Herr Bachmann and Seine Klasse (Mr. Bachmann and his class), a heartwarming documentary about an unorthodox teacher and his sixth grade class, most of whom come from immigrant families, won the first-ever audience award at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival.
Directed by Maria Speth, Herr Bachmann was the favorite film of the nearly 8,500 Berlin viewers who voted, choosing the first title of the 15 films in the Berlin competition this year.
The Audience Award was presented for the Berlinale Summer Special, an in-person open-air festival held June 9-20 in the German capital to screen the highlights of the Berlinale 2021, held in online only in March.
that of Maria Schrader I am your man, a sci-fi romantic comedy starring Dan Stevens and Maren Eggert, took second place in the audience vote, with the third-highest number going to Iranian drama Ballad of a white cow by Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moghaddam.
The 2021 Audience Panorama Award, chosen from among the films screened in the main section of Berlin, was awarded to The last forest from director Luiz Bolognesi, who documents the indigenous Yanomami community and depicts their endangered natural environment in the Amazon rainforest. that of Ãliane Raheb Miguel’s war won second prize with Monika Treut’s historic LGBTQ documentary Kind in third place.
The public prizes will be presented at two ceremonies on Sunday evening in Berlin.
The Berlin summer special has been a runaway success, helped by the hot, sunny weather in the German capital and the easing of strict COVID-19 lockdown measures in Germany in recent months. Organizers insist the Berlinale will return to its usual winter slot next year, but there is talk of keeping the summer special in one form or another, to showcase the best films of the festival.