BERLIN: The 69th Berlin Film Festival (7-17 February 2019) awarded its top prize in the main competition to the French/Israeli/German coproduction Synonyms directed by Nadav Lapid. The last Berlinale under outgoing festival director Dieter Kosslick was a strong year for German films, which won prizes as the producers or coproducers of not only the Best Film but also the Silver Bear –Alfred Bauer Prize, the Best Doc Prize and the Best First Feature Prize.

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TALLINN: The 22nd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, held from 16 November to 2 December 2018 in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, awarded its top prize to the Columbian/French coproduction Wandering Girl directed by Rubén Mendoza. The festival also handed out awards in competitions for First Feature Film, Baltic Films and Estonian Films.

VENICE: The Coen brothers have scored a slot in the main Venice Film Festival competition with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs which despite beginning life as a Netflix series is slated for theatrical release after the festival. 

VENICE: Director Damien Chazelle makes a quantum shift with his Venice competition entry First Manafter his hugely successful, light-hearted homage to the Hollywood musical La La Land

VENICE: American indie director Rick Alverson has scored a slot in the Venice competition lineup with his fifth and most ambitious film The Mountain.  His earlier offbeat dark comedies Entertainmentand The Comedy established his reputation as a Sundance regular who did not hesitate to challenge audiences with difficult but nonetheless visually beautiful films.

VENICE: French director Jacques Audiard arrives in the Venice competition with the French, Belgian, Romanian, Spanish coproduction The Sisters Brothersan unusual take on the Western genre. The film is based on the novel by of the same name by Canadian author Patrick deWitt with a script co-authored by Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain. It is also the first English language film by Audiard who scored critical acclaim with his previous films A Prophet, Dheepan andRust and Bone.

VENICE:American director Brady Corbet arrives in Venice in competition with his second film Vox Luxwhich is a more mature work in the same genre as his first film The Childhood of a Leader. Corbet is interested in examining key events that define their era using fictional characters the just could be modelled on unnamed real life historical figures that we already know.

GDYNIA: The winner of the 43. Polish Feature Film Festival held in Gdynia 17-22 September 2018 did not come as a surprise with Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War winning the Golden Lion for best film. The film’s producers Ewa Puszczyńska and Tanya Seghatchian shared the prize.

VENICE: Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón was awarded the top prize for his film Roma in the main competition of the 75th Venice Film Festival, which took place from 29 August to 8 September 2018. Romania, Bulgaria and Poland scored as coproducers of prize winning films.