Berlin: 'Fortuna' Wins Crystal Bear for Best Children's Film

Vega Production/Colin Leveque

The story of an African refugee who finds shelter in a Swiss monastery won the grand prize in Berlin's Generation sidebar.

Fortuna, director Germinal Roaux's black-and-white tale of a young Ethiopian refugee who finds shelter at a Swiss monastery, picked up the Crystal Bear, the grand prize for best film in the Berlinale's Generation sidebar.

Fortuna won over both Generation's international jury and the youth jury of young filmgoers, who hand out separate prizes, with both agreeing the feature, starring Kidist Siyum Beza, Bruno Ganz, Patrick D'Assumcao and Yoann Blanc, was the best on offer in the selection of films for children and young audiences.

The international jury said Fortuna “transcends religious and political dogma in a beautifully realized tale of purity and survival as seen through the eyes of a strong-willed Ethiopian girl.”

Generation's international jury gave a special mention to Iranian director Pooya Badkoobeh's Dressage, a drama about a young girl troubled by the consequences of a seemingly harmless robbery. And a special mention from the youth jury went to Peruvian drama Retablo, a story from director Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio set in a remote mountain village about a boy, in the words of the jury, “on his journey to becoming a man in a world marked by violence.”