The Golden Bear (German: Goldener Bär) is the highest prize awarded for the best film at the Berlin International Film Festival. The bear is the heraldic animal of Berlin, featured on both the coat of arms and flag of Berlin. The winners of the first Berlin International Film Festival in 1951 were determined by a West German panel, and there were five winners of the Golden Bear, divided by categories and genres. Between 1952 and 1955, the winners of the Golden Bear were determined by the audience members. In 1956, the FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films) formally accredited the festival, and since then the Golden Bear has been awarded by an international jury.
The statuette shows a bear standing on the hind legs and is based on the 1932 design by German sculptor Renée Sintenis of Berlin's heraldic mascot that later became the symbol of the festival. It has been manufactured since the first time by art foundryHermann Noack. It was awarded for the first time in 1951 and was redesigned in a larger version in 1960. Also, the left arm of the bear was raised as opposed to the right in the former model. The current bear is 20 centimeters high and is fixed onto a base where the winning name is engraved. The figurine consists of a bronze core which is then plated with a layer of gold. The total weight of the award is 4 kilograms.
No award this year because of the controversy surrounding the participation in the main competition of the anti-war film o.k. that led to the resignation of the international jury before the festival ended.