Category Archives: #BIFF

The “Berlinale Africa Hub” – a new EFM platform for innovation and technology in the African film industry

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Thanks to the support of the German Federal Foreign Office, for the first time the 2017 Berlinale will provide a platform for innovative projects and ideas from the African film industry. The “Berlinale Africa Hub” is an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM) in cooperation with the World Cinema Fund (and the special programme it created in 2016, WCF Africa, which promotes films from Sub-Saharan Africa with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office), with Berlinale Talents (and its sister programme Talents Durban, which supports talented African filmmakers throughout the year), and with the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Berlinale-As Festival Director Dieter Kosslick says, “The Berlinale has long-standing relationships with numerous African filmmakers, and has fostered the film industry in Africa in a variety of ways. Now, due to the support of the German Federal Foreign Office, with the ‘Berlinale Africa Hub’ we can substantially intensify that commitment. The new platform at the European Film Market will bring the next generation of African filmmakers to Berlin and offer an international forum for current technology, ideas, and developments in the African film industry”.

EFM Director Matthijs Wouter Knol says, “Apart from functioning as a place for African2015_0017_img_fix_173x1731 filmmakers to meet up with the international film industry, the ‘Berlinale Africa Hub’ is focused first and foremost on changes in the industry triggered by innovations and technology. Numerous talented African filmmakers and creatives are increasingly using the newest technology to create their content, giving African audiences access to original African content”.

The “Berlinale Africa Hub” is a communication and networking platform for the African film industry and all EFM participants who want to know more about new distribution and marketing models, and virtual reality and 360° projects by African filmmakers and producers, about successful start-ups that are bringing audio-visual content to the African market, and about African VOD and SVOD platforms that have emerged in the last few years.

As part of the Hub, there will be networking events, featuring discussions of the most important issues in sales, distribution, marketing, project packaging, co-production, subsidies, and talent development in the African industry.

Among the participants and partners of the “Berlinale Africa Hub” are companies like the non-profit organization Electric South from Cape Town, the pan-African online platform Mokolo, Rushlake Media from Cologne, and the Goethe-Institut.

Electric South provides funding, mentoring, training, and start-up help for digital storytelling – for African audio-visual projects of any kind, from long or short films to documentaries, interactive productions, virtual reality, or mobile content.

The pan-African online platform Mokolo, headquartered in Lagos, is directed both at audiences and at professionals in the AV and IT industries. It offers distribution, information, and networking possibilities.

Cologne’s Rushlake Media (RLM) is a film sales and distribution company focused on digital content and the African market. RLM supports producers, rights holders and institutions with successful marketing strategies in the changing film distribution landscape.

The Goethe-Institut is the co-producer of Electric South’s virtual reality initiative New Dimensions, and was instrumental in launching the Mokolo web portal in 2011.

The “Berlinale Africa Hub” will be headquartered in Gropius Park, the new compound that surrounds the historical Martin Gropius Bau, the main venue for the EFM.


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)


First Trailer for Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘The Other Side of Hope,’ Premiering at Berlinale 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jordan Raup

Finnish cinema is back in a major next year as Aki Kaurismäki will soon debut his first feature since 2001’s Le Havre. Set for a world premiere at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival in early February, we’ve been anticipating The Other Side of Hope for some time now and the first trailer has finally arrived today.

Starring Sakari Kuosmanen and Sherwan Haji, the story follows a poker-playing restauranteur and former traveling salesman who befriends a group of refugees newly arrived from Finland. While there’s no subtitles, a good amount of the dialogue is in English, which gives us a strong sense for what to expect for the film, hopefully picking up U.S. distribution soon.



Posted by Larry Gleeson

The selection process for the 12th Forum Expanded is currently being finalised. This year’s theme is “The Stars Down to Earth”.

The search for ways to enable art to deal with an increasingly intangible reality forms an essential similarity between the selected works. Bringing one’s gaze back down to earth now seems more necessary than ever before. Yet how can one use film to take hold of something real when that very concept is ever harder to grasp?

The films and installations in the programme approach this question by attempting to both look and listen as closely as possible. In the video installation Twelve, for example, Jeamin Cha examines the pragmatic process underpinning the annual secret wage negotiations held between Korean employer and employee associations. Berlin artist Sandra Schäfer’s video installation Constructed Futures: Haret Hreik investigates city planning and redevelopment in Beirut and the political and religious ideologies they contain.

In her film Studies on the Ecology of Drama, Eija-Liisa Ahtila explores ways of finding film images that move beyond cinematographic anthropocentrism by shifting her gaze away from people and onto their environment.

The Karrabing Film Collective from Australia, whose work Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams is being presented in the group exhibition, shows three different variants of one and the same story, demonstrating how different approaches to a problem don’t just bring forth contradictory solutions but also mutually complimentary ones.

For his part, Joe Namy does away with pictorial representation almost entirely. His installation Purple, Bodies in Translation – Part II of “A Yellow Memory from the Yellow Age” merely shows a purple-colour surface, while the soundtrack explores the question of which details are lost in translation and what additional elements and contradictions are created by the differences between subtitles and image.


Studies on the Ecology of Drama by Eija-Liisa Ahtila

The central event location is once again the Akademie der Künste at Hanseatenweg. A group exhibition of work by 14 artists takes place here together with screenings of numerous films. The artists already invited include Haig Aivazian, James Benning, Duncan Campbell, Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy, Noam Enbar, Mohamed A. Gawad and Lina Attalah, Eva Heldmann, Laura Horelli, Oliver Hussain, Ken Jacobs, Mahmoud Lotfy, Bernd Lützeler, Peter Miller, Rawane Nassif, Tomonari Nishikawa, Marouan Omara and Islam Kamal, Lukasz Ronduda, Ginan Seidl, Philip Scheffner, Merle Kröger and Izadora Nistor, Fern Silva, and Mohanad Yaqubi.

Forum Expanded will also be presenting different film archives and archive projects as part of a symposium to be held at the Kuppelhalle at the silent green Kulturquartier in Wedding, including ones from Nigeria, Indonesia, and the Palestinian Territories. SAVVY Contemporary are presenting an installation by Israeli filmmaker and artist Amos Gitai in their own exhibition space at the same location.

The Marshall McLuhan Salon at the Embassy of Canada at Leipziger Platz and the Arsenal Cinema at the Filmhaus at Potsdamer Platz form the other festival locations once again.

The full list of participating artists will be announced in the next press release in mid-January.

The works for this edition of Forum Expanded were selected by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (head curator), Anselm Franke (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), Nanna Heidenreich (ifs internationale filmschule köln), Khaled Abdulwahed (filmmaker and artist) and Ulrich Ziemons (Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art), with Bettina Steinbrügge (Hamburger Kunstverein) acting as a consultant.


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

Back for Good – Mia Spengler’s graduation film to Open Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The first seven films have now been invited to participate in Perspektive Deutsches Kino’s programme in 2017: to date, four full-length graduation films and three 30-minute ones. “More so than ever it’s worth going to the Perspektive’s opening film and then making yourself comfortable in Berlinale cinemas for the subsequent nine days. Coming and staying guarantees you’ll feel lucky ten times over,” section head Linda Söffker says in anticipation of these ten fiery days in icy February.

Mia Spengler’s graduation film, Back for Good (prod: Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion, co-prod: Filmakademie Ludwigsburg) will open the Perspektive with the story of Angie, a former trash-TV starlet (Kim Riedle), her despised mother (Juliane Köhler), and her pubescent sister (Leonie Wesselow). By returning to the hick town of her childhood, Angie wreaks havoc on their relationships, so that all three have to redefine their roles in life. Back for Good is an ode to humanity – softly hummed while an auto-tuned pop song blares from the radio.

Angie (Kim Riedle) in Back for Good by Mia Spengler (Photo credit: @Zum Goldenen Lamm)

The fiction film Ein Weg (Paths, dir: Chris Miera, co-prod: Miera Film, Hildebrandt Film) was made while studying at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf and is the cautious exploration of a long love relationship that ends in separation. Over 15 years, as son Max gradually grows up, we accompany Andreas (Mike Hoffmann) and Martin (Mathis Reinhardt) through the highs and lows in the daily life of a partnership. Shot like a documentary, with a small team and budget at real locations, Ein Weg develops with great intensity and flexibility – and through the process of editing finds its special form of telling a story over time.

Director Tian Dong grew up in China and attended the KHM in Cologne. He has now completed his studies with the documentary Eisenkopf (Ironhead), about a young soccer team skilled in Shaolin kung fu. Tian Dong visits its young members at their sports school, and talks to them about their everyday lives and dreams. In doing so he paints an unsettling picture of China’s political situation.

In Julian Radlmaier’s new film, Selbstkritik eines bürgerlichen Hundes (Self-criticism of a Bourgeois Dog, prod: Faktura Film, co-prod: dffb), a bourgeois dog confesses how he has gone through multiple transformations, from a love-struck filmmaker, to an apple picker, a traitor of the revolution, and, last but not least, a four-legged creature. In a political comedy full of burlesque escapades, we meet Camille, a young Canadian (Deragh Campbell); Hong and Sancho, a pair of proletarians who believe in miracles; a mute monk with magical powers; and a bunch of strange field labourers who indulge in idealistic visions.

All three of the medium-long works contemplate Europe and its future in quite similar yet different ways. What would happen if one day people in Europe had to flee, director Felicitas Sonvilla asks in her poetic science fiction film, Tara (prod: MOTEL Film Kollektiv; co-prod: HFF Munich). A young woman called Mira (Sasha Davydova) tells of her flight from Paris. In search of a different life she takes a train heading east to the utopianesque town of Tara. Kontener (Container) was the first medium-long fiction film that Sebastian Lang made at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. In it he portrays “two Polish ladies” who work at a dairy in Brandenburg. From the perspective of Maryna (Joanna Drozda), who narrates the story, the film depicts the last night before Tava (Anka Graczyk) disappears. The third film, titled Mikel, is about a young refugee who has left Nigeria for Berlin in search of a decent life with a properly paid job. It is the first medium-long film by Cavo Kernich, who with this work has completed his studies in “narrative film” under Thomas Arslan at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.

The entire Perspektive Deutsches Kino programme will be announced in January.

The following films have been invited so far:

Back for Good
By Mia Spengler
With Kim Riedle, Juliane Köhler, Leonie Wesselow
Feature film
World premiere

Eisenkopf (Ironhead)
By Tian Dong
Documentary film
World premiere

Kontener (Container)
By Sebastian Lang
With Joanna Drozda, Anka Graczyk
Medium-long feature film
World premiere

By Cavo Kernich
With Jonathan Aikins
Medium-long feature film
World premiere

Selbstkritik eines bürgerlichen Hundes (Self-criticism of a Bourgeois Dog)
By Julian Radlmaier
With Julian Radlmaier, Deragh Campbell, Beniamin Forti, Kyung-Taek Lie, Ilia Korkashvili
Feature film
German premiere

By Felicitas Sonvilla
With Sasha Davydova, Leo van Kann, Lena Lauzemis
Medium-long feature film
World premiere

Ein Weg (Paths)
By Chris Miera
With Mike Hoffmann, Mathis Reinhardt
Feature film
World premiere


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

Berlinale Panorama 2017: The Wound Selected to Open Panorama’s Main Programme

Posted by Larry Gleeson

In the Panorama section, the first eleven films from a programme featuring a total of approximately 50 productions have been invited to be screened at the Berlinale, around a third of them for Panorama Dokumente. Two prominent themes have already emerged among the films selected to date: a fresh historically reflective approach to the history of black people in North America, South America and Africa (I Am Not Your Negro, Vazante, The Wound), and “Europa Europa”, which explores how progressive forces might best defend themselves in light of a zeitgeist that makes it seem as if yesterday never went away (Política, manual de instrucciones, Combat au bout de la nuit).

Further extraordinarily sensitive and artistic works have been invited, and festivalgoers can expect a high degree of formal and thematic diversity from the complete programme – also as regards rare countries of origin such as Bhutan or Kyrgyzstan.


In Focus: Reclaiming Black History

Brazil / Portugal
By Daniela Thomas
With Adriano Carvalho, Luana Nastas, Juliana Carneiro da Cunha, Sandra Corveloni, Roberto Audio
World premiere
Daniela Thomas, co-director of many joint productions with Walter Salles, presents her solo directorial debut. Brazil was the last country to officially abolish slavery in its historical form, in 1888. This film’s story (co-authored by Beto Amaral) is set in 1821, one year before the South American nation gained its independence from Portugal. The wealth that is extracted from the country comes in the form of gemstones from the mines of Minas Gerais. The precious jewels are excavated from the belly of the mountain by slaves; still absent today is any significant memorial to the suffering they endured. Although this era represents the foundation upon which today’s Brazil was built, its culture has yet to recover from the monstrosity of these events.

I Am Not Your Negro
France / USA / Belgium / Switzerland
By Raoul Peck
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
European premiere
Raoul Peck is also an esteemed guest at the Berlinale. With I Am Not Your Negro, he has embarked on a long overdue reflection on the life of the great African-American writer James Baldwin and his political struggle against racism, whose roots go back to slavery. The black point of view, a black historiography are not yet anchored in mainstream consciousness. History is always written by the victors, and black people were never among them, neither Africans nor African-Americans. In James Baldwin, a powerfully eloquent intellectual took to the stage and set marks that are as invigoratingly crucial to reckon with today as they were 50 years ago. With I Am Not Your Negro and The Young Karl Marx in Berlinale Special, Raoul Peck is represented twice in this year’s festival programme.

The Wound
South Africa / Germany / Netherlands / France
By John Trengove
With Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay Ncoyini
European premiere
The opening film for this year’s Panorama main programme comes from South Africa. The fabrication of masculinity has long been a consistent theme in Panorama. Here we are permitted to witness the initiation rites of an African tribe inhabiting the territory of the South African Republic. Tradition and modernity collide when an urbanised businessman from Johannesburg resolves to expose his 17-year-old son to the circumcision ceremony of his old tribe. Producer Elias Ribeiro previously delighted festival audiences in Panorama 2015 with Necktie Youth.

Europa Europa

Política, manual de instrucciones (Politics, Instructions Manual)
By Fernando León de Aranoa
European premiere
Feature film director Fernando León de Aranoa, a repeat guest at Panorama, enables us to take an in-depth look at the situation on the ground in Spain. The media noise concerning Syria, Trump and other earth-shaking events clouds the recognition of the foundation of our future: European politics. We think back to those heady days in West Germany as the Green Party was founded: Podemos was born of similar circumstances and can no longer be contained on the fringe, even as the dark forces of old regroup for an attack thanks to an unprocessed fascist past. A situation of repressed history, one which ticks away like a time bomb in many countries around the globe. This frightening zeitgeist requires the brave intervention of those who don’t want to be forced back behind the goal lines of recent history.

Combat au bout de la nuit (Fighting Through the Night)
By Sylvain L’Espérance
International premiere
This nearly five-hour-long documentary essay takes us directly to the heart of Europe’s misery: to Athens. In the Greek parliament building, innumerable articles are adopted to an audience of empty seats. The harbour landscape rolls past us, with its endless rows of administrative buildings, which will soon fall into the hands of financiers from other continents. Then we find ourselves right in the middle of an occupation of the tax office by its cleaning personnel – a long-term observation that plays out over the course of 286 days and provides space for empathetic encounters with marginalised individuals caught up in the crisis. The vacuum left behind by technocratic policies is filled by new fascists, who feign gestures of care for the forgotten – a scenario repeated in all of the nations of Europe and beyond its borders.

Casting JonBenet
By Kitty Green
International premiere
Produced by James Schamus and Scott Macaulay, this film is a highly intelligent attempt to revisit the facts surrounding the unsolved violent death of six-year-old “beauty queen” JonBenet Ramsey. What was conceived as a celebration of the American dream family became a nightmare 20 years ago for the ever so omnipotent petty bourgeoisie.

Honeygiver Among the Dogs
By Dechen Roder
With Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, Sonam Tashi Choden
European premiere
This debut feature from director Dechen Roder, who already presented a short film at the Berlinale in 2015, is a veritable Buddhist film noir. Atmospherically dense cinema, dynamically charged between tension and serenity, faith and morality.

Kyrgyzstan / France / Germany / Netherlands
By Aktan Arym Kubat
With Nuraly Tursunkojoev, Zarema Asanalieva, Aktan Arym Kubat
World premiere
With a voice that speaks as if from another century and with the popular appeal of a fairy tale, this film tells the saga of the metaphysical bond between horse and humankind and how the former ended up becoming wings for the latter.

Brazil / Argentina / France
By Julia Murat
With Raquel Karro, Rodrigo Bolzan
World premiere
Young director Julia Murat is a real discovery. Here she examines the relationship between a dance artist and a sculptor using the means of their particular art forms. A philosophical, original gender treatment of young bohemians poised on the verge of middle age.

Ri Chang Dui Hua (Small Talk)
By Hui-chen Huang
International premiere
A family story of a very special kind, produced by Hou Hsiao-hsien. The mother earns a living as a spirit guide for the deceased at their funerals: she was never at home, always out and about with her girlfriends instead. The daughter now goes to great lengths to attempt to understand her mother. A cosmos opens before us, one which manages to be of universal cultural significance and extremely intimate at the same time.

Austria / Germany
By Michael Glawogger, Monika Willi
World premiere
“This film is intended to show an image of the world that can only be created when one does not pursue any subject, or make any value judgement or follow any objective. When one lets one’s self be carried along by nothing more than one’s own curiosity and intuition.” – Director Michael Glawogger passed away in 2014 during shooting for a movie. Monika Willi has realised a fascinating film with material that was shot during a journey of four months and 19 days through the Balkan states, Italy, and Northwest and Western Africa – a journey undertaken in order to observe, to listen and to experience, with attentive eyes, bold and raw.

(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

First Films for the Berlinale Classics 2017 Are Announced

Posted by Larry Gleeson

In addition to the German production Schwarzer Kies (Black Gravel) directed by Helmut Käutner, Rafi Bukaee’s Avanti Popolo from Israel and the Mexican film Canoa by Felipe Cazals will be shown in digitally restored versions as part of the Berlinale Classics section. Since 2013, that segment of the Retrospective has attracted enthusiastic audiences with its newly-digitised versions of classic and newly-discovered films.

Canoa by Felipe Cazals, Mexico 1976 (Photo credit: @IMCINE y STPC, 2002)

Canoa by Fililppe

Canoa by Felipe Cazals, Mexico 1976

Canoa by Mexican director Felipe Cazals won a Silver Bear (Special Jury Prize) at the 1976 Berlinale and has now been digitally restored by The Criterion Collection with the participation of the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) in honour of its 40th anniversary. The film is based on true events that took place in 1968 in the remote village of San Miguel Canoa. A group of young university employees from Puebla is stranded in Canoa during a weekend outing; suspected of being communist students, the villagers mount an attack on them. The digital restoration was approved by director Felipe Cazals. The screening of Canoa is part of a focus on Mexican cinema; Mexico is the partner country of the 2017 European Film Market (EFM).

Suhel Haddad and Salim Dau in Avanti Popolo by Rafi Bukaee’s, Israel 1986.  (Photo credit: @Israel Film Archive/Maayan Milo)

Director Rafi Bukaee’s debut film Avanti Popolo (1986), a tragicomedy about the absurdity of war, is one of Israeli cinema’s most significant auteur films and was selected to represent the country at the Academy Awards in 1987. Telling the story of two Egyptian soldiers wandering through the Sinai desert after the Six-Day War, Bukaee played with the stereotypical images of Israelis and Arabs, and turned conventional clichés upside down. The film’s dialogue is largely Arabic; it was the first time in the history of Israeli film that Arab protagonists were portrayed by Arab actors. The restoration by the Jerusalem Cinematheque – Israel Film Archive of the film was done on the basis of the original 16-mm negative.


Anita Hofer and Helmut Wildt in Schwarzer Kies (Black Gavel) by Helmut Kautner, West Germany 1961 (Photo Credit @Deutsche Kinemathek – Gabriele du Vinage)

Schwarzer Kies (Black Gravel), made in 1961, was directed in American B movie style. After its premiere, the press was critical of the film, which took a pessimistic view of society in post-war Germany. One scene in the film also exposed Käutner to accusations of anti-Semitism. Käutner re-edited the film for the German market, giving it a somewhat less gloomy ending. The original version, as well as the theatrical version, survived in the archives of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation. The foundation has now undertaken to digitise the original, premiere version, to safeguard it for the future.

“Käutner’s film is an outstanding example of an unvarnished view of the depths of Western Germany’s post-war reality. The use of the direct and high-contrast language of a B movie makes it a rarity that can now be re-discovered”, comments Rainer Rother, head of the Berlinale Retrospective section and artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek.

The full Berlinale Classics programme will be announced in January 2017.

The following films have been confirmed:

Avanti Popolo
By Rafi Bukai, Israel 1986
International premiere of the digitally restored version

By Felipe Cazals, Mexico 1976
World premiere of the digitally restored version

Schwarzer Kies (Black Gravel)
By Helmut Käutner, West Germany 1961
World premiere of the digital version


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

Paul Verhoeven Appointed Jury President of the Berlinale 2017

Posted  by Larry Gleeson

The Dutch director and screenwriter Paul Verhoeven will serve as jury president of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.

Berlinale-“With Paul Verhoeven as jury president, we have a filmmaker who has worked in a variety of genres in Europe and Hollywood. His creative, multifaceted boldness and his willingness to experiment are reflected in the spectrum of his works,” says Dieter Kosslick, director of the Berlinale.

The Berlinale welcomed the acclaimed filmmaker in 2013 at the Berlinale Talent Campus (today’s Berlinale Talents). At the panel “Follow Your Instincts: Filmmaking According to Paul Verhoeven” he gave insight into his work methods and his perspective on production landscapes in the US and Europe.

Following studies in mathematics and physics, Paul Verhoeven turned his attention towards film in the mid-1960s, and began his directing career in 1969 with the successful Dutch television series Floris. After his feature film debut Business is Business in 1971, about two prostitutes who dream of a conventional middle-class life, came the erotic thriller Turkish Delight in 1973, a big hit in the Netherlands that also garnered a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1974 Academy Awards. Following his international breakthrough Soldier of Orange (1977) – which was nominated for a Golden Globe – and The Fourth Man (1983), Paul Verhoeven moved to Hollywood to focus on an evolution of style in his work.

Large productions featuring lots of action and special effects, like RoboCop (1987), and especially Total Recall (1990), were big box-office hits that revolutionized the science fiction film genre while maintaining credibility as author’s films.

The provocative, erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992) saw Paul Verhoeven return to themes prevalent in his Dutch works. Basic Instinct shot Sharon Stone to stardom, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. In 1997 and 2000, he once again focused on science fiction with Starship Troopers and Hollow Man.

After nearly 20 years in Hollywood, Paul Verhoeven returned to the Netherlands in 2006 to film Black Book (2006), based on the story of a Dutch resistance fighter during World War II.

Starting in 2007, he moved his attention to writing. He returned to the cinema in 2016, celebrating his comeback with the French-German production Elle. In Elle, Paul Verhoeven continues his focus on familiar themes in a surprising new way. Isabelle Huppert plays a woman whose forays through the depths of sado-masochism help her transcend childhood trauma.

Elle, set to open in German cinemas on February 2, 2017, is nominated for the European Film Awards in three categories, as well as in two categories for the US Critics’ Choice Awards.
Press Office
December 9, 2016



Eros joins hands with Russian film distribution company Central Partnership

Posted by Larry Gleeson
By Guarav Laghate

MUMBAI: Indian film studio Eros International has entered into a strategic partnership with Russian distribution and production company Central Partnership (CP) – an affiliate screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-7-21-01-amof Gazprom Media Holding – to promote and distribute Indian and Russian content across multiple platforms in both countries.

This association includes exploitation via licensing of intellectual property rights owned by each party in their respective markets and distribution of film projects for both

India and Russia, opening up the market for the two companies to explore new geographies.

As part of the deal, CP will dub films from Eros’ film library in Russian language enabling the company to cater to a much larger audience in Russia and can further utilise the dubbed content on its digital platform, Eros Now, to reach out to a wider audience in Russia.

jyoti-deshpande_rg_7056_090615043512Jyoti Deshpande, group CEO Eros International, said, “India and Russia have historically always enjoyed a strong and strategic relationship. With our entry into the Russian market, we continue to build our strong global position and are delighted to take the lead in associating with Central Partnership.”She added, “Russia’s domestic market potential is promising and coupled with the rise in digital consumption by local audiences, we see a huge opportunity in exploiting exciting, unique and high-quality content together to reach audiences across the two Diasporas.”

With the growth of satellite pay TV in Russia, there is an increased demand for premium digital and television content. This alliance, Eros said, will pave the way for CP to showcase extensive repository of Bollywood films from the Eros library on pay TV.

CP will also approach free TV channels to explore showcasing of Indian titles, while Eros will distribute CP media assets on Indian television.

This collaboration will also enable the launch of Eros Now, the on-demand OTT digital platform of Eros, in Russia and CIS. CP will showcase Eros Now’s VOD content on digital distribution network RUFORM through Rutube (web video streaming service targeted in Russia) while Eros will facilitate featuring Russian content on Eros Now.

Pavel Stepanov, CEO, Central Partnership, added, “Our strategic partnership with Eros is a big step for both companies in their international expansion, since content from India is now underrepresented in Russia and vice-versa. Our plan is to benefit from both companies’ leading positions in domestic markets to change this layout. Moreover, historically India and Russia have been close, and we expect this collaboration to flourish in the light of the current political climate.”

Busan Int’l Film Festival screens vast variety of films

The 21st Busan International Film Festival will show a total of 299 movies from 69 countries, and among them 122 films will premiere at the event, its organizers said Sunday.


The annual festival, which will open Thursday and run through Oct. 15, will show a wide variety of films ranging from critically acclaimed films to experimental movies and those made by female directors.


Under the World Cinema section, numerous award-wining films from the 2016 Cannes Film Festival will be featured. Among those are I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach, It’s Only the End of the World by Xavier Dolan and Personal Shopper by Olivier Assayas.

A Window on Asian Cinema section also boasts a variety of films that have been highly acclaimed in Cannes. The list includes Ma‘ Rosa by Brillante Mendoza and The Salesman by Asghar Farhadi.

Korean-Chinese Zhang Lu’s A Quiet Dream will be screened as the opening movie. It is about a young Korean woman named Ye-ri who runs a bar and takes care of her paralyzed father. The Dark Wind by Hussein Hassan will be the closing movie.

For the Gala Presentation, four movies — Bleed for This by Ben Younger, Daguerrotype by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Rage by Lee Sang-il, and Your Name by Makoto Shinkai — wait to meet cinemagoers in the southern port city of Busan.

Those who look for some experimental Korean movies should check out the following films: The Table by Kim Jong-kwan, Picture of Hell by Park Ki-yong and Jane By Cho Hyun-hoon.

Female directors’ works such as Desperate Sunflowers by Hitomi Kuroki and The Long Excuse by Miwa Nishikawa will also be screened.

Desperate Sunflowers is a directorial debut film by a well-known Japanese actress who starred in, most famously, Paradise Lost in 1997.

For those who consider themselves to be avid, patient film fans, try A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery by Lav Diaz. The running time is 480 minutes. (Yonhap)