Swedish teen drama takes top prize in the Generation 14plus strand.


A young jury has named Beata Gårdeler’s Flocking (Flocken) the Crystal Bear winner for Best Film in the Generation 14plus section of the Berlin Film Festival (Feb 5-15).

The Swedish film centres on a 14-year old girl who reports she has been raped, but is not believed, leading to her entire village turns against the teenager and her family.

“The film which struck us the most was one which succeeds in continuously maintaining its oppressive atmosphere,” said the jury in a statement. “This film gives us a precise and intense experience of the mechanisms of progressive social exclusion, triggered by an accusation. It excels in its portrayal of the role of social networks, where anonymity can lead to the unchecked build-up of aggression. A great cast, gripping dialog and unexpected developments combine to create an extraordinary work.”

A special mention was given to Sam de Jong’s Prince (Prins). The Dutch film, in which a troubled teen tries to win the love of his life by becoming the baddest boy on the block, was praised for its “a perky, dynamic and colourful appearance”.

The jury added: “Aesthetically composed images lead us into the world of a protagonist who is torn between his desire for appreciation and his determination to do the right thing. The self-ironic treatment of stereotypes, the creative cinematography and the stirring soundtrack all grant this movie its cult appeal.

The following awards were also handed out…

Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film: A Confession
by Petros Silvestros, UK 2015

With clear, monumental images the winning short film stresses the relationship between authoritarian sway and helplessness, erupting into violence. Within a limited amount of shots the film develops an extraordinary tension and intensity. Years of silence and suppression ultimately culminate in a nightmare scenario, which left us stunned and shocked at the same time.

Special Mention Short Film: Nelly
by Chris Raiber, Austria 2014

Loss, transition, the hereafter: With its compelling imagery this short film draws, in a poetic and surreal way, the state between life and death. Although we were directly captured by the puzzling composition of images, in the end it was the smart turn, which makes the film so extraordinary and left us captivated long after the screening.

The members of the International Jury Generation 14plus give the following awards:

The Grand Prix of the Generation 14plus International Jury for the best feature-length film, endowed with € 7,500 by the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education):
The Diary of a Teenage Girl

by Marielle Heller, USA 2014

With its vibrant cinematic language, including flawless production design, this film reveals an authentic and unique woman discovering her own artistic voice and power, remarkably portrayed by a stunning newcomer. For the superlative characters brought to life by a brilliant ensemble and their director, as well as the uncompromising rejection of conventional morality in favor of human complexity the Grand Prix for the best feature goes to The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Marielle Heller.

Special Mention: Nena
by Saskia Diesing, Netherlands / Germany 2014

In this film, the evocation of specific period and place comments powerfully on the controversial issue of assisted death, reminding us of who finally bears responsibility if the law does not. With its dark ironic tone and compelling performance of a self-determining central character who traverses a difficult personal terrain to not only understand but embrace a painful choice.

Special Prize of the Generation 14plus International Jury for the best short film, endowed with € 2,500 by the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education): Coach
by Ben Adler, France 2014

For its tonal mastery in portraying the casual brutality of male relationships, a nuanced script and pitch perfect performances, culminating powerfully in a moment of insight for its teenage protagonist, the jury awards a film which surprised and captivated us.

Special Mention: Tuolla puolen (Reunion)
by Iddo Soskolne and Janne Reinikainen, Finland 2015

Using ambiguity and cheeky humor to deal with grief, the international jury applauds the visual dexterity and light touch of this film. For its originality and craft, as well as its loving portrayal of sibling reconciliation the special mention goes to: Tuolla puolen.

Award ceremony and screening of the winning film tonight at 7.30 p.m. at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Cinema 1.