Berlin: 'I Am Not Your Negro' and 'Insyriated' Take Audience Awards

Courtesy of TIFF
'I Am Not Your Negro'

Raoul Peck's Oscar-nominated documentary on James Baldwin and a drama about life in a Syrian war zone were the most popular titles among moviegoers at the festival.

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.