Mati Diop’s ‘Dahomey’ Wins Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear Honor

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After her breakthrough feature “Atlantics” turned heads in 2019, filmmaker Mati Diop has again scored accolades with “Dahomey,” which just emerged victorious as the winner of the 2024 Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

Diop’s trenchant look at colonialism, which runs a tight 67 minutes, furthers her reputation as one of global cinema’s brightest lights, and bested Silver Beay jury prize winners “A Traveler’s Needs” and “The Empire” for the main prize, despite these films being helmed by global sensations Hong Sangsoo and Bruno Dumont, respectively.

In the performance categories, Sebastian Stan won leading honors for his heralded work as a deeply immersed actor in Aaron Schimberg’s “A Different Man,” while veteran, multi-Oscar nominated Emily Watson scored the supporting kudos for her work in the historical Magdalene laundries elegy “Small Things Like These,” in which she stars opposite Cillian Murphy and Eileen Walsh.

This year’s competition jury was led by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and included Brady Corbet, Christian Petzold, Albert Serra, Anny Hui, Jasmine Trinca, and Oksana Zabuzhko,

Below is the fill list of winners for the Berlin Film Festival:

Main Competition

  • Golden Bear: “Dahomey,” Mati Diop

  • Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: “A Traveler’s Needs,” Hong Sangsoo

  • Silver Bear Jury Prize: “The Empire,” Bruno Dumont

  • Silver Bear for Best Director: “Pepe,” Nelson Carlos De Los Santos Arias

  • Silver Bear for Best Lead Performance: “A Different Man,” Sebastian Stan

  • Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance: “Small Things Like These,” Emily Watson

  • Silver Bear for Best Screenplay: “Dying,” Matthias Glasner

  • Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution: “The Devil’s Bath,” Martin Gschlacht, cinematography

Encounters winners:

  • Best Film: “Direct Action,” Guillaume Cailleau and Ben Russell

  • Best Director: “Cidade; Campo,” Juliana Rojas

  • Special Jury Award: “The Great Yawn of History,” Aliyar Rasti; “Some Rain Must Fall,” Qiu Yang

Documentary winners:

  • Best Documentary: “No Other Land,” Basel Adra, Hamdan Ballal, Yuval Abraham, Rachel Szor

  • Documentary Special Mention: “Direct Action,” Guillaume Cailleau and Ben Russell

Berlinale Shorts winners:

  • Golden Bear: “An Odd Turn,” Francisco Lezama

  • Silver Bear: “Remains of the Hot Day,” Wenqian Zhang

  • Special Mention: “That’s All From Me,” Eva Könnemann

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