Hummingbirds, the documentary feature debut of directors Silvia Del Carmen Castaños and Estefanía “Beba” Contreras, has won the Crystal Bear, the top prize for best film, at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival’s Generation 14plus section.
In the doc, the two filmmakers examine issue of immigration along the Texas-Mexican border through the lens of their own friendship. The Generation international jury called the film “a touching and subtle glimpse into the intimate moments of memorable characters…their self-determination and playfulness, as both protagonists and authors, is inspiring. Their actions, jokes, songs, laughs, and bodies are political and necessary as a way of resistance.”
A special mention in the Generation 14plus section went to Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s Mutt, a drama set over the course of a single hectic day in New York City, and centered on a trans man ( Lio Mehiel) who finds his life shaken up by the reemergence of people he thought he had left behind since transitioning from female to male.
“A film with complex, ambivalent characters and relationships in the story of a single day, where the past comes back into the protagonist’s life. With brilliant acting and surprising storytelling,” the jury noted.
Sofía Auza’s Mexican drama Adolfo, another debut, won the best film Crystal Bear picked by Generation’s youth jury. The bittersweet drama, adapted from Auza’s 2019 short, stars Juan Daniel García Treviño and Rocío de la Mañana as two strangers who meet at a deserted bus stop at a crucial point in their lives. And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine, a Swedish-Danish co-production directed by Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck received a special mention.