Brazilian director Jose Padilha's "Tropa de Elite" ("The Elite Squad,") a movie about police violence, won the top Golden Bear award on Saturday at the annual Berlin film festival.
The jury grand prize, which comes with a runner-up Silver Bear, went to Oscar-winning US director Errol Morris' "Standard Operating Procedure," a documentary on the scandal over prisoner abuse at the US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Paul Thomas Anderson was named best director for strong Oscar contender "There Will Be Blood," starring Daniel Day-Lewis as an obsessed turn-of-the-century oil man, which had been many critics' favourite to win the top honours.
Anderson, who won the Golden Bear in 2000 for "Magnolia," paid tribute to Day-Lewis as "a terrific actor who makes any director a good director."
"There Will Be Blood" also took an award for outstanding artistic achievement, which went to Jonny Greenwood's musical score.
Sally Hawkins won the best actress prize for her part as a London teacher in British director Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky." Leigh has said the movie is meant to celebrate the power of positive thinking, and Hawkins described it as "extraordinary, beautiful and very special film."
The best actor award went to Reza Naji for playing a long-suffering father in Iranian director Majid Majidi's "The Song of Sparrows." Naji plays Karim, who loses his job on an ostrich farm and then falls into working as a motorcycle taxi driver in Tehran as he struggles to make ends meet.
Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai was credited with the best script for "In Love We Trust," while the prize for an innovative film went to "Lake Tahoe," directed by Fernando Eimbcke of Mexico.