The sixty-eighth Berlin International Film Festival is just over a month away now, running from February 15 through 25, and so far, we’ve seen first rounds of titles lined up for the Competition and the Panorama, Generation, and Shorts programs—as well as the first few titles slated for the Perspektive Deutsches Kino. Today, the Berlinale fills that program out.
First, though, let’s note that the festival’s also announced this year’s round of projects slated for the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Seventeen of them “have women at the helm, meaning female directors make up almost fifty percent. They include well-known directors such as Aisling Walsh (Maudie) and Anna Muylaert (The Second Mother, Don’t Call Me Son), who have already had films in the festival, Katrin Gebbe (Nothing Bad Can Happen) and Franka Potente, whose producers are looking for co-production opportunities for the actor's feature directing debut. Other prominent directors with projects at the market include Todd Solondz, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Koen Mortier, Boris Khlebnikov, and Andreas Dalsgaard.”
The new additions to Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2018 with notes from the festival:
The Best Thing You Can Do With Your Life, in which director Zita Erffa “asks her brother László about his motivation for entering a Legion of Christ monastery. Eight years after his departure, she can finally visit him and ask why he left her alone in her family. For both, the camera functions as a catalyst to find harmony.” World premiere.
Die defekte Katze (A Dysfunctional Cat), directed by Susan Gordanshekan, “tells the story of an Iranian couple who only begin to get to know each other after entering traditional marriage, and then fall short of success when faced with the challenges of life together in Germany. The story is about liberating oneself from different lifestyle ideals and giving love a second chance.” With Pegah Ferydoni, Hadi Khanjanpour, Henrike von Kuick, Constantin von Jascheroff, and Arash Marandi. World premiere.
Impreza - Das Fest (Impreza - The Celebration), a documentary. “Her aunt’s 50th wedding anniversary is an opportunity for director Alexandra Wesolowski to visit her family in Poland. But instead of being about the party, the conversations she documents soon focus completely on politics.” German premiere.
Kein sicherer Ort (No Safe Place), directed by Antje Beine. “Through the eyes of ten-year-old Marie (Lucia Stickel), we see what it means when you’re not allowed to be a child in the place you call home.” Medium-length feature. World premiere.
Luz, directed by Tilman Singer. “Luz, a young taxi driver from Latin America, stumbles into a police headquarters with the last of her strength. She’s being pursued by a demon, who is determined to finally be close to his beloved.” A 16 mm “horror/love story.” With Luana Velis, Jan Bluthardt, Julia Riedler, Nadja Stübiger, and Johannes Benecke. World premiere.
Verlorene (Lost Ones; image at the top) “takes us deep into provincial Baden, where everyone knows everybody and the siblings Maria (Maria Dragus) and Hannah (Anna Bachmann) live alone with their father (Clemens Schick) following the death of their mother. Director Felix Hassenfratz is well acquainted with the environment and tells a small town story where fear of the unknown is just as strong as a yearning for it.” With Maria Dragus, Anna Bachmann, Clemens Schick, Enno Trebs, and Meira Durand. World premiere.
Whatever Happens Next, by Julian Pörksen. Paul Zeise (Sebastian Rudolph) “travels across the country crashing funerals and parties, moves in with off-the-wall Nele (Lilith Stangenberg) for a while, and generally floats around in the wonderland we call life.” World premiere.
Überall wo wir sind (Everywhere We Are), a documentary in which director Veronika Kaserer “follows a family after the death of one of its members—the parents who lost a son and a sister who lost a brother. In the organization of daily activities and the narratives of the protagonists, battling or grieving, we see the ‘pact with death’ become a ‘pact with life.’” World premiere.
And the series Film Wanderungen (Film Walks) “completes the Perspektive Deutsches Kino program. The project was invited to Perspektive 2018 as a guest. What does ‘neighborhood’ mean? And what is ‘home’? In the summer of 2017, 140 residents of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz area in the Mitte district of Berlin were interviewed. On the second Berlinale weekend, audiences are invited to take a trip through the living rooms of those residents to watch films together, and engage in conversation.”
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