Films on slaughterhouses, transgender love and refugees pick up top awards in Berlin

A Hungarian love story about two slaughterhouse workers who connect in shared dreams won the top award at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday.

On Body And Soul, by Ildiko Enyedi contrasts the harsh reality of the abattoir with the magical world of slumber.

It was a surprise win for Ildiko, as the big prize had been expected to go to comedy The Other Side Of Hope.

Creator Aki Kaurismaki instead won the Silver Bear for his film about a young Syrian refugee who befriends grouchy Finn, using deadpan humour to deliver poignant messages about the horrors of war and the refugee crisis.

Another Silver Bear, for best screenplay, was picked up by A Fantastic Woman, Sebastian Lelio’s film about a transgender woman who mourns for her dead lover while those around her refuse to empathise.

The jury award went to Felicite, a film about a singer in a Congolese nightclub by French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis.

South Korea’s Kim Min-hee received the best actress award for her role in On The Beach At Night Alone, and Austrian Georg Friedrich won best actor for Bright Nights.

Dana Bunescu was also handed a prize for outstanding artistic contribution for editing of Ana, Mon Amour, about a Romanian couple struggling to make their relationship work despite mental illness.

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