S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate

Professor of Religious Studies S Brent Rodriguez-Plate recently spent 10 days in Berlin as a member of the ecumenical jury of the 74th Berlin International Film Festival (the “Berlinale”). For the past 61 years, the ecumenical jury has operated at the Berlinale, giving out awards to new and promising international films.

The ecumenical jury awarded prizes for the main competition, as well as for two separate Berlinale sections — panorama and forum. The top award went to My Favorite Cake, an Iranian film directed by Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha, who Iranian authorities would not allow to leave the country for the film festival.

In the panorama category, the ecumenical jury awarded its prize to a Norwegian production titled Sex, directed by Dag Johan Haugerud. The Latvian-Lithuanian co-production Marijas klusums (Maria’s Silence), by Davis Simanis, took the ecumenical jury prize in forum.

Rodriguez-Plate said that watching more than “30 films in eight days takes a bit of effort, especially when they range from family drama to experimental documentary, from horror to dramatized true stories of wars. Films were set in the Himalayas, New York City, Colombia, Taiwan, Tunisia, the Orkney Islands, and elsewhere.”


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