For Glashütte Original the 67th Berlin International Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with a very special highlight: the inaugural presentation of the Glashütte Original Documentary Award, founded and funded by the German watchmaker. The 50,000 Euro Award was presented with pride to “ISTIYAD ASHBAH (Ghost Hunting)”, which screened in the Panorama section of the Berlinale. The ceremony was the festive conclusion to ten eventful Festival days: host of the Golden Bear Lounge at the heart of the Berlinale, the noted German manufactory dedicated its presence this year to the new Sixties Iconic Square Collection.
“Istiyad Ashbah (Ghost Hunting)”, a co-production from France, Palestine, Switzerland and Quatar, is the first-ever winner of the Glashütte Original Documentary Award. Director Raed Andoni and Producer Palmyre Badinier accepted the 50,000 Euro prize during the official Awards Ceremony at the Berlinale Palast Saturday evening. The Documentary Award trophy, designed and built by hand at the watchmaker’s manufactory in Glashütte, was presented to the winners by the three jurors Laura Poitras, Daniela Michel and Samir. They honoured the winning film, chosen from 16 nominees, in their laudation: “Documentaries build bridges between different cultures. And the Award winning filmmakers show us in a brave, original and innovative way, how humans can defy suppression with dignity.”
For Glashütte Original this moment was a perfect way to wrap up the 67th Berlinale. For the first time the Saxon watch manufactory had supported the Festival as Principal Partner; inspired by the festive ambience and events, Glashütte Original took the occasion to present a colourful special collection: the five four-cornered Sixties Iconic Square Chronographs took centre stage at numerous presentations and events in the Golden Bear Lounge.
Glashütte Original also established, for the first time, an exclusive watch loan service. In a suite in the Festival hotel the German watchmaker’s team offered interested guests a hands-on introduction to its current collection; as a consequence there were always a good number of its elegant timepieces to be spotted on the Red Carpet and in movie theatres around town. In the Golden Bear Lounge the Festival began with a brilliant opening evening, in which key players in the German film industry joined Glashütte Original for a warm-up in anticipation of the days to come. Additional high points on the impressive Lounge calendar were the get-together for the international documentary film industry; numerous warm-ups for premieres on the programme, including several entries in the Competition section; a reception for the “City of Gold”, Pforzheim; and lively evenings with customers and dealers such as WEMPE and Bucherer Berlin. Among the star guests who visited the Golden Bear Lounge on numerous occasions were Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, the International Jury led by Paul Verhoeven, costume designer Milena Canonero, who has an honourable Golden Bear and four Oscars to her name already; along with notable actors and filmmakers including Sandra Hüller, Oliver Hirschbiegel, Iris Berben, Tom Tykwer, Tom Schilling, Volker Schlöndorff, Juliane Köhler and many others.