Berlin: Iranian Drama 'There Is No Evil' Wins Indie Jury Honors

'There Is No Evil'

The film, shot in secret by persecuted director Mohammad Rasoulof, took top honors from the independent ecumenical and Guild Film juries at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.

There Is No Evil, a bracing portrayal of life in modern-day Iran, which targets the government policy of mass execution of dissidents has picked up two of the top honors awarded by the independent juries at the 70th International Film Festival.

Mohammad Rasoulof's feature, which was shot in secret to circumvent a working ban imposed on the director by the Iranian regime, received best film honors from both the ecumenical jury and the Guild Film Prize. There Is No Evil was the last film to screen in competition in Berlin but is considered a front-runner for Saturday's official awards. 

In the Berlin sidebar sections, the ecumenical jury honored the Panorama title Otac (Father) from Serbian director Srdan Golubovic, with a special mention going to Susanne Regina Meures' documentary Saudi Runaway. The prize for best film in the Forum section went to the doc Seishin 0 from Japanese filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda.

The CICAE Art Cinema Award, handed out by the association of art house cinemas, went to Digger from Greek director Georgis Grigorakis, while The Calming by Song Fang took CICAE's honor for the best film in Berlin's Forum section this year.

In the Generations section of children's and youth films, the AG Kino Gilde prize for best film went to Jumbo, Zoe Wittock's French drama about a shy young woman with a fascination for carousels.

A rare funny movie in Berlin competition, Delete History, from French writer-directors Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern, took home the Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Jury Award for best film, voted on by subscribers to the Berlin newspaper, while the equivalent prize from competitor paper The Tagesspiegel went to Forum title Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine by director Alex Piperno.

Other independent honors handed out at this year's Berlinale included the Eurimages co-production development award for There Are Two Kinds of People in This World from director Onur Saylak; the VFF Talent Highlight Award for Sakaris Stora's The Last Paradise on Earth; the Caligari Film Prize for Little Girl from SeĢbastien Lifshitz; the Peace Film prize for Samuel Kishi Leopo's Los Lobos; the Artekino International Prize for Veerle Baetens' The Melting; the Kompagnon Development Prize for Arctic Link from Ian Purnell, one of the 2020 Berlinale Talents, and 111 from Hristiana Raykova, which screened in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section; the Heiner-Carow Prize for Natalija Yefimkina's Garage People; and the Kompass Perspective Prize for Walchensee Forever from Janna Ji Wonders.