Ruth Beckermann’s The Waldheim Waltz (Waldheims Walzer) took home the top documentary prize at the 68th annual Berlin International Film Festival.
The doc, which had its world premiere at the festival, explores how former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s wartime past was uncovered after he announced his bid for the Austrian presidency. It features video footage from the 1970s and ’80s, some shot by Beckermann herself, documenting anti-Waldheim events and verbal disputes from the period. Despite Nazi affiliations, Waldheim ultimately won the presidency, serving from 1986 to 1992.
A three-member jury selected Waldheim’s Walzer as the winner of the Glashütte Original Documentary Award, which boasts a €50,000 (US$53,000) cash prize. The prize money is split between the film’s director and producer.
Documentary entries from the current programs of the Competition, Panorama, Forum, Generation, Berlinale Special and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sections, as well as the Culinary Cinema special series, were eligible for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award.
Luiz Bolognesi’s Ex Shaman (Ex Pajé) received a special mention in the category.
Elsewhere, Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s The Silence of Others took home the Panorama Audience award. In the doc, Carracedo and Bahar tackle the issue of justice in Spain, after a 1977 amnesty law prohibited the prosecution of crimes committed during the Franco regime.