Silver Bear @ Berlin filmfestival

Silver Bear @ Berlin filmfestival

The Silver Bear award for best director went to Roman Polanski for “The Ghostwriter,” his political thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. Based on a novel by Robert Harris, it tells the story of Adam Lang, a former British prime minister who is compiling his memoirs on rain-swept, desolate Martha’s Vineyard in winter.

Polanski, confined to his Swiss chalet and facing possible extradition to the U.S. more than 30 years after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl, was unable to come to the festival. He was arrested as he arrived in Switzerland in September to accept an award at the Zurich Film Festival.

His producer Alain Sarde accepted the Berlin prize on his behalf and said he had spoken to Polanski on the phone.

“I was lamenting that he couldn’t come,” Sarde told the audience at the award ceremony in Berlin. “He said: ‘Even if I could, I wouldn’t, because the last time I went to a festival I ended up in jail.”

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