Touch Me Not, a Romanian film co-starring Icelandic actor Tómas Lemarquis, won the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlinale International Film Festival this weekend, RÚV reports. The film was written and directed by Adina Pintilie and co-starred Laura Benson.
This is the second year in a row that a female director has been awarded the prestigious honor, following Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body And Soul in 2017. And it is the first time that a film with an Icelandic actor in a starring role has won the Golden Bear. Tómas Lemarquis is perhaps best known in Iceland for his starring role in 2003's Nói Albinó, but has had a great deal of success in films made outside of Iceland, including roles in Snowpiercer and Blade Runner 2049.
"It demanded a lot of courage," Tómas remarked of the filming process during a press conference at the festival. "...Normally, you have something to hold onto—a script. There was a loose script, but here, we had to just jump into the abyss and believe that we would end up with a film in the end."
Touch Me Not, which blurs the lines between fiction and reality, explores a woman’s journey to overcome her intimacy issues and achieve sexual liberation. According to German director Tom Tykwer, who presided over the festival jury, the judges “...found out that what we would like to give an award [not] for what cinema can do today, but for what it will be able to do one day.”