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"Child's Pose", a mother-son drama about Romania's new ruling class by director Calin Peter Netzer, won the Golden Bear top prize at the 63rd Berlin film festival Saturday.
Netzer, a member of Romania's new wave in cinema, tells the story of a wealthy and controlling mother who fights to get her son acquitted after he kills a poor teenager with his car.
"I want to thank the jury for this amazing prize, this wonderful prize," Netzer told the panel led by Chinese director Wong Kar Wai.
The Berlinale, the first major European film festival of the year and typically its most politically minded, handed two top prizes to the Bosnian docu-drama "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker".
Nazif Mujic, the real-life protagonist of the picture by Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic about a Roma couple denied life-saving medical treatment, claimed the best actor prize.
The film also won the runner-up jury prize.
US independent director David Gordon Green picked up the Silver Bear best director award for his buddy picture "Prince Avalanche".
The movie, the only comedy among the 19 contenders at the festival, stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch as highway maintenance workers in Texas at crossroads in their lives.
The Silver Bear for best actress went to Chile's Paulina Garcia for her role in "Gloria", a feel-good movie about a middle-aged divorcee who refuses to give up on a shot at happiness.
The film was an early crowdpleaser in what critics called a fair-to-middling year in competition and a favourite to take home the Golden Bear.
Best screenplay went to "Closed Curtain" by Iranian dissident director Jafar Panahi and his longtime collaborator Kambuzia Partovi, a film made in defiance of a ban by the authorities in Tehran
"It is impossible to stop a thinker and a poet -- it's never been possible to stop them. Their thoughts bear fruit everywhere," Partovi said, accepting the award because Panahi was not granted permission to travel to the festival.
"I have the dream of every artist and thinker to be able to focus on my own thoughts and my own dreams in my country in the service of peace."