Lebanese filmmakers take home Berlinale award for Best Short Film

DUBAI: The Berlin film festival on Saturday awarded its Best Short Film prize to “Les chenilles” (“Caterpillars” in English) by Lebanese filmmakers Michelle Keserwany and Noel Keserwany.

In the film, Asma and Sarah meet while working as waitresses in France. They tentatively befriend each other and find a common ground that goes back to the time when the city of Lyon was connected to their homeland via the Silk Road.

“Through carefully arranging image and sound, this complex sensual film transforms the means of woman’s oppression into those of their liberation,” the Berlinale jury said in a statement published online. “When the third person becomes an ‘I,’ the women are no longer objects of exploitation, but have turned into subjects. The silkworms will metamorphose into spiders, whose nets do not serve silk production, but their own survival. An immediate friendship connects two women, in whose bodies the consequences of colonialization are inscribed. The magic of their bond will continue to exist in our perception. The Golden Bear for Best Short Film goes to Michelle and Noel Keserwany’s Les Chenilles,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Golden Bear top prize went to a documentary by French director Nicolas Philibert.

“On the Adamant,” coming more than 20 years after Philibert’s acclaimed education documentary “To Be and To Have,” is about a floating day-care centre for people with psychiatric problems on the Seine in Paris.

Thanking the jury, Philibert, 72, said “that documentary can be considered to be cinema in its own right touches me deeply.”