Thursday saw a flurry of announcements from the Berlinale. First, the juries are set. Lupita Nyong’o will preside over the Bears-awarding International Jury that includes Brady Corbet, whose The Brutalist is now in postproduction; Ann Hui (Boat People, Elegies); Christian Petzold, who is currently preparing Miroirs No. 3, in which a piano student survives a car wreck and is taken in by a family she doesn’t know; Albert Serra, who will shoot Out of This World this summer in Latvia; Jasmine Trinca (Ildikó Enyedi’s The Story of My Wife); and Ukrainian writer and poet Oksana Zabuzhko.
Three jurors will present three Encounters awards: Lisandro Alonso (Eureka), Denis Côté (Mademoiselle Kenopsia), and Tizza Covi (Vera). Ilker Çatak (The Teacher’s Lounge), sound artist Xabier Erkizia, and Jennifer Reeder (Perpetrator) will make up the Berlinale Shorts jury. The Best First Feature will be selected by Eliza Hittman (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Wavelengths and TIFF Cinematheque programmer Andréa Picard, and producer Katrin Pors (The Worst Person in the World, Godland), and Abbas Fahdel (Bitter Bread), Thomas Heise (Heimat Is a Space in Time), and Véréna Paravel (De humani corporis fabrica) will present the Documentary Award.
Generation, the section programmed for younger viewers, has completed its lineup with the addition of two more world premieres. Ten-year-old Wo Tu tracks the goings on in his Chinese village in Wang Xiaoshuai’s Above the Dust, and in Qu Youjia’s debut feature, She Sat There Like All Ordinary Ones, a teen preparing for a major exam is distracted by an encounter with an enigmatic long-distance runner. The Generation jurors are Amjad Abu Alala (You Will Die at Twenty), Banafshe Hourmazdi (Angelina Maccarone’s forthcoming Turning Tables), and Ira Sachs (Passages).
Berlinale Talents, in the meantime, has unveiled an impressive range of public talks and conversations, including Martin Scorsese and Joanna Hogg, Tsai Ming-liang, Abderrahmane Sissako, David and Nathan Zellner, Eliza Hittman and Ira Sachs, and Mati Diop with Cece Mlay and Agnes Lisa Wegner. The full schedule will be up on February 6, and the Berlinale’s seventy-fourth edition runs from February 15 through 25.
Finally, for now, festival directors Carlo Chatrian and Mariëtte Rissenbeek have issued a call to Iranian authorities for the immediate return of passports to Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha, whose My Favorite Cake is slated to premiere in competition. The filmmakers, whose Ballad of a White Cow premiered at the Berlinale in 2021, have been banned from traveling and now “face a court trial in relation to their work as artists and filmmakers.” Moghaddam and Sanaeeha “share a long and rich history with the Berlinale, and must be allowed to return to Berlin this February.”
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