Laura Tonke has received the German Film Award as best main actress for her role in HEDI SCHNEIDER STECKT FEST (HEDI SCHNEIDER IS STUCK) by Sonja Heiss.
The film, which premiered as part of the Forum programme in 2015, tells of Uli, Hedi and Finn - a happy family, making ends meet with various odd jobs. Hedi in particular draws on humour to offset any negative experiences. Yet when she starts suffering panic attacks out of the blue, her everyday life slowly falls apart.
Three films from this year's Forum programme have received awards at DOK.fest Munich: MAKHDOUMIN (A MAID FOR EACH) by Maher Abi Samra got the Horizonte award endowed with 3.000 Euros, LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP) by Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner and Abu Bakar Sidibé received a Special Mention, and Tatiana Huezo's TEMPESTAD won the Arri Award worth 5.000 Euros for its outstanding camera work.
LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP) by Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner and Abou Bakar Sidibé has received the Amnesty International Award at the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival in Warsaw.
Hundreds of migrants mass on Morocco's Mount Gurugu in hope of jumping the fence into the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Malian migrant Abou films his surroundings there and finds pleasure in representing the battle for a life in dignity on his own terms.
LES SAUTEURS by Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner and Abou Bakar Sidibé and TEMPESTAD by Tatiana Huezo have been awarded at DOCUMENTAMADRID: LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP) won the second prize of the international competition, endowed with 5.000 Euros; TEMPESTAD received a Special Mention. Both films had had their world premieres as part of this year's Forum progamme.
arsenal distribution is releasing QUEEN OF EARTH by Alex Ross Perry on May 5. The film had its world premiere in the 2015 Forum and screened at numerous international film festival subsequently.
It tells of Catherine and Virginia who are best friends. Last year, Virginia wasn’t doing well, while it’s Catherine who’s struggling this year. Virginia’s parents own a lakeside cabin, the perfect place for a week of mutual wound licking. Sun pours in through the windows, framing the cool green of the trees outside. But this isn’t the refuge it seems and it’s not just the music that awakens the menace in the images. The ripples across the lake and the wan sunlight offer little comfort, to say nothing of the picture of a skull lying forgotten in a cupboard. Last year’s events keep crashing in upon the present, things weren’t good then and they aren’t better now. When the two women confide in one another, it’s like two separate monologues, the camera gliding between their strained faces as if they were one and the same. They otherwise stick to wry barbs, each criticizing the other’s privilege as they still cling on to their bond. As salad leaves wilt, men come and go, and tension gives way to hostility, what even remains of this friendship? Dark-ringed eyes alight with rage, a stream of quiet bile, one face cut into another, two true Queens of Earth. (James Lattimer)
Three films from this year and last year's Forum programme have been awarded at IndieLisboa: KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE by Robert Greene received the Special Jury Award, SHORT STAY by Ted Fendt got the FIPRECI Award, and FLOTEL EUROPA by Vladimir Tomic won both the Amnesty International Award and the Culturgest Universidades Award. All three films had received their world premieres at the Forum.
MAKHDOUMIN (A MAID FOR EACH) by Maher Abi Samra has received the main prize of the Human Rights Competition at the International Festival of Independent Film in Buenos Aires, BAFICI. The film, which had its world premiere as part of this year's Forum programme, examines the penomenon of housemaids from countries of the Global South which are widespread in the middle-class households of Lebanon. Conversations at a domestic labour agency reveal both the clients' sense of privilege and the exploitative conditions under which maids must work.
BADEN BADEN and RIO CORGO from this year's Forum programme have received the main prizes of the "Crossing Europe" Film Festival in Linz: BADEN BADEN by Rachel Lang got the award for best fiction film endowed with 10.000 Euros. RIO CORGO by Maya Kosa and Sergio da Costa received the Social Awareness Award for best documentary, worth 5.000 Euros.
TOZ BEZI (DUST CLOTH) by Ahu Öztürk from this year's Forum programme has received three awards at the International Film Festival in Istanbul: Apart from the Golden Tulip for the best film in the national competition and the award for best screenplay, Asiye Dinçsoy was awarded best actress.
The film tells of the precarious situation and friendship of two Kurdish women, who live in a rundown district on the edge of Istanbul, travelling into the centre to work. But beyond the personal story of their relationship and its conflicts, Ahu Öztürk also paints a picture of an entire society in which social and ethnic origins can be insurmountable obstacles.
As in previous years, the Paris Goethe Institute is showing a selection of Forum titles. From April 13-15, Birgit Kohler will present five films from this year's programme: DEADWEIGHT by Axel Koenzen, DIE GETRÄUMTEN (THE DREAMED ONES) by Ruth Beckermann, RIO CORGO by Maya Kosa and Sergio da Costa, INERTIA by Idan Haguel and LANDSTÜCK (PIECE OF LAND) by Volker Koepp.
The selection is part of the programme "The Berlinale in Paris", which also presents a range of Panorama titles on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the the Teddy Award.
ZHI FAN YE MAO (LIFE AFTER LIFE) by Zhang Hanyi has won the Firebird Award of the 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival. The jury members Sylvia Chang, Denis Coté, Dai Jinhua and Ian Haydn Smith called it "a film that is bold in its cinematographic technique, uncompromising in its vision of society and employing an impressive formal aesthetic." Zhang Hanyi's debut feature had received its world premiere as part of this year's Forum programme.
LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP) by Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner and Abu Bakar Sidibé has received the International Feature Award at LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt. The film was shown as part of a series of films addressing the subject of "borders". Jury members Max Linz, Barbara Schweizerhof and Hermann Vaske said the film shows "in freiem Experiment, mit auf allen Ebenen ungewissem Ausgang, was es bedeutet, vor den Toren der Festung Europa zu stehen. Eindrucksvoll erleben wir mit, wie schwer und gefährlich es ist, ihre mit Wärmebildkameras bewehrten Mauern zu überwinden."
In April, arsenal distribution is releasing another film from last year's Forum programme: THE FORBIDDEN ROOM by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson.
A submarine in distress, a lumberjack who mysteriously appears to the crew – wasn’t he just in the dark forests of Holstein-Schleswig rescuing the beautiful Margot from the claws of the Red Wolves? A neurosurgeon who digs deeply into the brain of a manic patient; a murderer who pretends to be the victim of his own killings; a traumatised young woman "on the Deutsch-Kolumbianisch Express somewhere between Berlin and Bogota"; seductive skeletons, zeppelins colliding, and a hot bath that seems to have triggered the whole thing. Guy Maddin’s rampant, anarchic film, co-directed by Evan Johnson, resembles an apparently chaotic, yet always significant eroto-claustrophobic nightmare that never seems to want to end, in which the plot, characters and locations constantly flow into one another in truly enigmatic style. The countless fantastic plotlines are structured like the intertwined arms of a spiral nebula – all of them inspired by real, imaginary and photographic memories of films from the silent era now lost, to which the half-damaged nitrate print aesthetic also pays fabulous homage.
DIE GETRÄUMTEN (THE DREAMED ONES) by Ruth Beckermann has received the Grand Diagonale Prize for Best Feature Film at the Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Film.
In the film, which received its world premiere as part of this year's Forum programme, two actors recite the correspondence between Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan, which reveals their tragic love story over the course of 20 years. The textual drama is channelled through the actors' voices, even as they sometimes leave their roles to discuss what the words do to them.
This month, arsenal distribution is releasing last year's Caligari award winner: BALIKBAYAN #1 – MEMORIES OF OVERDEVELOPMENT REDUX III by Kidlat Tahimik. In addition to the cinema release and the Caligari award tour through a number of German cities, the Arsenal presents a complete retrospective of Kidlat Tahimik's work with the director being present from March 1-12.
The Caligari jury described BALIKBAYAN #1 as "a dazzling comet of "Third Cinema" that, after almost 40 years of production time, had finally exploded into the present." In it, Kidlat Tahimik travels to the 16th century, slipping into the role of Enrique de Malacca, Ferdinand Magellan's slave, and suggesting that it is not the Portuguese explorer who first circumnavigated the globe but his servant, whose story was promptly forgotten. BALIKBAYAN #1 is also about the adventure of the filmmaker himself trying to make a film that he had already declared an "eternal work in progress" in 1982. The film closes yet another circle in Berlin. The Forum was first struck by "Silent Lightning" (the translation of the pseudonym Kidlat Tahimik) from the Philippines almost 40 years ago, when shwoing Tahimik's debut PERFUMED NIGHTMARE, which later on became a cult film of postcolonial cinema.
As always, the Arsenal Cinema will be screening a selection of this year's Forum titles over the coming week: FEI CUI ZHI CHENG (CITY OF JADE) by Midi Z, HOMO SAPIENS by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, TOZ BEZI (DUST CLOTH) by Ahu Öztürk, ELDORADO XXI by Salomé Lamas, A MAGICAL SUBSTANCE FLOWS INTO ME by Jumana Manna, AKHER AYAM EL MADINA (IN THE LAST DAYS OF CITY) by Tamer El Said, MAKHDOUMIN (A MAID FOR EACH) by Maher Abi Samra and MAQUINARIA PANAMERICANA (PANAMERICAN MACHINERY) by Joaquín del Paso.
The independent juries of the Berlinale have awarded prizes to six Forum films: The prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) was given to THE REVOLUTION WON'T BE TELEVISED) by Rama Thiaw. The Conféderation Internationale des Cinémas D'Art et Essai (C.I.C.A.E.) awarded ILEGITIM (ILLEGITIMATE) by Adreian Sitaru. The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury went ex aequo to BARAKAH YOQUABIL BARAKAH (BARAKAH MEETS BARAKAH) by Mahmoud Sabbagh and LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP) by Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner and Abou Bakar Sidibé. This year's Peace Film Prize was awarded to MAKHDOUMIN von Maher Abi Samra and the Tagesspiegel Readers' Jury awarded NIKDY NEJSME SAMI (WE ARE NEVER ALONE) by Petr Vaclav.
AKHER AYAM EL MADINA (IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY) by Tamer El Said receives this year's Caligari Award. The jury members were Rüdiger Suchsland (FILMDIENST), Christine Müh (Kommunales Kino Pforzheim) and Wolfgang Dittrich-Windhüfel (Kommunales Kino Freiburg).
Their statement: A fairytale-like search for times lost that is, at the same time, an utterly contemporary, attentively awake movie experience. An essayistic, fictional, and documental film about the making of films; an intimate self-portrait and meditation on the last summer before the revolution — nostalgic, sensual, intelligent.
How does one convey the universe of a city in film? This is a question that this film answers most-convincingly: to wit, fragmentarily, with a watchful eye open to the coincidental and, at the same time, a sophisticated sense of the art of staging.
This is a film that knows its great role models – whether they are named Rossellini, Godard, Chris Marker, or perhaps even Dominik Graf – but which is also never slavishly dependent upon them. Indirectly and with overflowing stylistic cunning, the film slyly presents an entire region that has unjustly been in the shadows for far too long; a region that currently lies in the center of attention, but is nevertheless once again being obscured by clouds of ignorance and prejudice. This film is an outstanding example of how, as Godard put it, cinema is "not about making political films, but about making films politically".
"Meet me at the bottom of the pool" (in homage to Jack Smith’s "Wait for me at the bottom of the pool") is the title of a list of film prints on Super-8, 16 and 35 mm from the Arsenal archive which supplements and forms a commentary to various titles of this year’s programme. During the Berlinale, they can be watched at the editing tables of our new screening rooms at silent green Kulturquartier from 10am to 6pm. The Arsenal archive contains around 10,000 films which offer a broad cross-section of artistic and political filmmaking worldwide, including numerous titles from the early years of the Forum.
On the occasion of presenting XÉNOGÉNÈSE by the Japanese artist Akihiko Morishita in the Betonhalle of silent green, Forum Expanded along with silent green and the new neighbors, Harun Farocki Institut and SAVVY Contemporary, each of them also presenting exhibitions in their new spaces, invite to a joint reception on Tuesday February 16.
XÉNOGÉNÈSE was first shown in Berlin at the 1984 International Forum of New Cinema as part of a program curated by Image Forum Tokyo. This year, a newly produced 16mm print will be presented again in the Forum as an opening film to several screenings. The print was manually scratched using a specially constructed device. A digitized version of the film, exclusively produced for the Forum Expanded program, will be presented as a single channel video installation.
In 2015, the project "Visionary Archive" was launched as part of Forum Expanded, a collaborative translocal experiment on phases and facets of African cinema. Based on this year’s Forum Expanded theme "Traversing the Phantasm" seven presentations focus on the question on how the encounter with archives generates or questions phantasms. Films and videos which were found, believed lost, disintegrated, never completed, or produced in a state of emergency are the theme of each presentations.
Each year the Forum Expanded selection is made from a specific perspective. This year’s theme is: "Traversing the Phantasm." The program sees the artistic experimental film as a form of traversing real and imaginary territories, which are manifest in both (geo-)political realities and fantastic constellations, often as a symptom of capitalist consumer societies. Based on ideas of theorist Jacques Lacan, the concept of the phantasm is reflected in manifold ways. As part of our Think Film panel series art critic Helmut Draxler will introduce this year's theme in a keynote lecture on February 13.
On Wednesday February 10, the 11th Forum Expanded opens its doors with the group exhibition "Traversing the Phantasm" in the Akademie der Künste at Hanseatenweg, where works by Kader Attia, Andreas Bunte, Yin-Ju Chen, Liu Chuang, Raphaël Grisey, James T. Hong, Jen Liu, Lyusya Matveeva, Angela Melitopoulos (in collaboration with Maurizio Lazzarato, Angela Anderson and Aya Hanabusa), Pushpamala N., Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Sandra Schäfer and Wu Tsangare on display. Following a short introduction by Jeanine Meerapfel (Akademie der Künste) and Forum Expanded curators Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Anselm Franke, a film and a lecture performance by Ahmed Ghossein can be seen: In AL MARHALA AL RABIAA (THE FOURTH STAGE) the director weaves a complex and unlikely union of illusion and myth between three concurrent worlds of which he is part: that of cinema, magic, and the changing landscape of southern Lebanon. The lecture performance WHEN THE VENTRILOQUIST CAME AND SPOKE TO ME looks at architects and sculptors working on symbolic and abstract monuments that celebrate the victory in the south of Lebanon, while paving the way for a new visual hegemony.
This year's video installation at the Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Canadian Embassy, REASON OVER PASSION/LA RAISON AVANT LA PASSION by Joyce Wieland will be opened on Thursday February 11 at 5:30pm.
In addition, an installation of the digital version of a Japanese short film that was shown at the Forum in 1984 will be presented at the silent green Kulturquartier: XÉNOGÉNÈSE by Morishita Akihiko shows a man steadily disappearing behind scratches that run through the entire film.
We are very happy to be publishing a magazine for the first time this year, which is intended to function as a looser way of getting to know the programme and the ideas behind it, providing supplementary information to both the programme brochure and the Forum film sheets available on our website. The magazine is not about attempting to show the whole picture or supplying the same pieces of information for each film, but rather about giving some spontaneous impressions of the wealth of references that came to mind during the selection process. The print magazine contains relevant images, interviews, background texts, a list of reference films, a far-reaching director’s statement and even some poems, with selected translations of these available on our website. To make your reading experience easier, you will find QR codes and the web addresses of all the available translations in the magazine itself so that you can decide which version you’d prefer to leaf through.
The 2016 program is now available online. Detailed information and screening dates of all Forum and Forum Expanded films and events can be found via the program menu point.
As in previous years the Forum completes its programme with a series of Special Screenings that run the gamut between a monumental travelogue, newly unearthed film historical gems and works that grapple with both cinema and its history.
Artist Ulrike Ottinger embarked on a journey from Alaska via Chukchi to Kamchatka on the trail of Adelbert von Chamisso, James Cook and other early world explorers. Like her predecessors, she kept a log book that bears the mark of her ethnographic and artistic interests, which also appear in images: water, fish, sea otters, stones, volcanoes, the tundra, houses, villages, photographs, objects, maps. The people she meets talk about their lives and about the past and the present. Ottinger’s twelve-hour film CHAMISSOS SCHATTEN (CHAMISSO’S SHADOW) opens this year’s Forum with a mammoth screening at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele on February 12th. At the end of the festival, this unparalleled work will be repeated in three separate parts at Cinestar at Potsdamer Platz.
Under the title "Hachimiri Madness – Japanese Indies from the Punk Years", the Forum is showing a series of newly digitised and subtitled Japanese 8-mm films from 1977 to 1990 which breathe the rebellious spirit of that era. Many of the highest profile directors Japan has to offer today made their debut features in this format – very few of them have ever been shown internationally.
The 46th Berlinale Forum will show a total of 44 films in its main programme, of which 34 are world premieres and nine international premieres.
Civil wars, forced migration and the repercussions of exploitative working conditions are worldwide issues that find their way into the programme.
One regional focus this year is the Arab region. Films shot by often young directors from an area that stretches between Egypt and Saudi Arabia explore both the past and present of their homelands.
The Forum Expanded team has now finished the selection process for this year’s programme. 49 artistic works have been invited, including 32 films of different lengths, 15 installations, one lecture performance and a reading. The exhibition at the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg will open on February 10 already, one day before the Berlinale gets underway. The premiere screenings of the film programmes will take place in the auditorium of the same location and will be followed by comprehensive discussions. The central thread here is this year’s theme of "Traversing the Phantasm", which art theorist Helmut Draxler will introduce in a keynote lecture. In reference to theoretician Jacques Lacan, the concept of the phantasm is reflected in numerous ways in this year’s programme – as collective fantasies or (geo-)political realities of various different manifestations.
The selection process for the 11th Forum Expanded programme is nearly complete. Film and video works of different lengths will once again be screened at the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg and the Arsenal cinema at Potsdamer Platz. The group exhibition of additional film works will take place again in the three halls of the Akademie der Künste. The Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Embassy of Canada and silent green Kulturquartier will also each house one video installation.
The theme of this year’s Forum Expanded is "Traversing the Phantasm". The programme sees experimental and artists’ film as a form of traversing real and imaginary territories that are manifested in (geo-) political realities and the fantastical constructs symptomatic of capitalist consumerist societies alike. The question also arises here as to what changes this type of traversing can and must trigger within us: what traces can be left behind by an art or film event? In reference to theoretician Jacques Lacan, the concept of the phantasm is reflected in numerous different ways, including in the sense of working through archives, social and political themes or collective fantasies.
We are happy to announce new arsenal distribution titles from this year’s Berlinale Forum program: BALIKBAYAAN #1 OVERDEVELOPMENT REDUX III by Kidlat Tahimik, COUNTING by Jem Cohen, HOTLINE by Silvina Landsmann, THE DAYS RUN AWAY LIKE WILD HORSES OVER THE HILLS by Marcin Malaszczak and THE FORBIDDEN ROOM by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson. Kidlat Tahimik will be presenting his new film as part of a retrospective at Arsenal cinema in March 2016.
Forum Expanded is presenting a summer screening of Jasmina Metwaly und Philip Rizk's BARRA FEL SHARE' (Out on the Street) at silent green Kulturquartier on July 14.
OUT ON THE STREET (Egypt 2015, 72 mins) is a film about a group of workers from one of Egypt’s working class neighborhoods, Helwan. In the film ten working-class men participate in an acting workshop. Through the rehearsals, stories emerge of factory injustice, police brutality, courts that fabricate criminal charges, and countless tales of corruption and exploitation by their capitalist employers. On a rooftop studio overlooking the heart of Cairo – presented as a space between fact and fiction – the participants move in and out of character as they shape the performance that engages their daily realities. The film interweaves scenes from the workshop, fictional performances, and mobile phone footage shot by a worker intended as evidence for the courts to stop the destruction of his workplace. This hybrid approach aims to engage a collective imaginary, situating the participants and spectators within a broader social struggle.
OUT ON THE STREET premiered as part of this year's Forum Expanded and can currently be seen as part of Jasmina Metwaly’s and Philip Rizk’s contribution to the German Pavillon at the Venice Biennale.
The screening at silent green Kulturquartier will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.
We are presenting a selection of films that premiered as part of the Forum Expanded 2015 program and are now in our distribution range, at the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen.WAYWARD FRONDS (USA 2014) by Fern Silva; Isabelle Prim’s <b>CALAMITY QUI? / CALAMITY WHO? (Canada, France 2014); in Marwa Arsanios' <b>HAVE YOU EVER KILLED A BEAR? OR BECOMING JAMILA (Lebanon 2014), the cover pictures of the Egyptian magazine Al-Hilal provide the starting point for a portrait of the Algerian freedom fighter Jamila Bouhired; <b>ORCHARD STREET (USA 1955/2014), the first film by Ken Jacobs, is a document about the bustling Jewish Manhattan neighborhood in which he grew up.
In collaboration with Allianz Kulturstiftung, Forum Expanded presents a series of talks and panels with the title Think:Film No. 3 at Akademie der Künste.
On Saturday February 7th, this year's theme, "To the Sound of the Closing Door", will be discussed in four keynote presentations followed by several panels on the following days. Concluding, on Thursday February 12, the Think:Film Award will be given to a work from the Forum Expanded programme for the second time.
The Forum presents two fims of the B-Scheme project , an archive project and film programme on film productions for black viewers in 1970s and 1980s South Africa, initiated by Darryl Els as part of "Visionary Archive".
Until the end of the Apartheid era, state funding was granted to numerous so-called B-Scheme films, which were shot by mainly white producers for black audiences. The 1973 gangster film JOE BULLETwas South African producer Tonie van der Merwe’s attempt to conquer a new market. Inspired in equal measure by the black pop culture of the time and the American Blaxploitation genre, Louis de Witt’s action-packed film about a manipulated cup final was one of the first to be shot with an all black cast. JOE BULLET offered its audiences a vision of life that did not correspond to the reality of most black South Africans under Apartheid. Although the film was not overtly political, it was swiftly banned and not screened for an extended period of time. Now this unique work has been restored and can be shown once again. UMBANGO (THE FEUD), directed by Tonie van der Merwe in 1986, is one of the few Westerns still in existence from this period, a typical Wild West story about the battle between good and evil. With the exception of one solitary gringo (who is shot dead at the very beginning), this hugely entertaining film was also shot with an entirely black cast. Director and producer Tonie van der Merwe will be our guest in Berlin for the screening of his films on February 6.
On February 11 Darryl Els will present his project during a "Visionary Archive" panel at the Akademie der Künste. Both films will can be seen again on February 14 and 15.
PADUREA E CA MUNTELE, VEZI? (THE FOREST IS LIKE THE MOUNTAINS) by Didier Guillain and Christiane Schmidt has received the award of the city of Duisburg endowed 5.000 Euro at the 38. Duisburger Filmwoche.
The film, which premiered in this year's Forum programme, tells of a Roma village in the Romanian provinces, where the inhabitants live off the land, making use of all the riches it has to offer. It is sensitive observation of life on the economic sidelines, where a strong sense of community is what keeps things together.
arsenal distribution is releasing BUTTER ON THE LATCH and THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY by Josephine Decker, both of which premiered in this year's Forum programme and have been received enthusiastically.
In the sinister folktale BUTTER ON THE LATCH Sarah reunites with her old friend Isolde at a Balkan folk Camp. She meets a handsome guy but while she makes her advances, obscure feelings begin to disrupt her behavior. In THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY Akin arrives at his new job as a farm hand to discover the erotically charged young Sarah, whose fascination with nature takes on an ominous bent when her father catches Akin in a lie – and forces him to reckon with it. Both films open October 16.
Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß's IN BLOOM (Grzeli nateli dgeebi) can be seen in selected cinemas from August 21. The film had its world premiere within the 2013 Forum and has been shown and awarded at numerous international film festivals since.
In tells a coming-of-age drama in Tbilissi, Georgia, in the year 1992: The Soviet era is over and Georgia must fend for itself. Civil war is raging in the province of Abkhazia. For Natia and Eka, the barely fourteen-year-old protagonists of GRZELI NATELI DGEEBI, childhood is coming to an end. Eka is growing up without her father, rebelling against her concerned mother and her older sister. And Natia’s father, a choleric alcoholic, terrorises the entire family. The two friends cannot find peace outside of the family either – not in school, not on the street, and not in the bread lines. Chaos, insecurity, and fear of what the future might bring hold sway in everyday life. An admirer gives Natia a pistol with one single bullet. A little later, she’s abducted by another admirer. This first feature film by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß takes up the buried traditions of Georgian cinema, weaving together loud and soft, melancholy and missing love, eruptions of violence and a sense of the idyllic, precocious cold-bloodedness and childlike naïveté into a wonderfully rhythmic, exciting cinematic composition. A new generation of filmmakers has emerged in Georgia and is starting out by remembering its own history. (Christoph Terhechte)
The Berlin premiere will be celebrated at Hackesche Höfe Kino with the directors being present on August 13.
IRANIAN by Meran Tamadon has received the main prize of the international competition at Cinéma du Réel in Paris. Te film documents an experiment: To open up a dialogue about diametrically opposed values and mental structures, the filmmaker living in exile initiates a meeting with clerics loyal to the regime in Iran. Over several days, the possibility of peaceful coexistence is explored.
Christiane Schmidt has received the prize for best up-and-coming director of photography for her film PĂDUREA E CA MUNTELE, VEZI? (THE FOREST IS LIKE THE MOUNTAINS) at the International Women's Film Festival Dortmund / Cologne. The goal of the competiton is to focus attention on the camera work of women. This next-generation award – unique anywhere in the world –is conferred for best cinematography in the two fields of feature film and documentary film.
THE FOREST IS LIKE THE MOUNTAINS is Christiane Schmidt's graduation film which she directed together with Didier Guillain - a sensitive observation of a Roma village in the Romanian provinces, where a strong sense of community is what keeps things together.
SHEMTKHVEVITI PAEMNEBI (BLIND DATES) by Levan Koguashvili has received three awards altogether at the Sofia International Film Festival. In addition to the main prize of the international competition, the Georgian film was given the award for best director and the FIPRESCI award.
BLIND DATES tells of teacher and perennial bachelor Sandro, who falls for the mother of one of his pupils. When her husband is released from jail, Sandro is unwittingly drawn into his dealings, stoically going along with things instead of taking matters into his own hands.
The Think:Film Award which was presented as part of Forum Expanded for the very first time this year goes to Amie Siegel for PROVENANCE. The award, established in cooperation with the Allianz Cultural Foundation, honors a work that creatively uses its medium in order to grasp and reflect geopolitical contexts artistically, to broaden the space of aesthetic experience, and to encourage mental changes of perspective. The award includes presentations at the Arsenal in Berlin and at the partner institution Cimatheque - Alternative Film Centre in Cairo. Jury members were Mohamed Beshir (Cairo), Marcel Schwierin (Berlin), Ala Younis (Amman).
Following the premiere of Georg Tiller's DMD KIU LIDT the members of the portrayed band Ja, Panik as well as Christiane Rösinger, Chris Immler and Maurice Summen will play piano versions of their songs on Friday February 14 at Alter Roter Löwe Rein (Richardstraße 31, Neukölln). Music starts 8 pm sharp.
Submissions for the 44th Berlinale Forum can still be made until October 31. To submit your film online, please go to berlinale.de. Please make sure that you read the regulations carefully before submitting your film. The 44th Berlinale Forum will take place from February 6-16, 2014.
This week, two films from last year’s Forum program, FOR ELLEN and HIVER NOMADE, go on general release. FOR ELLEN, the third film by So Yong Kim following IN BETWEEN DAYS and TREELESS MOUNTAIN, tells the story of an irresponsible rock musician attempting to reconnect with his young daughter after a long absence. Manuel von Stürler’s debut HIVER NOMADE, which recently received the European Documentary Film Prize, accompanies the difficult everyday life of two Swiss shepherds during the winter months.
Four feature debuts from the Forum programme are up for the 50 000 Euro first feature award: AKHER AYAM EL MADINA (IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY by Tamer El Said, BARAKAH...
The 46th Berlinale Forum will be taking place from 11-21 February 2016 as part of the 66th Berlinale. Deadline for film submissions is October 31, 2015. All information...