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Iranian Family Drama Wins at Berlin Film Festival

Iranian actress Leila Hatami, Director Asghar Farhadi, actresses Sarina Farhadi and Sareh Bayat , from left, attend a photocall about the movie 'Nader and Simin, A Seperation' at the Berlin Film Festival on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011.

The Iranian drama "Nader and Simin: A Separation " won the Golden Bear award for the best picture and also picked up the best actor and actress prizes at the Berlin film festival Saturday.

The movie directed by Ashghar Farhadi portrays a marriage in crisis and explores Iran's class divisions and a clash between traditional and modern ways of living and thinking.

In his acceptance speech, Farhadi paid tribute to fellow Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi, who was unable to come to Berlin after being sentenced to six years in jail and banned from film-making and traveling for 20 years on charges of anti-government activity. Panahi won the best director award in 2009 for his movie "About Elly ."

The runner-up prize, the Silver Bear, was awarded to Hungarian director Bela Tarr's for "The Turin Horse ."

German film maker Ulrich Koehler won this year's best director award for his movie "Sleeping Sickness," while American director Joshua Marston and his co-writer Andamion Murataj took the best screenplay award for "The Forgiveness of Blood ," a drama set in Albania.