Wolfgang Becker's German film Good Bye Lenin! was judged the best film in a poll conducted at the ongoing 34th International Film Festival of India.
Nominations were invited from critics and film buffs attending the festival for over 10 years; they were asked to choose from among the films screened in IFFI's Cinema of the World and Indian Panorama sections.
Good Bye Lenin! raced past Helvecio Ratton's Brazilian film, Radio Fevela, to be voted best film, P K Nair, former curator of the National Film Archives, who scrutinised the nominations, announced today.
The award will be a scroll of honour and a traditional Kerala brass lamp, which will be sent across to the film's director.
"While this is an informal beginning to the critics' award at the film festival, film critics and film buffs have decided to formalise the award next year onwards," Nair told reporters.
The Indian films that also gathered votes were Amol Palekar's Anahat, Ganga Mukhi's documentary Antaheen and the much-acclaimed Mr And Mrs Iyer by Aparna Sen, he said.
Good Bye Lenin!, which is set in the erstwhile East Germany, tells the story of a boy, Alex, whose mother has just woken up from a coma and cannot take the shock of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
To protect his mother from the shock, Alex transforms the family apartment into an island of the past where she is made to believe that nothing has changed.
Nominated for the Oscars, where it lost out to another German film Nowhere In Africa, the film has won the Blue Angel Award for Best European Film and eight German Film Awards including best picture, best screenplay and film of the year.
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