Berlinale 2023 Awards: French Doc ‘Sur l’Adamant’ Wins Golden Bear


    Berlinale 2023 Awards: French Doc ‘Sur l’Adamant’ Wins Golden Bear

    by Alex Billington
    February 26, 2023
    Source: Berlinale

    Golden Bear Winner

    The 73rd Berlin Film Festival (also known as Berlinale locally) has wrapped its 2023 run following two weeks of screenings, with a big ceremony again in Berlin on Saturday evening, announcing the winner of the Golden Bear (Goldener Bär) for Best Film. That top prize from this year was given to a French documentary titled Sur l’Adamant (or On the Adamant), about a mental health facility located in a boat on the Seine in Paris. The film is directed by a 72-year-old French doc filmmaker named Nicolas Philibert, winning his very first Golden Bear. It’s an interesting pick, similar to when the doc Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) won in 2016. Once again, it seems like a political pick, not winning for artistry. The festival overall this year wasn’t exactly very exciting, with a lot of bad films and a few good ones. I was expecting Celine Song’s Past Lives to win following its Sundance premiere, and Petzold’s latest film Afire is also quite good. The rest of the awards are rather lackluster, but not surprising for this fest. Read on for the full list of Berlinale 2023 winners below.

    Here are the top awards at the 73rd Berlin Film Festival. For the full list including shorts visit

    Golden Bear for Best Film
    Sur l’Adamant (On the Adamant), directed by Nicolas Philibert

    Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
    Roter Himmel (Afire), directed by Christian Petzold

    Silver Bear Jury Prize
    Mal Viver (Bad Living), directed by João Canijo

    Silver Bear for Best Director
    Philippe Garrel for directed Le Grand Chariot (The Plough)

    Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance
    Sofía Otero in 20,000 Especies de Abejas (20,000 Species of Bees), by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren

    Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance
    Thea Ehre in Bis ans Ende der Nacht (Till the End of the Night), directed by Christoph Hochhäusler

    Silver Bear for Best Screenplay
    Angela Schanelec for Music, also directed by Angela Schanelec

    Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution
    Hélène Louvart for the cinematography in Disco Boy, directed by Giacomo Abbruzzese

    Panorama Audience Awards
    Sira, directed by Apolline Traoré
    Kokomo City, directed by D. Smith

    The main international jury at the 73rd Berlin Festival included Kristen Stewart (as president), Golshifteh Farahani, Valeska Grisebach, Radu Jude, Francine Maisler, Carla Simón, as well as Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To. Congratulations to all of the winners! Once again, another forgettable year of awards here. I’ve been covering this festival for ten years, and as much as I hoped they’d make some good choices in 2023, they once again went with a handful of oddball picks. These are obviously political choices, not necessarily based on quality, but on some sense of “this should win because it’s about this or that.” I was really let down by Sur l’Adamant, it lacks a narrative, it lacks energy, it doesn’t really stand out in any way, another generic observational doc. Why go with this over Past Lives…? Even Petzold’s Afire is a better choice. Or perhaps Totem, the Mexican drama about a family would’ve been a refreshing Golden Bear. But nope. I’m not sure why these keeps happening with Berlinale… something about the jury and awards always seems off. Even if there are a few good films in the competition, they never end up winning much. Onward to the next festival.

    Find more posts: Awards, Berlinale, Movie News

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