GIRL PICTURE to make its World Premiere at Sundance 2022

Posted by Larry Gleeson

GIRL PICTURE, which will have its world premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, tells the story of two young women, Mimmi and Rönkkö who are best friends. They are there for each other and have each other’s back. Enter Emma, who has given her whole life to figure skating. Nothing gets between her and success. But when the girls meet, life opens new paths, and they all rocket in new directions. While Mimmi and Emma experience the earth-moving effects of first love, Rönkkö is on a quest to find pleasure. Three Fridays are all it takes to turn their worlds upside down.

GIRL PICTURE is directed by Alli Haapasalo and written by Ilona Ahti & Daniela Hakulinen. The films stars include Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino, Sonya Lindfors, Cécile Orblin, Oona Airola, and Mikko Kauppila. The production company is Citizen Jane Productions. Producers are Leila Lyytikäinen and Elina Pohjola. Jarmo Kiuru handled the cinematography with Samu Heikkilä orchestrating the editing. Jan Forsström is credited with music supervision and production design while Anne Tolkkinen was responsible for the sound editing. GIRL PICTURE is in Finnish with English subtitles and with a runtime of 100 minutes.

Stay tuned for more on GIRL PICTURE as the World Cinema  Dramatic Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival is heating up!

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

(Sourced from Hook Publicity (Jessica Uzzan) PR news release)



Upcoming at Berlinale European Film Market 2022: Exhibition Spaces Largely Booked Out

Posted by Larry Gleeson

SHAPING CHANGE: “EFM Industry Sessions” Call on the Film and Media Industry to Jointly Shape the Future


The EFM is expecting buzzing business not only at its main location, the impressive Gropius Bau as the industry returns to Berlin )Photo courtesy of© EFM / Juliane Eirich)


The European Film Market (EFM) of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 17, 2022 under the motto “It all (re)starts here”. The exhibition areas in the Gropius Bau and in the Marriott Hotel are already largely booked out. Additionally, the film and media industry is showing great interest in market accreditations. Traditionally at the beginning of the year, the central platform for trading in rights to films and audiovisual content gives an outlook on the production, evaluation and trading activities in the coming months, and makes Berlin the meeting place for producers, distributors, and sales agents from all around the world.

The “EFM Industry Sessions”, the five-day conference programme accompanying the market, are designed to act as a driving force for innovation and change in the industry. Under the title SHAPING CHANGE, they will discuss the challenges facing the industry in times of digital transformation and call on the industry to take on an active part in shaping the future together.


EFM Director Dennis Ruh (Photo cr. Birte Filmer / EFM)

“The signs continuously point to change. The past exceptional months have accelerated this development rapidly and have demonstrated the need for change more than ever before,” says EFM Director Dennis Ruh. “With the ‘EFM Industry Sessions’, we invite you to not only react to the transformation that is taking place but also to engage in shaping it – everyone individually and collectively as an industry. The conference programme will provide targeted impulses, suggestions and the motivation to act. It is intended to fortify the exchange and networking between the players, provide a breeding ground for new ideas and promote a lively discussion of the upheaval in the various areas of the industry.”


Future, Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainable Development: The “EFM Industry Sessions”

The “EFM Industry Sessions” will kick off on Friday, February 11. In a total of 25 slots in the four programme strands “Producers”, “Distribution”, “Documentary” and “Series”, each of which is backed by large groups of participants of the EFM, the three core themes of the “EFM Industry Sessions” – Future, Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainable Development – are discussed in different formats. The primary objective of the “EFM Industry Sessions” is not only to take up these priority topics but also to call for action, for example in the area of Green Film Production or with the significantly expanded “Toolbox Programme” which, in addition to documentary filmmakers, now also includes producers of feature-length films from marginalised groups and the Global South. Furthermore, the large-scale Market Badge Inclusion Initiative proactively implements inclusion. Additionally, networking in the form of round tables and matchmaking is an important part of the “EFM Industry Sessions”. On Tuesday, February 15, the key findings from the five conference days will be presented at the closing event.

The “EFM Industry Sessions” will take place from February 11 to 15, 2022 at the Berliner Freiheit. The conference programme will be presented in hybrid form as a physical event on-site and as a live stream. The recordings will be available as VoD afterwards. For the market participant groups represented through the four programme strands – producers, distribution, documentary films and series – separate working and meeting places, as well as a common networking area, will be established.

“Berlinale Series Market”

Another component of the “EFM Industry Sessions”, the “Berlinale Series Market” will take place as a market-within-the-market from February 14 to 16 at the Zoo Palast. The top-class conference programme highlights the topic of high-end series, framed by international showcases, regular market screenings as well as a curated selection of commercially promising series projects under the label “Berlinale Series Market Selects”. The “Berlinale Series Market” takes place in main partnership with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and is funded by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

Market Screenings: in Local Cinemas and Online

The numerous market screenings by the EFM exhibitors take place primarily in cinemas on Potsdamer Platz. For the first time, the Museum of Musical Instruments will also be a screening location. A new exclusive offer for Market Badge holders shows a selection of films from the current festival programme in the Cinestar Cubix at Alexanderplatz in the form of Industry Screenings.

Furthermore, online market screenings will once again be displayed in the form of the established screening schedule. All market participants determine their respective time zone. For the first time, selected market screenings will be available in the form of a VoD offer until March 8, 2022. The accessibility of films in the cinema, as momentum screening online during the market and / or as VoD for viewing, depends on the preferences of the rights holders, so that the complete portfolio will not be available in all formats.


EFM Documentary: “Rough-Cut Presentations”

In partnership with institutions and associations worldwide, the EFM is presenting a selection of documentaries in the rough-cut stage for the first time. Similar to the showcases at the “Berlinale Series Market”, the “Rough-Cut Presentations” provide a platform for documentary filmmakers to present, pitch and discuss excerpts from their films in a cinema on Potsdamer Platz for buyers, festival programmers and sales agents.


Italy is a “Country in Focus”

Italy is the “Country in Focus” at the European Film Market this year. The appearance of the country in the market will focus on the vital and diverse filmmaking of Italy and offer numerous opportunities to network with Italian producers, distributors, investors and creative people. Italy takes centre stage as the second European country of the program, following the previous focus countries Norway, Mexico, Canada and Chile since the introduction of the programme. “Italia in Focus” is supported by the Italian Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali e per il turismo (MiBACT) and the producer association ANICA.

(Sourced from Berlinale Press Release)

Honorary Golden Bear for Isabelle Huppert at the upcoming 2022 Berlinale

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Homage section of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will be dedicated to French film and stage actor Isabelle Huppert, who will be awarded an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement. In conjunction with the Award Ceremony on February 15, 2022, at the Berlinale Palast, the festival will screen as a Berlinale Special Gala À propos de Joan (About Joan, dir: Laurent Larivière). Huppert is often seen as one of the most versatile actors in the world and has played an impressive range of characters in almost 150 cinema and television productions.

Isabelle Huppert has been closely linked with the film festival for many years and has starred in seven Competition films to date. She was first a guest in Berlin with La vengeance d’une femme (A Woman’s Revenge, dir: Jacques Doillon). Director François Ozon cast her in his dark musical comedy 8 Femmes (8 Women) as an unprepossessing woman who emerges in the end as a confident beauty. The ensemble cast was awarded a Silver Bear for outstanding artistic accomplishment. In L’Avenir (Things to Come), she also plays a woman re-discovering her freedom as a philosophy teacher in a failing marriage. Director Mia Hansen-Løve won the Silver Bear as Best Director for the film.


Berlinale directors Carlo Chatrian, left, and Mariette Rissenbeek

“We are proud to welcome Isabelle Huppert back to the festival,” say Berlinale directors Mariette and Carlo Chatrian, “the Honorary Golden Bear may seem like a natural progression in a career without equal since Isabelle Huppert is one of the few artists recognized with acting awards at all major film festivals. But Isabelle Huppert is more than a celebrated actor — she is an uncompromising artist who doesn’t hesitate to take risks and flout mainstream trends. Awarding her our most prestigious prize is to accentuate cinema as an art form, independent and unconditional. We often see actors as tools in the hands of filmmakers, but Isabelle Huppert is a clear example that the dynamic can be a true exchange. Actors can be the true engine of creating not only emotions but also concepts of cinema.”


Isabelle Huppert (Photo cr. Phillip Gay/Berlinale)


Isabelle Huppert began studying acting at the age of 14, and later attended the Conservatoire nationale supérieur d’art dramatique in Paris.

She began her career on stage and made her screen debut with Faustine et le bel été (Faustine and the Beautiful Summer, dir: Nina Companeez). Huppert’s first appearance in an international production was in the film Rosebud (dir: Otto Preminger). Two years later, her starring performance as the shy young woman Béatrice in Claude Goretta’s La Dentellière (The Lacemaker) won her the BAFTA as Most Promising Newcomer.

Huppert early on came to the attention of a host of top filmmakers, such as Jean-Luc Godard and Bertrand Tavernier. Her first turn for Godard was as the star of his Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every Man for Himself). Other world-renowned directors soon seized on Huppert’s diverse acting talents, including Olivier Assayas, Catherine Breillat, Patrice Chéreau, Claire Denis, Andrzej Wajda, and Joachim Trier, as well as American filmmakers such as Curtis Hanson, Hal Hartley, Ira Sachs, and David O. Russell. Italian filmmakers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani gave her the lead in their film Le affinità elettive (Elective Affinities) and she was part of the ensemble in Marco Bellocchio’s Bella Addormentata (Dormant Beauty).

Acclaimed French director Claude Chabrol cast Isabelle Huppert in a total of seven films, with each character as mutable and complex as the next, beginning with the title role in Violette Nozière. That garnered her first Palme D’Or for Best Actress at the Cannes film festival. Huppert and Sandrine Bonnaire played a pair of homicidal friends in the director’s La Cérémonie, a role that won her a César. Huppert’s final collaboration with Chabrol was her complex portrayal of a powerful judge in L’ivresse du pouvoir (Comedy of Power), which premiered in Competition at the Berlinale.

The actor’s film career has also been shaped by her work with Austrian director Michael Haneke, with whom she has made four movies. Her outstanding lead performance in his controversial 2001 drama La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher) brought her accolades as Best Actress in Cannes and at the European Film Awards, among others. Beginning with her appearance in Brillante Mendoza’s Captive, shown in Competition in Berlin, Huppert has increasingly worked with Asian directors. That same year, she was in Hong Sang-soo’s Da-reun na-ra-e-seo (In Another Country), playing three different women who all have the same name.

Huppert has also made successful films with other German-language directors and actors. She appeared alongside Hanna Schygulla in Storia di Piera (The Story of Piera) directed by Marco Ferreri. And she took on the lead as the nameless writer who increasingly loses touch with reality in the film adaptation of Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina (dir: Werner Schroeter), winning the German Film Prize. She was top-billed in Swiss director Ursula Meier’s Home.

Isabelle Huppert has been nominated for the French film prize César more than any other actress in France and has twice won one. Her virtuoso acting style has also brought her two Palmes D’Or at Cannes. She has appeared in more than 20 films shown in competition there — yet another record. She won a Golden Globe as Best Actress for her work in the thriller Elle (dir: Paul Verhoeven). That role as a successful businesswoman who takes revenge on her rapist also resulted in her first Academy Award nomination.

In addition to her successful onscreen career, Isabelle Huppert also continues working on stage and has been awarded the Europe Theater Prize, among others. After premiering the French version of Orlando, she took to the stage under Robert Wilson’s direction once again as the glacial marchioness Merteuil in Heiner Müller’s Quartett. She was equally brilliant in Sarah Kane’s play 4.48 Psychosis staged by Claude Régy. Guest performance of that play in Berlin marked the first time that Huppert appeared on a German stage, entrancing audiences with her intense portrayal.

The French-German-Irish co-production À propos de Joan (About Joan) directed by Laurent Larivière, which stars Huppert alongside Lars Eidinger, will be released in Germany in 2022.

The Homage films:

La Dentellière (The Lacemaker), France / FRG / Switzerland, 1977, Claude Goretta
Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every Man for Himself), France / Switzerland / FRG / Austria, 1980, Jean-Luc Godard
La Cérémonie, France / Germany, 1995, Claude Chabrol
La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher), France / Austria / Germany, 2001, Michael Haneke
8 Femmes (8 Women), France / Italy, 2002, François Ozon
L’Avenir (Things to Come), France / Germany, 2016, Mia Hansen-Løve
Elle, France / Germany / Belgium, 2016, Paul Verhoeven

The Homage is mounted under the aegis of the Deutsche Kinemathek.

(Sourced from Berlinale Press Release)