earned an Oscar nomination for her 2012 live-action short Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? and a young audience award nomination in last year’s European Film Awards for her quirky documentary Hobbyhorse revolution.
The youth jury gave a special mention to the Japanese drama We Are Little Zombies from director Makoto Nagahisa. The dark, zany romantic comedy about four Japanese orphans forming a rock band, which premiered at Sundance, won over the Berlin jury with its “extraordinarily distinctive style.”
The main festival honors, the Gold and Silver Bears, will be handed out Saturday.
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