Category Archives: #Berlinale

Berlin Int’l Film Festival News: Competition, Encounters, Berlinale Special Come Out

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The conclusion of the 2020 Berlinale marked the beginning of a long pause caused by the pandemic. Since then, people working in an organizational capacity, have repeatedly had to adjust to new conditions: from adapted workplaces and procedures to “new” ways of digital communication.

The 2022 Berlin International Film Festival (The 72nd Berlinale) is offering filmmakers and audiences the opportunity to once again meet and exchange ideas in person, to immerse themselves in the world of cinema, talk about the films and become inspired and motivated. This year, The Berlinale is welcoming the filmmakers for seven days in total, after which audiences will have the opportunity to watch repeat screenings of the films in Berlin cinemas up to February 20.

The Competition, Encounters, and Berlinale Special Programs are out and each features a plethora of excellent films.

Competition 2022

In Competition 18 films are in the race for the Golden and Silver Bears. Productions from 15 countries are represented. 17 films are world premieres. Seven films were directed by women. Human and emotional bonds are a common thread. Almost all films set their tales out of the city center, in the periphery, in the countryside or they follow the characters in their journeys away from towns.

18 films will compete for the Golden and Silver Bears. Productions from 15 countries are represented. 17 films are world premieres. Seven films were directed by women.

Eleven filmmakers have been at the festival before, eight in Competition, and five of them already hold a “bear” in their hands. One film is a non-fiction and animated one, set in an unspecified time.

 

Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

“We are happy to have back artists we cherish and whose work is important to us. We are also happy to welcome for the first time in the Competition filmmakers whose films have thrilled us. More than half of the films selected take place in the present day, but only two deal with the current pandemic times. Human and emotional bonds are a common thread – with half of the selection choosing the family as a context for their tales. Almost all films set their tales out of the city center, in the periphery, in the countryside or they follow the characters in their journeys away from towns”, says Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

 

Competition Films

 

A E I O U – Das schnelle Alphabet der Liebe (A E I O U – A Quick Alphabet of Love)
Germany / France
by Nicolette Krebitz
with Sophie Rois, Udo Kier, Milan Herms, Nicolas Bridet
World premiere

 

Alcarràs
Spain / Italy
by Carla Simón
with Jordi Pujol Dolcet, Anna Otin, Xènia Roset, Albert Bosch, Ainet Jounou, Josep Abad
World premiere

 

Avec amour et acharnement (Both Sides of the Blade)
France
by Claire Denis
with Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, Grégoire Colin, Bulle Ogier
World premiere

 

Call Jane
USA
by Phyllis Nagy
with Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Mara
International premiere

 

Drii Winter (A Piece of Sky)
Switzerland / Germany
by Michael Koch
with Michèle Brand, Simon Wisler
World premiere

 

Everything Will Be Ok
France / Cambodia
by Rithy Panh
World premiere / documentary form

 

La ligne (The Line)
Switzerland / France / Belgium
by Ursula Meier
with Stéphanie Blanchoud, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Elli Spagnolo
World premiere

 

Leonora addio
Italy
by Paolo Taviani
with Fabrizio Ferracane, Matteo Pittiruti, Dania Marino, Dora Becker
World premiere

 

Les passagers de la nuit (The Passengers of the Night)
France
by Mikhaël Hers
with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Quito Rayon-Richter, Noée Abita, Megan Northam, Thibault Vinçon, Emmanuelle Béart
World premiere

 

Nana (Before, Now & Then)
Indonesia
by Kamila Andini
with Happy Salma, Laura Basuki, Arswendy Bening Swara, Ibnu Jamil
World premiere

 

Peter von Kant
France
by François Ozon
with Denis Ménochet, Isabelle Adjani, Hanna Schygulla
World premiere / opening film

 

Rabiye Kurnaz gegen George W. Bush (Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush)
Germany / France
by Andreas Dresen
with Meltem Kaptan, Alexander Scheer
World premiere

 

Rimini
Austria / France / Germany
by Ulrich Seidl
with Michael Thomas, Hans-Michael Rehberg, Tessa Göttlicher, Inge Maux, Claudia Martini, Georg Friedrich
World premiere

 

Robe of Gems
Mexico / Argentina / USA
by Natalia López Gallardo
with Nailea Norvind, Antonia Olivares, Aida Roa
World premiere / debut film

 

So-seol-ga-ui Yeong-hwa (The Novelist’s Film)
South Korea
by Hong Sangsoo
with Lee Hyeyoung, Kim Minhee, Seo Younghwa
World premiere

 

Un año, una noche (One Year, One Night)
Spain / France
by Isaki Lacuesta
with Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Noémie Merlant, Quim Gutiérrez
World premiere

 

Un été comme ça (That Kind of Summer)
Canada
by Denis Côté
with Larissa Corriveau, Aude Mathieu, Laure Giappiconi, Anne Ratte Polle, Samir Guesmi
World premiere

 

Yin Ru Chen Yan (Return to Dust)
People’s Republic of China
by Li Ruijun
with Wu Renlin, Hai Qing
World premiere

 

Encounters 2022

The competitive section Encounters 2022 comprises 15 films, all of which are world premieres. There is one first feature. This year’s selection includes more films than usual from established filmmakers (Bertrand Bonello, Ruth Beckermann, Mitra Farahani, Sho Miyake, Arnaud des Pallières, Gastón Solnicki, Peter Strickland, Syllas Tsoumerkas), but also welcomes new voices. Many filmmakers have chosen dialogue as the most appropriate form to overcome fences, distances, and confinements.

The competitive section Encounters 2022 comprises 15 films, all of which are world premieres. There is one first feature. 15 countries are represented. This year’s selection includes more films than usual from established filmmakers (Bertrand Bonello, Ruth Beckermann, Mitra Farahani, Sho Miyake, Arnaud des Pallières, Gastón Solnicki, Peter Strickland, Syllas Tsoumerkas), but also welcomes new voices.
Each selected film aims to engage in a conversation, not only with the audience, but also with the other films. Some of the conversations the selected films offer are the dialogue between two old artists or the one between past and present times. A dialogue with sign language and the special connection between two people excluded from “normal life”. The inner communication between twins and the metacommunication between a book and its readers a century after. The dialectic in place between owners and workers and the dichotomy between truth and lies.

 

Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

“We consider Encounters to be a vibrant competitive section and a safe haven for a community. Here, we tend to invite filmmakers that do not consider cinema as a predefined art form, with a standard that has to be reached, but rather as a field in an ongoing expansion – like the universe we inhabit. After a year and a half spent in not-so-splendid isolation, we are moved by seeing that many filmmakers have chosen dialogue as the most appropriate form to overcome fences, distances, and confinements, and they are keen to keep mapping the land we called cinema,” says Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

 

Encounters Films

A Little Love Package
Austria / Argentina
by Gastón Solnicki
with Angeliki Papoulia, Carmen Chaplin, Mario Bellatin
World premiere

À vendredi, Robinson (See You Friday, Robinson)
France / Switzerland / Iran / Lebanon
by Mitra Farahani
with Jean-Luc Godard, Ebrahim Golestan
World premiere / documentary form

Axiom
Germany
by Jöns Jönsson
with Moritz von Treuenfels, Ricarda Seifried, Thomas Schubert
World premiere

Brat vo vsyom (Brother in Every Inch)
Russian Federation
by Alexander Zolotukhin
with Sergey Zhuravlev, Nikolay Zhuravlev
World premiere

Coma
France
by Bertrand Bonello
with Julia Faure, Louise Labeque
World premiere

Father’s Day
Rwanda
by Kivu Ruhorahoza
with Mediatrice Kayitesi, Aline Amike, Yves Kijyana
World premiere

Flux Gourmet
United Kingdom / USA / Hungary
by Peter Strickland
with Asa Butterfield, Gwendoline Christie, Ariane Labed, Fatma Mohamed, Makis Papadimitriou, Richard Bremmer
World premiere

I Poli ke i Poli (The City and the City)
Greece
by Christos Passalis, Syllas Tzoumerkas
with Vassilis Kanakis, Alexandros Vardaxoglou, Angeliki Papoulia
World premiere

Journal d’Amérique (American Journal)
France
by Arnaud des Pallières
World premiere / documentary form

Keiko, me wo sumasete (Small, Slow but Steady)
Japan / France
by Shô Miyake
with Yukino Kishii, Tomokazu Miura, Masaki Miura
World premiere

MUTZENBACHER
Austria
by Ruth Beckermann
World premiere / documentary form

Queens of the Qing Dynasty
Canada
by Ashley McKenzie
with Sarah Walker, Ziyin Zheng
World premiere

Sonne
Austria
by Kurdwin Ayub
with Melina Benli, Law Wallner, Maya Wopienka
World premiere / Debut

Unrueh (Unrest)
Switzerland
by Cyril Schäublin
with Clara Gostynski, Alexei Evstratov
World premiere

Zum Tod meiner Mutter (The Death of my Mother)
Germany
by Jessica Krummacher
with Birte Schnöink, Elsie de Brauw, Johanna Orsini, Susanne Bredehöft, Gina Haller, Christian Löber
World premiere

 

Berlinale Special 2022

The Berlinale Special program comprises 15 films from 12 countries – six documentaries and nine feature films, among them two short films. 12 films are world premieres. Most of the Berlinale Special Gala films work within genre – spanning from horror to musical, from fantasy to gangster movie. Berlinale Special will show mainly documentary forms. In its line-up, the Berlinale Special combines celebrity sparkle with the stories that matter.

Berlinale Special comprises 15 films from twelve countries, among them six documentary forms and nine feature films as well as two short films. Twelve are world premieres.

 

Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

“Despite the pandemic, we are happy to have the Berlinale Special Gala back. Films intended for the widest public will be presented in our biggest venue – the Friedrichstadt-Palast – and accompanied by filmmakers and cast. Most of them work within genre – spanning from horror to musical, from fantasy to gangster movie. Despite often dramatic stories, all of them manage to welcome a bit of lightness, having recourse to irony or comic elements.
Berlinale Special makes room mainly to documentaries that are the best way to explore our world and its legacy. From a recording studio during the pandemic to the little-known industry of synthetic diamonds, from a microcosm to be found in and around an old oak tree in France to a controversial political party in Germany, ending with a take on the power and ethics of photography.
Featuring stars including Nick Cave, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau or Emma Thompson alongside talented young actors like Louis Hoffmann, Alia Bhatt or Joe Cole – the Berlinale Special line-up combines celebrity sparkle with the stories that matter”, says Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

Berlinale Special Gala films

Against the Ice
Iceland / Denmark
by Peter Flinth
with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Heida Reed, Charles Dance
World premiere

À propos de Joan (About Joan)
France / Germany / Ireland
by Laurent Larivière
with Isabelle Huppert, Lars Eidinger, Swann Arlaud
World premiere

Gangubai Kathiawadi
India
by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
with Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn
World premiere

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
United Kingdom
by Sophie Hyde
with Daryl McCormack, Emma Thompson
European premiere

Incroyable mais vrai (Incredible But True)
France / Belgium
by Quentin Dupieux
with Alain Chabat, Léa Drucker, Benoît Magimel, Anaïs Demoustier
World premiere

Der Passfälscher (The Forger)
Germany / Luxembourg
by Maggie Peren
with Louis Hofmann, Jonathan Berlin, Luna Wedler
World premiere

Occhiali neri (Dark Glasses)
Italy / France
by Dario Argento
with Ilenia Pastorelli, Asia Argento, Andrea Zhang
World premiere

The Outfit
USA
by Graham Moore
with Mark Rylance, Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien
World premiere / Debut

Berlinale Special films

1341 Framim Mehamatzlema Shel Micha Bar-Am (1341 Frames of Love and War)
Israel / United Kingdom / USA
by Ran Tal
World premiere / documentary form

Eine deutsche Partei (A German Party)
Germany
by Simon Brückner
World premiere / documentary form

Le chêne (Die Eiche – Mein Zuhause)
France
by Laurent Charbonnier, Michel Seydoux
International premiere / documentary form

Nest
Denmark / Iceland
by Hlynur Pálmason
with Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir, Grímur Hlynsson, Þorgils Hlynsson
World premiere / short film

Nothing Lasts Forever
USA
by Jason Kohn
World premiere / documentary form

Terminal norte (North Terminal)
Argentina
by Lucrecia Martel
International premiere / documentary form / short film

This Much I Know To Be True
United Kingdom
by Andrew Dominik
with Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
World premiere / documentary form

 

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

(Sourced from Berlinale Press 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)

“Labors of Cinema” – The Theme of the 20th Berlinale Talents

Posted by Larry Gleeson

20 editions, 10,000 alumni, seven hubs from Beirut to Buenos Aires and a yearly tally of more than 100 former participants with films in the festival: the Berlinale’s talent development initiative has a lot to celebrate. For the 20th edition, taking place from February 12 to 17, 2022, *Berlinale Talents is optimistically looking forward to a physical event with digital components, all destined to bring together the 200 invited Talents across 13 disciplines.

Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, the director duo of the Berlinale, put it best: “Berlinale Talents is far more than a place where creative people can gather inspiration for their careers in film. Since 2003, the festival has been supporting the long-term development of new talent: open-minded, collaborative, involved and with a great amount of trust in the innovative power of the film community.”

“Labors of Cinema” in Focus

Though a film is presented to the public as a final, glittering creation, it is of course the product of many, and the labour and working terrain of various professions and crafts. It is the work itself that Berlinale Talents wishes to celebrate with this year’s anniversary theme “Labours of Cinema”. In Hollywood and elsewhere, the representatives of a multifaceted film community are currently campaigning for better working conditions and are striving to be heard in public. A better environment for every player in film work is becoming the new and confident “battle cry” of a younger cultural industry in which diversity, social sustainability and room for artistic freedom play important roles. Berlinale Talents is curating its programme in light of this “hands-on” spirit: placing the onus on the act of making, this year Berlinale Talents sees itself as a great factory where the live talks and workshops will provide both Talents and public audiences the pleasure of working together.

Key Visual 2022: Cinema(nts)

Without you and me, there is no film. Cooperation, division of labor, (wo)manpower and joy: the key visual spells out how essential the coming together of many is to the emergence of the one, final product. What from afar can seem like a swarming mass, is in fact a sophisticated system based on both hand and leg work, which Imad Gebrayel’s artwork picks up on with a wink.

*Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival

(Source: Berlinale Press Release)

M. Night Shyamalan Named Jury President for the Berlinale 2022

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Screenwriter, director and producer M. Night Shyamalan will serve as president of the International Jury at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival.

The successful American immigrant filmmaker originally from South Asia has been captivating audiences worldwide with his genre films over the past three decades. His breakthrough, the 1999 psychological thriller The Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis, was the second highest grossing film of that year and received six Academy Award nominations. Today, Shyamalan remains one of the most recognised names in filmmaking.

As an original storyteller, Shyamalan focuses on thrillers that play with genre conventions. His use of supernatural elements often contrasts or combines with philosophical reflections of our own existence.

 

“I’m pleased and honoured that M. Night Shyamalan has accepted our invitation to serve as president of the Jury. Throughout his career he’s shaped a universe in which fears and desires stand side by side, where young people are not only the protagonists but also the driving force for overcoming dread. Within the US movie business Shyamalan is a unique figure, a filmmaker that has remained faithful to his vision. This truthfulness to one’s ideal is also what we are looking for in our selection,” comments the Berlinale’s Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

 

“I have always felt like an independent filmmaker within the system of Hollywood,” says Shyamalan. “It is exactly those things in us that are different and unorthodox that define our voice. I have tried to maintain these things in myself and cheer others on to protect those aspects in their art and in themselves. Being asked to be a part of Berlinale is deeply meaningful to me. It represents the highest imprimatur for a filmmaker. Being able to support and celebrate the world’s very best talent in storytelling is a gift I happily accepted.”

 

Shyamalan studied filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; during his final year he shot his first feature film Praying with Anger, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. His impressive filmmaking includes 14 feature films as a cinema director.

After The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan released a string of blockbusters with Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), and The Village (2004). But it was with The Visit (2015), which became the most successful horror film of 2015, that Shyamalan decided to start financing his own films, giving him agency over his artistic vision, and helping to preserve the integrity of his storytelling. Split followed in 2017, which was number one at the US box office for three weeks in a row, followed by Glass, which repeated the same feat by remaining at the top of the box office for three weeks in a row. His latest cinema film Old, which is based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle” was released internationally in cinemas in summer 2021. He is currently working on his next cinema film, Knock at the Cabin, which will be released in February 2023.

Shyamalan has also had an equally successful start in the TV sector in 2015 with the 10-episode event series Wayward Pines for FOX, based on the best-selling novels. Currently Shyamalan serves as showrunner for the award-winning series Servant for Apple TV+. He has also directed several episodes of the series.

Shyamalan also devotes his time to the philanthropic projects of his foundation “The M. Night Shyamalan Foundation” which he co-founded with his wife in 2001. The foundation supports the grassroots efforts of emerging leaders as they work to eliminate the barriers created by poverty and social injustice in their communities.

Source:  Berlinale Press Office

68th Belinale: May We Have Some Diversity, Please?

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

Seeing and witnessing the ever-changing, shape-shifting of film festival perspectives, the Berlin International Film Festival, known simply as the Berlinale, lays testament to not only the validity of film as a cultural force but also its ability to transform and expand consciousness. With too many films to lend as examples of this, for simplicity I’ll just propose The Other Side of Hope.

But, let’s get back to the festivals. The best festivals, in my opinion, are highly organic and are representational of their respective communities. Having had an opportunity to attend the 67th Berlinale, I found my own awareness shift from a film-oriented focus to a focus on my German film-going cohorts, primarily German journalists. Having been nurtured via Southern California festivals (AFIFEST in Hollywood and Santa Barbara International Film Festival), I arrived well-before screening time and found myself engaging with my fellow attendees. So the article below goes beyond a resonance – it’s an awakening. Be sure to read it through to the end. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 10.08.24 PM
Adina Pintilie (Touch Me Not), Tom Tykwer, Dieter Kosslick
Berlinale 2018

The magic of the Berlinale derives from the audience itself. For everyone present, it is as simple as it is complicated: a journey into one’s own emotions, a short trip out of the bustling city into the world of possibilities to live one’s life in a different way.

—- Robert Ide, Der Tagesspiegel, February 26 2018

In one sense, the 2018 Berlinale began early: on November 24, 2017. With the somewhat sensationalist title “Filmmakers Want to Revolutionise the Berlinale”, Spiegel Online published an appeal from 79 film directors that the procedure chosen to select the new Festival Director should be transparent. This was a legitimate request. Dieter Kosslick’s contract ended in 2019 and the processes of appointing leading positions in Berlin’s cultural institutions had in recent years sometimes lead to unfortunate choices and even met with massive opposition – the memory of the turmoil following the installation of Chris Dercon as artistic director of the Volksbühne was still fresh.

But what then turned the appeal into a farce was the article in which the few words from the filmmakers were embedded. Hannah Pilarczyk wrote: “Instead of sharpening the profile of the festival in terms of content, Kosslick has sought to counter the loss of significance with a constant expansion of sections and special presentations. This has led to a mess of programmes which in themselves are as insubstantial as the competition and mean that attention and discussion is scattered rather than concentrated” (Spiegel Online, November 24, 2017). Instead of focusing on the deficiencies and structures of cultural policy, the debate was turned into a final reckoning of the Festival Director. This was a totally unintended turn of events, as one of the joint signatories, Christian Petzold, later made clear: “Our appeal became personalised and was turned into a judgement of Dieter Kosslick, even though he had nothing at all to do with it” (in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel, February 16, 2018). An incensed Dominik Graf similarly spoke out: “If I had known that our letter would be dragged into the journalistic swamp of a judgement on Kosslick, I would never have signed it” (in Die Zeit, November 29, 2017).

The appeal was instrumentalised to channel often personal and long-held sensitivities into a kind of vendetta. In the Spiegel article, Pilarczyk basically did nothing more than bring into play the unease at an increasing “gigantism of the festival” (Yearbook 1988) that has been simmering amongst Berlinale critics for 30 years to insinuate that the signatories wanted to “deliver a damning indictment of the Kosslick era”. The man himself could only react laconically to the persistent hostility: “Well, it’s quite baffling, really […]. It was initially […] aimed at the process but then it attacked me […]. I have long been hoping for specific proposals about what we should do. But apart from the suggestion that we should make the Berlinale smaller, nothing has been forthcoming so far” (in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, February 15, 2018).

The festival and the city – Berlin, February 16, 2018

The Diversity of the Film/World

To make the Berlinale smaller, the call for a stronger curatorial hand – demands that have become as intrinsic to the festival as the cold weather. In light of the journalistic mudslinging in the run-up to the 2018 Berlinale, the impression might have arisen that Dieter Kosslick would be handing over a desolate and meaningless event to his successor in 2019. That this was not the case was proven by the festival itself, its programme and the journalistic debate arising in its wake. It became clear that the Berlinale is alive and kicking: its uniqueness clearly stood out in 2018.

Rather than exposing an untenable situation requiring urgent revolution, critics like Hannah Pilarczyk simply held an opinion which differed from others. And it was an opinion, as things turned out, that was not shared by the majority. “The tangled undergrowth, the profusion – that is the urban jungle, that is Berlin. It is what differentiates the Berlinale from the hysterical clarity of the small towns of Cannes and Venice […]. The critics […] fail to grasp the Berlinale because they have already failed to grasp Berlin. One should not accommodate them by pruning this film festival into something that complies with an authoritarian small-town character and its fantasies of control,” wrote Jens Jessen in Zeit Online on February 14, 2018. You only needed to take an early morning stroll across Potsdamer Platz and observe the slowly awakening bustle of journalists, industry visitors, audiences, selfie hunters and tourists to comprehend the special quality and atmosphere of the festival.

It was never a goal of the festival to court hermetically sealed specialist discourses. At its centre stood diversity and an enthusiastic audience who packed the cinemas once again in 2018. “Does it not demonstrate cinephile self-aggrandisement to believe that the audience requires a strong guiding hand? Instead, one should have the confidence that, in this complex world, people are able to navigate their way through a substantial programme brochure and allow it to inspire them,” argued Wenke Husmann in Zeit Online (February 15, 2018).

A bath in the crowd: Joaquin Phoenix at the premiere of Don’t Worrry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

Her plea for diversity found prominent support: “I usually hate film festivals. Last night, Gus [Van Sant] was doing the Berlin Talents and I went along to watch and saw all these young filmmakers that are curious about the process and hearing Gus speak, I had a real appreciation for a film festival,” said Joaquin Phoenix, in Berlin for the premiere of Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worrry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, about his first positive festival experience (deadline, February 21, 2018).

As in previous years, the days of the festival celebrated the opportunity provided by almost 400 films to travel round the world, experience the most diverse milieus, ways of life, opinions and attitudes, and to put one’s own preconceptions and prejudices to the test. “The eyes of many Berlinale viewers are shining when the credits roll and they ponder the films in the Panorama, Forum or Generation sections on which they have fruitfully lavished their time in recalibrating their own world view,” wrote Robert Ide (Der Tagespiegel, February 26, 2018). The 2018 Competition was representative of the immense diversity of the entire festival. Film critic Katja Nicodemus admitted: “I have never experienced anything like it, so many different aesthetics and crazy film ideas” (NDR Online, February 22, 2018).

For the very first time in its history, the Berlinale opened with an animated film: Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs was not only a curatorial stroke of luck, bringing the necessary star power to the festival’s first Red Carpet, but also a “parable of a world filled with fascist ideas of purity and exclusion” (Verena Lueken, FAZ, February 16, 2018) and hence a paradigm for the festival’s concept of diversity.

At the premiere of Bixa Travesty (Tranny Fag): director Kiko Goifman, Panorama section head Paz Lázaro, director Claudia Priscilla and protagonist Linn da Quebrada

#MeToo and Diversity

In mid-October 2017, the MeToo hashtag dominated social networks. It was established in the wake of the heated debates on gender relations in the film industry triggered by the scandal surrounding producer Harvey Weinstein. Several female actors have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, up to and including rape. The issue had wide repercussions, including in Germany, and became a dominant topic at the 2018 Berlinale where Dieter Kosslick put #MeToo in a wider context and focused on power relations in general. Such discussions are “also a bit in the DNA of the Berlinale” (in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, February 15, 2018) because this issue, too, is ultimately about diversity. The festival’s commitment was accordingly recognised by the press: “Where else can cinema-goers find such a wide range of queer, international and political movies without working as an industry insider? Certainly not Cannes nor Venice, both of which remain privy only to those with the correct pass […]. Much like Berlin itself, the Berlinale prizes inclusivity above all else, and in this tumultuous era, it’s hard to imagine anything more important than that” (David Opie, EXBERLINER, 09 February 2018).

The last days of eastern Aleppo’s siege: : Milad Amin’s Ard al mahshar (Land of Doom) from Forum Expanded

The Obstructed View

With #MeToo, the film world turned its attention to its own structures, and in view of the current global political situation, the 2018 festival also became a question of identity. The image of a world out of joint already present in previous years had only sharpened and the Berlinale, which began in 1951 as a “showcase of the free world”, had to ask itself whether this free world even still existed. The so-called “leader of the free world”, a buffoonish US billionaire now unexpectedly a year into office, had still not forsaken his fantasy of a concrete wall between the USA and Mexico, had introduced protective tariffs, fired his foreign minister by Twitter and was himself accused of sexual assault. A continuing manifestation of this chaos was bomb-flattened Syria. The (proxy) wars between Russia and the USA, the interests of Turkey, the Kurds, Bashar al-Assad, the dystopian ideals of Islamic State, etcetera, were being fought on the backs of a fleeing or dying civilian population. Most of the world closed its eyes to the mass murder taking place.

It was therefore all the more important that a trend from previous years continued in the 2018 programme: films again challenged the act of forgetting and insisted on holding the past to account, and this took place across all sections. As Christoph Terhechte, head of Forum, summarised in an interview: “Addressing the past is what preoccupies filmmakers most at the moment. Especially because the view of the future is so obstructed worldwide. It is very hard to imagine what our civilisation will look like in 20 or 50 years time. To find answers to this question requires taking recourse to the past because it contains the reasons for the current situation. That is the prerequisite for future utopias.”

Two films, both using material originally shot in the 1980s: Unas preguntas (One or Two Questions) by Kristina Konrad and Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz) by Ruth Beckermann

Nationalism Then as Now

It was striking how frequently the focus was trained on the devastation caused by dictatorial regimes. In his Competition entry Ang Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil), Lav Diaz returned to the darkest hours of the Marcos regime in the Philippines. Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s The Silence of Others in Panorama depicted the fight against the state-sanctioned forgetting of the Franco regime in Spain. An amnesty law issued after the military dictatorship in Uruguay was at the centre of Unas Preguntas (One or Two Questions) by Kristina Konrad in Forum. Konrad drew on material she shot in the 1980s to show how active democracy worked then and should work today. In a similar way, Ruth Beckermann edited together footage she also shot in the 1980s. In Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz) she followed the – successful – 1986 election campaign of former UN Ambassador Kurt Waldheim as he ran for the office of Austrian Federal President. At that time, Waldheim had consigned his Nazi past to oblivion and thus became a symbol for an entire nation which perceived itself as a victim of the Nazi regime rather than its accomplice. Waldheims Walzer insisted, and persisted, in scrutinising and refusing to forget – and for this the film was rewarded with the Glashütte Original – Documentary Award. Beckermann’s film also had a burning topicality as the shift to the right and the resurgence of nation states was in evidence everywhere in our supposedly globalised world.

That certain milieus or individuals have long since bid farewell to the idea of democracy was reflected in multifaceted ways in the 2018 programme. In Až přijde válka (When the War Comes) in Panorama, Jan Gebert documented the preparations made by a paramilitary group in Slovakia for the self-heralded clash of civilisations. The most shocking aspect of this was the commonplace way in which paramilitary posturing was integrated into people’s everyday lives. The catastrophe to which such ways of thinking can lead was made tangible by Erik Poppe in the Competition. With Utøya 22. juli (U – July 22) he delivered the audience back to the year 2011 and the warzone of a war without borders, to the mass murder committed by the self-proclaimed defender of the Western world Anders Breivik who, unwilling to wait any longer for the clash of civilisations to begin, transformed the Social Democrat Party’s youth camp into the scene of a massacre.

War games: Až přijde válka (When the War Comes) by Jan Gebert

Revolution of the Senses

Beyond its topic, Utøya 22. juli also impressively tackled the prerequisite of any form of politics: perception. With a running time of 90 minutes, the film’s length corresponded to that of the 2011 massacre itself. Poppe eschewed cuts and hence the audience experienced the flight and dying of the Norwegian teenagers in an, at times, agonising tour-de-force of a single take. Allowing the events to play out in real time made the suffering and fear tangible in a much stronger way than any conventional documentary could hope to achieve. Just how strongly form is connected to political implications was also demonstrated by Nesrine Khodr’s installation Extended Sea in the Forum Expanded exhibition. Here, once again, a single, and in this case, fixed shot: for 705 minutes almost nothing happens. Anyone who could spare over eleven hours – and particularly in the context of a film festival where the limited nature of time and the imperative to accumulate the greatest possible number of viewed films dictate the daily schedule – to devote their full attention to a single work has obviously left behind the premises of turbo-capitalism and can also perceive the social world in an entirely new way.

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Extended Sea by Nesrine Khodr

Extended Sea found its counterpart in Panorama where Profile offered a wonderful reflection on the state of perception in the digital age. Timur Bekmambetov told the story of a British journalist who allows herself to be recruited by IS via Skype in order to write an article about it. For him, a mere laptop screen was sufficient cinematic space, where the ways in which perception becomes hysterical and incredibly accelerated can be experienced, as can the abstruse manner in which the private and professional, life and death, are pieced together in hard cuts. “From the point of view of a normal resident of audiovisual culture, film festivals are only as good as they are representatives, engines and reflections of general image culture” wrote Georg Seeßlen in Freitag (07/2018 edition) – and the 2018 programme had no reason to shy away from this demand.

A Farewell and Three Welcomes

In the summer of 2017, Panorama saw a significant change in personnel. After 25 years, Wieland Speck passed the leadership baton to Paz Lázaro who curated the programme for the 68th Berlinale together with Michael Stütz and Andreas Struck. All three had worked for Panorama for a long time already and they continued to focus on key topics such as LGBT cinema. At the same time, their very own distinctive styles became clearly visible in a focused and compact programme.

And it was also an end of an era at the European Film Market: after 30 years the grande dame of the film world, Beki Probst, was bid farewell with a Berlinale Camera. As director and then president, she had made the market an incomparable success story. “I began with three colleagues and a handful of films,” she recalled in the Tagesanzeiger (February 15, 2018). In 2018, with 10,000 participants from 112 countries and 661 films screened, the EFM set new records.

At the Award Ceremony: The team of Touch Me Not with the Golden Bear

“Sexperiments”

The 2018 festival reserved its biggest surprise for the Award Ceremony. Instead of awarding one of the tipped favourites in the Competition, Jury President Tom Tykwer and his fellow jurors honoured a “small”, semi-documentary film experience from Romania which hardly anyone had on their radar: Touch Me Not by Adina Pintilie took home both the GWFF Best First Feature Award and the Golden Bear. Its candid treatment of naked bodies, sexuality and intimacy had already caused a stir at its premiere two days earlier. Some critics left the screening in a huff, lurid headlines blazed for the next few days: “Gold for the Nude Shocker” (Berliner Morgenpost), “Sexperimental Film ‘Touch Me Not’ Unsettles Berlinale Audiences” (Rolling Stone), “Audience Members Walk Out Due to Excessive Sex Scenes” (Die Welt).

In a time of an omnipresent digital porn economy, Pintilie had struck a nerve. The film investigates the fundamentals of what is termed “intimacy”, what defines it and how it is experienced. In view of the heterogeneous bodies and personalities it portrays – Pintilie’s protagonists are all psychologically or physically peculiar in their own way – rather than the nudity in the film, it is the normativity of the “beautiful” bodies which generally prevail on our cinema screens which seems monstrous. Pintilie’s film discovers beauty in what is all too often excluded and marginalised and in the #MeToo era it was another powerfully urgent plea for true diversity. Reactions to the Golden Bear winner were heated and divergent. Peter Bradshaw from the Guardian took the jury’s decision as an opportunity to make a personal reckoning of the festival as a whole: “Victory for Adina Pintilie’s humourless and clumsy documentary essay underscores Berlin’s status as a festival that promotes the dull and valueless” (February 25, 2018). Tobias Kniebe, in contrast, wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “And a film that succeeds in completely rewiring a few synapses in the brains of its viewers – does that not deserve all the Bears going?” (February 25, 2018).

Alonso Ruizpalacios and Manuel Alcalá celebrating the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay

The passion of the debate unleashed by Touch Me Not also demonstrated the exceptional quality in the 2018 Competition in which many films deserved a prize. Above all, the German critics were disappointed that the four strong German entries – Christian Petzold’s Transit, Emily Atef’s 3 Tage in Quiberon (3 Days in Quiberon), Philip Gröning’s Mein Bruder heißt Robert und ist ein Idiot (My Brother’s Name is Robert and He is an Idiot) and Thomas Stuber’s In den Gängen (In the Aisles) – went home empty-handed. Gunnar Decker succinctly summed up the general mood in Neues Deutschland on February 26, 2018: “This year’s competition [was] one of the strongest in recent years. Above all, it saw a return of strong German films which surprised with very different distinctive styles.”

The other awards revealed how multifaceted and diverse the 2018 Competition was: Małgorzata Szumowska won the Grand Jury Prize with her satire on contemporary Poland, Twarz (Mug); Wes Anderson secured consideration for his animated film Isle of Dogs with the award for Best Director. The quiet, intimate Paraguayan drama Las herederas (The Heiresses) by Marcelo Martinessi won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize and the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Ana Brun.

Anthony Bajon with the Silver Bear for Best Actor

For his role as the drug-addicted young drifter in Cédric Kahn’s La prière (The Prayer), young French performer Anthony Bajon won the Silver Bear for Best Actor. The prize for Best Screenplay went to Mexico for Manuel Alcalá and Alonso Ruizpalacios’ (who also directed the film Museo (Museum)) retelling of the audacious 1985 break-in at the Mexican National Museum. The Russian Elena Okopnaya was honoured for her Outstanding Artistic Contribution (Costume and Production Design) in Alexey German Jr.’s portrait of the artist Dovlatov.

And so the 68th Berlinale climaxed in an Award Ceremony which once again reflected the great diversity of the festival. As Hanns-Georg Rodek summed up: “The Berlin Film Festival is returning to its roots. It’s once again a political festival of free thinking that ventures to take more risks than Venice or Cannes. ‘Touch Me Not’ is a signal to the other festivals that this Berlinale is ready to change. And a signal to all filmmakers that they are looking to take risks” (Die Welt, February 25, 2018). Amongst the critics, anticipation for next year and the 69th Berlinale won out in the end. Tim Caspar Böhme, for example, wrote: “This year could […] turn out to be the prelude for an increased understanding of the Berlinale as an experimental laboratory for films. Which would be no bad thing” (Die Tageszeitung, February 25, 2018). The alleged sense of deep crisis proclaimed by Der Spiegel in late November had, by the end of February, ultimately been transformed into a hopeful spirit of optimism.

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@Berlinale (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

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(Source: Berlinale.de)

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)

 

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

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)

Berlinale Spotlight: Films Travel to Asia

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Just when you think it can’t get any better, they go and do something like this!

The Berlinale has had a global presence with specially curated film programs for many years now. The Berlinale Spotlight extends the festival and makes its activities visible throughout the year.

 

Berlinale-Berlinale Spotlight gives us the opportunity to make our work concrete and tangible to audiences even beyond the festival. The films on the screen exemplify what makes the Berlinale sections so distinctive and the Berlinale unique in its complexity,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.

 

The Berlinale’s long-standing and successful collaboration with the Goethe Institutes in Kolkata and Hong Kong will continue in the autumn and winter of 2017. A total of six short film programmes are to be presented with works from the Berlinale Shorts, Generation, Perspektive Deutsches Kino and Panorama sections, as well as the full-length fiction film Ein Weg (Paths) by Chris Miera (Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2017). The short film programmes have been put together by Maike Mia Höhne, curator of the Berlinale Shorts section.

 

2015_0004_img_175xvar“The films reflect the great diversity of the short format: bold, playful, political, narrative. The short film is an essential sector of the film industry, but also of storytelling and culture. In its capacity as such, it will travel around the world,” says Maike Mia Höhne.

 

The Berlinale Spotlight programmes in East Asia will be shown at the Cine Moko in Hong Kong on October 18 and 25, 2017; at the Cinematheque Passion in Macau on October 15 and 20, 2017; at the Goethe-Institut in Shanghai, China on October 18 and 20, 2017; and at the Goethe-Institut Beijing, China on November 18 and 19, 2017.

 

Berlinale Spotlight has been invited to India for the Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival from December 1 to 5, 2017; DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival from November 23 to 26, 2017; and the TENT Little Cinema International Festival in December 2017. All festival screenings will be held at the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata.

 

Berlinale Spotlight films:

 

Altas Cidades de Ossadas (High Cities of Bone), directed by: João Salaviza (Portugal), 19 min.

Avant l’envol (Before the Flight), directed by: Laurence Bonvin (Switzerland), 20 min.

Call of Cuteness, directed by: Brenda Lien (Germany), 4 min.
Centauro (Centaur), directed by: Nicolás Suárez (Argentina), 14 min. – Honourable Mention 2017

Cidade Pequena (Small Town), directed by: Diogo Costa Amarante (Portugal), 19 min. – Golden Bear for Best Short Film 2017

Ensueño en la Pradera (Reverie in the Meadow), directed by: Esteban Arrangoiz Julien (Mexico), 17 min. – Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) 2017

Estás vendo coisas (You are seeing things), directed by: Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca (Brazil), 18 min.

Everything, directed by: David OReilly (USA / Ireland), 11 min.

Final Stage, directed by: Nicolaas Schmidt (Germany), 27 min. – Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2017

Fuera de Temporada (Out of Season), directed by: Sabrina Campos (Argentina), 23 min.

Hiwa, directed by: Jacqueline Lentzou (Greece), 11 min.

keep that dream burning, directed by: Rainer Kohlberger (Austria/ Germany), 8 min.

Kometen (The Comet), directed by: Victor Lindgren (Sweden), 11 min.

La prima sueca (Swedish Cousin), directed by: Inés María Barrionuevo, Agustina San Martín (Argentina), 20 min. – Generation 2017

Le film de l’été (The Summer Movie), directed by: Emmanuel Marre (France / Belgium), 30 min.

Martin Pleure (Martin Cries), directed by: Jonathan Vinel (France), 16 min.

Min Homosyster (My Gay Sister), directed by: Lia Hietala (Sweden / Norway), 15 min. – Generation 2017, TEDDY Award 2017

Oh Brother Octopus, directed by: Florian Kunert (Germany), 27 min.

Os Humores Artificiais (The Artificial Humors), directed by: Gabriel Abrantes (Portugal), 30 min. – Berlin Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards 2017

Street of Death, directed by: Karam Ghossein (Lebanon / Germany), 22 min. – Audi Short Film Award 2017

The Boy from H2, directed by: Helen Yanovsky (Israel / Palestine), 21 min.

The Crying Conch, directed by: Vincent Toi (Canada), 20 min.

The Rabbit Hunt, directed by: Patrick Bresnan (USA / Hungary 2017), 12 min.

Vênus – Filó a fadinha lésbica (Filly the Lesbian Little Fairy), directed by: Sávio Leite (Brazil), 6 min. – Panorama 2017

 

As well as the full-length fiction film:

Ein Weg (Paths), directed by: Chris Miera (Germany), 107 min. – Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2017

 

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(Source: Press release from Berlinale Press Office)