Best First Feature Award for Gabriel Ripstein

By Dania Vargas Austryjak

Mexican director wins at 65th Berlinale.

The 65th Berlin International Film Festival, a.k.a. Berlinale, bestowed the Best First Feature Award to Mexican director Gabriel Ripstein for his debut film 600 Millas (600 Miles). The award also comes with a grand prize of 50,000 euros to be split between the director and the producer.

600 Miles is Ripstein’s first feature film. It made its way to Berlinale after one of the festival’s programmers saw the film and became an unconditional supporter. The film then passed on to the selection committee which then decided to select the movie to participate in the festival.

600 Miles, is a drama/thriller starring English actor Tim Roth as an agent with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It tells the story about the relationship between Mexico and USA regarding weapon trafficking across the border.

Gabriel Ripstein

For Gabriel Ripstein it is a privilege to be present at the Berlin International Film Festival. As he mentioned in an interview with Notimex, the fact that his first feature film has led him as director to the festival’s platform “is a fortune, a triumph”.

Gabriel Ripstein has an important filmmaking heritage, being the son of Arturo Ripstein, who has been awarded as a filmmaker with over 100 films. Gabriel is also the grandson of Alfredo Ripstein Jr., who was a well-known producer in Mexico.

Berlinale has supported newcomer filmmakers since 2006, granting the Best First Feature Award and a 50,000 euro cash price, funded by GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrecht), a society with the main purpose of preserving the film industry.

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