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Two films that feel ripped-from-the-headlines have won the audience awards at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, the largest public fest in the world.
Insyriated, a drama from Belgian director Philippe van Leeuw about a Syrian household under siege during the civil war, took the top prize for fiction voted on by the festival’s some 250,000 cinemagoers.
Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, an examination of U.S. race relations told through the work of writer James Baldwin, picked up the audience award for best documentary. I Am Not Your Negro is already nominated for an Oscar in the best documentary category. Both films screened in Berlin’s Panorama sidebar.
Runners-up in the audience vote were Naoko Ogigami’s Close Knit, which came second in the drama section; and, for documentaries, Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi’s Chavela, a portrait of Mexican singer Chavela Vargas.
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