Category Archives: Berlin Film Festival

2018 Berlinale Festival Posters

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Berlinale Belongs to the Bears

 

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When the 68th Berlin International Film Festival takes place from February 15 – 25, 2018, Berlin will once again belong to the bears.

 

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Festival Director Dieter Kosslick

“It’s that time of year again: The bears are out and about! On this year’s posters they’ll be popping up at well-known Berlin landmarks to get us in the mood for terrific festival days,” comments Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.

 

The poster series, featuring six different scenes, was again designed by the Swiss agency Velvet. The posters will go up city-wide and be available for purchase at the Berlinale Online Shop starting on January 22.

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(Source:Berlin Press Office)

 

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Berlin announces first In Competition films for 68th Berlinale

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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It’s getting hot in here.

Here comes the 2018 Berlinale! After last year’s splendid close, this year’s 68th Berlin International Film Festival is taking shape and you don’t want to miss it.

The first ten films have been selected for the Competition and the Berlinale Special.

Alongside the previously announced opening film, Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson, seven productions and co-productions from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Serbia, the Russian Federation, and the USA have been invited to take part in the Competition.

 

So far two productions have been invited to participate in the Berlinale Special. As part of the Official Program, it screens recent works by contemporary filmmakers, as well as documentaries and works with extraordinary formats.

Competition

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Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

USA

By Gus Van Sant (Milk, Promised Land)

With Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Udo Kier

International premiere

 

Dovlatov

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Russian Federation / Poland / Serbia

By Alexey German Jr. (Paper Soldier, Under Electric Clouds)

With Milan Maric, Danila Kozlovsky, Helena Sujecka, Artur Beschastny, Elena Lyadova

World premiere

 

Eva

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France

By Benoit Jacquot (Three Hearts, Diary of a Chambermaid)

With Isabelle Huppert, Gaspard Ulliel, Julia Roy, Richard Berry

World premiere

 

Figlia mia (Daughter of Mine)

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Italy / Germany / Switzerland
By Laura Bispuri (Sworn Virgin)
With Valeria Golino, Alba Rohrwacher, Sara Casu, Udo Kier
World premiere

 

In den Gängen (In the Aisles)

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Germany

By Thomas Stuber (Teenage Angst, A Heavy Heart)

With Franz Rogowski, Sandra Hüller, Peter Kurth

World premiere

 

Mein Bruder heißt Robert und ist ein Idiot

Germany

By Philip Gröning (Into Great Silence, The Police Officer’s Wife)

With Josef Mattes, Julia Zange, Urs Jucker, Stefan Konarske, Zita Aretz, Karolina Porcari, Vitus Zeplichal

World premiere

 

Twarz (Mug)

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Poland

By Małgorzata Szumowska (In the Name of, Body)

With Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Małgorzata Gorol, Roman Gancarczyk, Dariusz Chojnacki, Robert Talarczyk, Anna Tomaszewska, Martyna Krzysztofik

World premiere

Berlinale Special Gala

The Bookshop

Spain / United Kingdom / Germany

By Isabel Coixet (Things I Never Told You, My Life Without Me, The Secret Life of Words)

With Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson

German premiere

 

Das schweigende Klassenzimmer (The Silent Revolution)

Germany

By Lars Kraume (The People vs. Fritz Bauer)

With Leonard Scheicher, Tom Gramenz, Lena Klenke, Jonas Dassler, Florian Lukas, Jördis Triebel, Michael Gwisdek, Ronald Zehrfeld, Burghart Klaußner

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(Source: Berlin Press Office)

World premiere

The European Film Market celebrates 30 year anniversary

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Berlinale_Proud30 years ago, the European Film Market (EFM) celebrated its premiere as an international trade market for films at the 38th Berlin International Film Festival. Today, the EFM is one of the most important film markets worldwide. It has become considerably more than just an industry get-together and distribution point: Starting with the digital transformation, the EFM began strategically opening up to new market participants, business fields, products and distribution paths. In recent years the EFM has increasingly positioned itself as a place for innovation and change in the film trade – without losing sight of its core business as a marketplace offering high-quality content. Its numerous platforms provide the film industry with trendsetting impulses that effectively strengthen its position as one of the most important international transfer points for moving pictures. The exhibition spaces for the upcoming EFM of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival at Martin-Gropius-Bau and the Marriott Hotel are already fully booked. More than 9,000 exhibitors, license traders, producers, buyers and investors are expected to attend the event over the course of nine market days from February 15 – 23, 2018.

 

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EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol

“The industry is still in the midst of change. The digital transformation is not yet complete and new possibilities for film that are worth a closer look are constantly opening up. With its platforms and different formats, the EFM provides participants with the tools to meet the contemporary challenges of the business.”

 

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Beki Probst, President and founder of EFM

President and founder of the EFM Beki Probst comments on the anniversary: “When the EFM began in 1988, it was clear that the Berlinale wanted to create a meeting point for the industry and that our planned format of a European Film Market would work. We never imagined that the EFM would become one of the most important film markets worldwide, reflecting the movements and pioneering spirit of the film industry in an incomparably diverse way. In all modesty: The EFM is a success story and has consistently been one for 30 years.”

 

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Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick

Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick congratulates Beki Probst on 30 years of successful work: “Without Beki Probst and her contacts worldwide, her charm and cosmopolitan gift for combining business and culture, the EFM would never have become such a successful platform and the strong backbone of the festival.”

 

In its anniversary year, Canada will be the “Country in Focus” at the EFM. Canada’s successful film industry will present itself comprehensively and highlight special aspects of Canadian filmmaking.

 

(Source: Berlin Press Office)

 

 

Berlinale Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary with L’Oréal Paris

Berlinale_Proud

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

In 2018, the Berlin International Film Festival will be supported by the French cosmetics brand L’Oréal Paris for the 20th year in succession.

Listen to Festival Director Dieter Kosslick:

 

Berlinale-“No make-up, no movies – true to this motto, our partnership with L’Oréal Paris is especially close to our hearts. We are grateful and proud to be able to celebrate this 20th anniversary with our principal partner L’Oréal Paris at the 68th Berlinale. To this day, its passionate engagement and valuable support has given the festival, its guests, and the public many magnificent moments,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.

 

With its professional make-up team, the Berlinale’s official cosmetics specialist has assisted the stars in finding the perfect look for the Red Carpet since 1999.

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Glimmering Gong Li walks the Berlinale Red Carpet outside the Berlinale Palast Pottsdam Theater. Make up by L’Oreal.

And the fact that the world of film is closely related to the world of beauty can be seen in the glamorous Red Carpet appearances of film icons and brand ambassadors such as Julianne Moore, Jane Fonda, Andie MacDowell, Gong Li and Iris Berben.

 

 

 

L’Oréal Paris also offers a very special service for festival-goers. Beauty experts will advise visitors and give them the latest “Berlinale look”, free of charge, at the L’Oréal Paris Make-up-Studio at Potsdamer Platz.

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(Source: Press release provided by Berlin Press Office)

 

 

Berlinale Classics 2018 Presents Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law) by E.A. Dupont

Posted by Larry Gleeson

World Premiere of the Digitally Restored Version

As part of the Berlinale Classics program, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival will be presenting Ewald André Dupont’s silent Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law, Germany, 1923) as a special screening with live music. The film, digitally restored under the auspices of the Deutsche Kinemathek, and accompanied by new music by French composer Philippe Schoeller, will have its world premiere on February 16, 2018 in the Friedrichstadt-Palast.

 

Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law) is an important piece of German-Jewish cinematic history; it contrasts the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna, and tackles the issue of the assimilation of Jews in 19th century Europe.

 

The Deutsche Kinemathek undertook the first efforts at reconstructing the film in 1984, trying to get as close to the original version as possible, as far as the sources available at the time allowed. When the original censor’s certificate was later uncovered, containing the text of the title cards, it would eventually provide the impetus for renewed research efforts world-wide and finally for a new, digital restoration.

 

“With its authentic set design and an excellent ensemble of actors, all captured magnificently by cinematographer Theodor Sparkuhl, The Ancient Law is an outstanding example of the creativity of Jewish filmmakers in 1920s Germany”, says Rainer Rother, head of the Retrospective section and artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen.

 

The new music by Philippe Schoeller was commissioned by the broadcasters ZDF/ARTE. Schoeller gets to the heart of the film with meticulously composed ensemble music that employs all the techniques of a modern soundtrack. It consciously establishes some historical distance to the film itself and uses a tapestry of translucid sounds to emphasise the visual excellence of the silent classic. The composition will be performed by the Orchester Jakobsplatz München, with Daniel Grossmann at the podium. The orchestra, founded in 2005, focuses on the work of Jewish composers, as well as 20th and 21st century music, making an important contribution to contemporary German-Jewish culture. Its most recent guest appearance at the Berlinale was in 2013.

 

The new restoration drew upon nitrate prints in five different languages found in archives in Europe and the US. The text of the original German title cards was long thought lost. It was not until the censor’s certificate listing the intertitles was unearthed that the restoration team from the Deutsche Kinemathek could accurately reconstruct them, as well as correcting and finalising the editing. The colour concept was based primarily on two found prints nearly identical in their colourisation. So this is the first time that a version corresponding to the 1920s German theatrical release will be shown, both in its original length, and with the colourisation digitally restored.

 

The Berlinale screening marks the start of the film’s tour to several cities, mainly in Eastern Europe, that were once hubs of Jewish life, including Vilnius, Budapest, Warsaw, and Vienna. It will also be shown at the Silent Film Festival in San Francisco.

 

The restored version will debut on television on February 19, 2018 on the ARTE channel. Simultaneously, absolut MEDIEN will release a DVD as part of its ARTE EDITION series, containing a wealth of bonus material on the restoration process.

 

The Deutsche Kinemathek’s digital restoration of Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law) was made possible through the personal commitment of professor Cynthia Walk (University of California, San Diego), and generous support from the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts.

 

The world premiere of the digitally restored version in Berlin is a cooperative venture between the Berlin International Film Festival, the Deutsche Kinemathek, and public broadcaster ZDF in cooperation with ARTE.

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(Berlin Press Office)

Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs to Open the 68th Berlinale

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 68th Berlin International Film Festival will open at the Berlinale Palast on February 15, 2018 with the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s animated film Isle of Dogs.

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Anderson has previously presented three films in the Berlinale Competition: The Royal Tenenbaums (2002), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2005), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) which opened the 64th Berlin International Film Festival and won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.

 

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Berlinale Festival Director, Dieter Kosslick

“I’m most delighted that Wes Anderson will kick off the Berlinale Competition again. Isle of Dogs will be the first animated film to open the Festival – a film that will capture audiences’ hearts with its Wes Anderson charm,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.

 

Isle of Dogs tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The voice cast includes Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Kunichi Nomura, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Akira Ito, Greta Gerwig, Akira Takayama, Frances McDormand, F. Murray Abraham, Courtney B. Vance, Yojiro Noda, Fisher Stevens, Mari Natsuki, Nijiro Murakami, Yoko Ono, Harvey Keitel and Frank Wood.

Following their collaboration on The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson return as producers on Isle of Dogs, which was produced by Indian Paintbrush and filmed at 3 Mills Studios in London. Christoph Fisser, Henning Molfenter and Charlie Woebcken of Studio Babelsberg serve as executive producers. Fox Searchlight Pictures will distribute the film worldwide in partnership with Indian Paintbrush.

Isle of Dogs will release in US cinemas on March 23, 2018. Internationally, the film will open in cinemas from April 2018.

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(Source: Press release provided by Berlin Press Office)

Berlin Retrospective 2018 – “Weimar Cinema Revisited”

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Retrospective 2018“Weimar Cinema Revisited”

 

The Retrospective of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival will focus on the great variety of cinema in the Weimar era. Some one hundred years ago, at the end of World War I and the dawn of the Weimar Republic, one of the most productive and influential phases in German filmmaking began unfolding, a creative era that went on to shape international perception of the country’s film culture, even to the present day. For “Weimar Cinema Revisited”, the festival will present a total of 28 programs of narrative, documentary, and short films made between 1918 and 1933.

 

Berlinale-“Across genres, the Retrospective will document the Weimar Republic’s zeitgeist and tackle issues of identity. The spectrum encompasses zesty film operettas and comedies full of wordplay, as well as films with strong social and political viewpoints. The films are incredibly fresh and topical,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.

 

The Retrospective has three thematic emphases – “exotic”, “quotidian”, and “history”. In Im Auto durch zwei Welten (1927-1931) Clärenore Stinnes and Carl Axel Söderström take audiences on a fantastic trip to exotic, faraway lands. In Menschen im Busch (1930), an early example of ethnographic cinema, Friedrich Dalsheim and Gulla Pfeffer observe the unspectacular daily life of a family in Togo, breaking new ground by allowing the subjects themselves to speak instead of relying entirely on off-camera narration. The short films of documentarians such as Ella Bergmann-Michel, Winfried Basse, and Ernö Metzner capture 1920s life in Berlin and Frankfurt. In Brothers (1929), director Werner Hochbaum looks at a proletarian family and an existence marked by material deprivation. The film, which was backed by Germany’s Social Democratic Party, gains great authenticity with its use of amateur actors, and setting it during Hamburg’s 1896/97 dockworkers’ strike provides a reference to the contentious political issues of the 1920s. Heinz Paul is equally critical and sober with his portrayal of fresh historical events in The Other Side (1931). Conrad Veidt plays a traumatized British captain in World War I in Paul’s unsparing depiction of the senselessness and barbarity of the trench war.

 

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Rainer Rother

“The Berlinale has already dedicated considerable Retrospectives to prominent directors and stars of Weimar­‑era cinema. Now, with this thematic look back, it’s time to turn our attention to the films that are not necessarily part of the inner canon,” says Rainer Rother, head of the Retrospective and artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen.

 

The diversity of the Weimar film landscape is best grasped via the works of filmmakers who are not usually counted among the great and prominent directors of the era. The variety of the films, by directors as varied as Franz Seitz, Sr. (Der Favorit der Königin, 1922), Hermann Kosterlitz (The Adventure of Thea Roland, 1932), and Erich Waschneck (Docks of Hamburg, 1928), is evident in the abundance of not only differing subject matter, stories, and characters, but also aesthetic approach. Looking at this legendary epoch in German film history from a new perspective reinforces its artistic reputation.

 

Among the highlights of the Retrospective will be premiere screenings of films that have been newly restored by leading German archives and film institutions. The festival will be presenting the mountain epic Fight for the Matterhorn (Mario Bonnard, Nunzio Malasomma, 1928), Robert Reinert’s monumental Opium (1919), as well as a two-part film long thought lost – Urban Gad’s  Christian Wahnschaffe (part 1: World Afire, 1920, part 2: The Escape from the Golden Prison, 1921), based on Jakob Wassermann’s 1919 novel The World’s Illusion.

 

Most of the silent film screenings will be accompanied by music played live by internationally renowned musicians. Maud Nelissen and Stephen Horne are familiar faces to Retrospective audiences. Günter Buchwald will be celebrating 40 years as a silent film accompanist in 2018. And a newcomer to the Berlin festival is young pianist Richard Siedhoff, who has already made a name for himself playing at important silent film galas, as well as contributing music to various DVD editions.

 

The German-language book “Weimarer Kino – neu gesehen” will be published by the Bertz + Fischer house as a companion piece to the Retrospective. The richly illustrated volume will present essays by well-known film experts and directors, who will write on many as yet lesser-known aspects of Weimar-era cinema. The Retrospective film programme will once again be accompanied by a host of special sidebar events in the Deutsche Kinemathek.

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(Source: Berlin Press Office)