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2021 Audience Award Winners

The 25th Anniversary Berlin & Beyond Film Festival San Francisco’s 2021 Audience Award winners are officially announced.

Audience Award Narrative Feature: My Wonderful Wanda

My Wonderful Wanda (Wanda, mein Wunder), directed by Bettina Oberli, and starring Agnieszka Grochowska, André Jung, and Marthe Keller, is the 25th Anniversary Berlin & Beyond Film Festival 2021 Audience Award winner in the Narrative Feature category.

Statement by Director Bettina Oberli: “I am very pleased to win this prize, and would have loved to pick it up in San Francisco in person. Unfortunately, this year is far from usual in many ways. I am very pleased that so many people took part in this special edition of the festival regardless. Wanda is a family story set in Switzerland and Poland. However, it could play anywhere, as it deals with intimacy and distance, independence and dependency, give and take in socially and politically turbulent times. And it poses the question: What holds a family together? Apparently, the film is able to move people on the other side of the globe as well, and this makes me especially happy. Many, many thanks!”

Audience Award Documentary Feature: Born in Evin

Born in Evin, directed by Maryam Zaree, is the 25th Anniversary Berlin & Beyond Film Festival 2021 Audience Award winner in the Documentary Feature category.

Statement by Director Maryam Zaree: “So often we tend not to listen to the stories of survivors of atrocities, because they challenge and frighten us. That the audience not only watched our film but also honored it with this award therefore means a lot to me. I truly believe that by daring to face the crimes of the past, we’re able to create a future, where our mutual humanity defeats our dividedness. Thank you very much!”

Audience Award Short Film: Interstate 8

Interstate 8, directed by Anne Thieme, and starring Stephanie Amarell and Isabela Rengifo, is the 25th Anniversary Berlin & Beyond Film Festival 2021 Audience Award winner in the Short Film category.

Statement by Director Anne Thieme: “Wow! This is unexpected and wonderful! Thank you so much to the audience for watching this short film and honoring the work of our cast and crew! We had shot this film in the US as part of an exchange project: 5 people from Germany traveled to team up with an unknown team in the US and we had two weeks time to prepare a 3 day shoot with a very low budget. This short is based on a true story and I would like to dedicate this award to the girl that I met in the backseat of a police car in 1997 in San Diego. Through conversations in between the policemen in front of us I overheard that she was a minor who crossed the boarder from Mexico to the US by herself. We shared this ride in the police car in silence sensing who the other one is and experiencing the injustice hovering above is. We never had a chance to speak and we never met again. I truly hope that one day she will recognize herself in that film and reach out to me.”