Women come out on top at the Berlin Film Festival as numerous prizes are awarded to female filmmakers, with Carla Simòn taking home the Golden Bear.

The first major European festival of the calendar year has come and gone, and as the dust settles on the 2022 Berlin Film Festival, a film from Catalonia has walked away with the big prize.


It was a huge year for women at the festival. Scooping the Golden Bear, the festival’s top accolade was the film Alcarràs, a Catalan-language drama about a farming family’s travails directed by Carla Simòn. Second and third place went to South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s The Novelist’s Film and the first feature from Mexican Natalia López Gallardo, Robe of Gems. Meanwhile, French stalwart Claire Denis netted the best director prize for her new film Fire (Or Both Sides of the Blade), starring frequent collaborator Juliette Binoche.


It caps off a banner year for women in European cinema, with Simòn’s win coming after 2021’s top-prize wins for Julia Ducournau’s Titane at Cannes, and Audrey Diwan’s Happening at Venice.


Women also ran the tables at the gender-neutral acting awards. Best lead performance went to Meltem Kaptan for her role in Rabiye Kurnaz Vs George W Bush, and supporting performance to Laura Basuki for her role in Nana. That’s a repeat from last year, where women also took the prizes. Meanwhile, French cinematic legend Isabelle Huppert won a lifetime achievement award, though she was unfortunately unable to collect it in person due to testing positive for COVID just before the presentation.


Next on the calendar is Cannes, returning to its regular slot in May.