The final curtain has closed on the Berlinale International Film Festival this year and two LFS graduates, Lara Zeidan and Marcello Martinessi, have walked away with top prizes.

Zeidan, whose graduate short film, ‘Three Centimetres’ was screened as part of the generation 14plus selection won the Teddy Award for Best Short Film. The jury released the following statement about their decision:

“Lebanese female film director Lara Zeidan makes a sensitive and intimate portrait of four young female friends on a Ferris Wheel in Beirut. We share in their emotional ride of sexual understanding, as the conversation turns from a jovial discussion of virginity, to a nervous outing of homosexuality. As we listen, we realise these young women are only just beginning to explore the many layers of their own and others' identities. We are privy to a crucial life episode in which a queer individual must claim and defend her right to exist. Lara Zeidan captures this delicate moment in adolescence with subtle yet tender performances from her cast.”


Martinessi’s feature ‘The Heiresses’ which was described by Variety as a “character study with shrewd commentary on class, desire, and the lingering privileges of Paraguay’s elite” scooped up the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize. Ana Brun, the film’s lead actress, also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her performance in the film. Additionally, the double Silver Bear winner has been sold by Luxbox to major distributors in Italy, France, and the U.K.

Congratulations to the winners and all LFS alumni who attended the festival.

Above Photo Credit: (Film still from Lara Zeidan's 'Three Centimetres'. Director of Photography Pierfrancesco Cioffi)

Top Photo Credit: (Film still from Marcello Martinessi's 'The Heiresses'. Director of Photography Luis Armando Arteaga)