The film “20,000 Species of Bees” has been awarded the Silver Bear for Best Acting at the Berlinale, presented to young Spanish actress Sofia Otero. Otero, who is only eight years old and has no previous acting experience, was selected from more than 500 girls to play the role of Aitor/Lucía, a boy who wishes to be treated as a girl by his family. The story takes place in the Basque Country and follows Aitor (or Lucia) as she struggles to assert her gender identity and her family’s reaction to her decision.
The film follows Aitor/Lucía and her family as they visit her maternal family in Bayonne, France. The plot revolves around how Aitor/Lucía is recognized only by her name and identity as a child by the adults around them, which generates a series of conflicts and difficulties for the protagonist.
The Golden Bear for Best Film went to the French documentary “Sur l’Adamant,” directed by Nicolas Philibert, which follows a group of people undergoing psychiatric treatment living on a barge on the Seine River in Paris. The award for best director went to Philippe Garrel for his film “Le Grand Chariot,” an autobiographical work filmed with his children. The Grand Jury Prize went to Christian Petzold’s “Roter Himmel,” while the award for best supporting performance went to Thea Ehre for “Bis ans Ende der Nacht.”
Other Berlinale awards included best screenplay for Angela Schanelec’s “Music,” best documentary for Tatiana Huezo’s “The Echo,” best debut feature for Leandro Koch and Paloma Schachmann’s “Adentro mío estoy bailando,” and best short film for Michelle and Noel Keserwany’s “Les chinilles.”
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