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No Competition
by Becky Tan

This year the German press was not all that enthusiastic about the choice of films in competition. The day Nader and Simin, a Separation showed, Hans Georg Rodek of Die Welt said, “This is the winner.” Screen magazine, Der Tagesspiegel and die Berliner Zeitung each kept a running list of favorites among 21 journalists total (why don’t they ever ask us to participate in this survey?) and among them, the actual winner in the end, Nader and Simin, a Separation came out on top. Their second choice, was also that of the international jury, namely The Turin Horse, which got the Silver Bear Jury Grand Prize, as well as first prize with the FIPRESCI (international critics’ organization) jury. Our own journalist, Shelly Schoeneshoefer, also immediately picked the winner. She has her own system and firmly believes that films shown in competition on Tuesday or Wednesday of the festival will win. She is often right. Nader and Simin, a Separation premiered on a Tuesday. Last year’s winner Bal also premiered on a Tuesday. Was the winner so obvious because it was so excellent (it was) or because the so-called competition could not come close.