Berlin: 'House of Hummingbird,' 'Stupid Young Heart' Land Best Youth Film Honors

House of Hummingbird_Stupid Young Hearts_Split - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Epiphany Films; Uwa Iduozee

Makoto Nagahisa's Japanese drama 'We Are Little Zombies' and Rima Das' 'Bulbul Can Sing' earned special mention from Berlin's Generation sidebar juries.

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.