Berlin Film Festival to make awards gender neutral: Is it time to finally talk about just talent?

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08/30/2020

It’s been a while since we have been hearing who is the Best Actor and Best Actress — a clear demarcation in term of gender right there in the titles — at any given awards ceremony in India or abroad. A comparitively recent change has been ‘Best Actor-Male, Best Actor- Female’. However, now things look set to transform. In a major shift, the organisers of Berlin Film Festival have announced that they will stop awarding separate acting prizes to women and men beginning next year, and have made it one awarded for Best Leading Performance. Their aim is for the performance to be defined “gender-neutral”. What does this move signal? Does it hold the potential to create a ripple effect across the world? Do other film awards and festivals need to take the cue and do the same, and not classify an actor’s talent on the basis of gender?

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