"Child's Pose", a Romanian drama about a domineering mother using her social position to try to save her son from jail, won the Golden Bear for best picture at the Berlin film festival on Saturday.
The movie, directed by Calin Peter Netzer and starring Luminita Gheorghiu in the central role, had been among the favorites for the coveted prize, which extends the remarkable success of Romanian filmmakers on the European festival circuit.
The big surprise of the night was the best actor award to Nazif Mujic, an out-of-work Bosnian Roma who had to be convinced to play himself in "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker" about his own experiences on the fringes of Bosnian society.
Best director went to U.S. filmmaker David Gordon Green for comic road movie "Prince Avalanche", while Chile's Paulina Garcia was the popular winner of the best actress prize for her turn as a Santiago divorcee in "Gloria".
The best actress was the most hotly contested of all the awards in Berlin this year, with Gheorghiu and French actresses Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche all earning critical praise for their performances.
Among other awards at the festival's closing ceremony were outstanding artistic contribution to Kazakh cameraman Aziz Zhambakiyev for his work on "Harmony Lessons" and Denis Cote, director of French Canadian production "Vic + Flo Saw a Bear".