efe-epaBerlin

A special edition of the forthcoming Berlin International Film Festival's bear-shaped awards, based on a 1932 design by a German sculptor, was previewed on Friday, as documented by an epa-efe photojournalist.

The Noack Foundry in Berlin – a well-known arts studio which has been run by the same family for four generations since 1897 – broke out a still-sizzling brass bear sculpture from its cast based on a model by artist and socialite Renée Sintenis (1888-1965) in preparation for the festival's awards ceremony.

"When Berlin became a cosmopolitan city between 1919 and 1932, the artist Renée Sintenis celebrated her greatest successes," Sintenis' biographer Silke Kettelhake explains on her website.

"At the interface of freedom and modernity, the sculptor, over 1.80 meters (5.9 feet) tall, knew how to stage herself," Kettelhake added.

Sintenis cut a striking figure during the so-called Weimar Republic (1918-1933) sporting sharp men's suits, a pageboy cut and racing around the city in her American Studebaker car.

As well as sculpting, Sintenis modeled and was a regular on the Berlin party scene.

However, when the Nazi party rose to power, her androgynous physique and Jewish heritage saw her branded a degenerate and she was forced to flee.

Her focus in sculpture were animals and in 1932 she produced the renowned Berlin Bär (bear), which later became the logo and main image to represent the city's international film festival.

The Berlin International Film Festival is set to run from Feb 7-17.