Berlin Film Festival, from Right to Left: Hatami, Haghighi, Mostafa, Rashidi

By Azadeh Karimi and Ali Eshtiaq

Several Iranian directors took part in the 68th Berlin International Film Festival late last month.

Unusually, women artists claimed as many as seven of the 11 prizes. The winner of this year’s Golden Bear, the festival’s top prize, was “Touch Me Not,” directed by Adina Pintilie — a film about intimacy and sex that shocked some viewers with its explicit scenes, and led some critics to walk out of the screening.

Shahram Mokri’s crime thriller, “Hojoom” (“Invasion”), was screened in the festival’s Panorama section. 

“The Dressage,” directed by Pooya Badkoobeh, was distinguished in the Generation 14-plus section of the festival. It tells the story of a young girl who faces a moral dilemma after getting involved in a robbery.

Mani Haqiai’s black comedy “Pig” (“Khook”) tells the story of a serial killer who decapitates Iranian film directors.

Abbas Amini’s “Hendi & Hormoz,” showing the daily struggle of a very young couple, received positive reviews.

An Israeli film, “The Man Behind The Wall” — directed by Ines Moldavsky —  received the Golden Bear for the best short film. The film looks at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of the dating app Tinder, and suggests that the director dates Palestinian men on the other side of the wall.

According to the festival organizers, around 500,000 people attended the festival this year. Out of the 400 films submitted beforehand, 19 made it into the main competition.

German filmmaker Tom Tykwer served as the jury president. The five other jury members were: Cécile de France (Belgian actress), Chema Prado (Spanish photographer), Adele Romanski (American producer), Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japanese composer) and Stephanie Zacharek (American film critic).