Berlinale launches documentary film prize

The Glashütte Original Documentary Award will be presented to the best non-fiction film during the 67th annual Berlin International Film Festival. (Pictured: Gianfranco Rosi's Fire at Sea)
September 6, 2016

The 67th annual Berlin International Film Festival is slated to launch its first major film prize to honor documentary filmmaking.

Next year, the Glashütte Original Documentary Award will endow US$56,000 (€50,000) to the best non-fiction project spanning across all festival categories, including the Competition, Panorama, Forum, Generation, Berlinale Special and Perspektive Deutsches Kino, as well as the Culinary Cinema special series.

A three-member jury will select the winning filmmaking team, with the monetary prize divided between the film’s director and producer. The award will be presented during the festival’s official awards ceremony in the Berlinale Palast.

In 2016, 77 documentary films and documentary forms were screened at the Berlin-set festival, with Gianfranco Rosi’s acclaimed Fire At Sea (pictured) taking home four prizes, including the Golden Bear for Best Film.

“The award is an important signal for the field of documentary film, and at the same time a sign of respect and appreciation for the filmmakers who often have to realize their projects at great personal risk,” said festival director Dieter Kosslick in a statement.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.