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Berlinale film festival awards its top prizes Saturday

Berlin: The 73rd Berlinale film festival awards its top prizes on Saturday, including the Golden Bear for best picture, after a star-studded edition that highlighted freedom struggles.

After two years of a reduced format due to pandemic restrictions, the 11-day festival was back in full swing this year, with A-listers such as Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren and Steven Spielberg walking on the red carpet.

“The Berlinale has come back with a vengeance, and added something that it wasn´t especially known for in its pre-pandemic days: star power,” said Variety magazine.

The festival reached peak celebrity on Tuesday when U2 frontman Bono — in town to premiere the documentary “Kiss the Future” — presented Spielberg with an honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement.

The Berlinale, which ranks along with Cannes and Venice among Europe´s top cinema showcases, marked the first anniversary of Russia´s invasion of Ukraine with a focus on Ukrainian cinema.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is the subject of a documentary premiered at the event by two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn, addressed the opening ceremony via video link.

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