With a line-up of films as diverse and deep as the one it has assembled, the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival clearly has the cinematic riches to whet our appetite. Alongside newer directors, the festival includes such world cinema favourites as Claire Denis, Hong Sangsoo and Ulrich Seidl, Bertrand Bonello, Lucrecia Martel, Paolo Taviani and RithyPanh. Drawing up a list of films to watch in Berlin is, therefore, a tough ask.
What one can be absolutely certain of is that a treat awaits us in the form of performances by seven seasoned actresseswe love – Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Adjani, Hanna Schygulla, Sigourney Weaver, Emma Thompson, Sophie Rois and Juliette Binoche. These incredible screen performers feature in half a dozen highly anticipated titles in the 2022 Berlin official selection. It is noteworthy that four of these films have been directed by women, led by the redoubtable Claire Denis:
PETER VON KANT
Francois Ozon’s Peter von Kant is the opening film of the 72ndBerlin Film Festival. The French director’s sixth film in the Berlin Competition has Isabelle Adjani, 66, and Hanna Schygulla, 78, in the cast. Schygulla’s presence in the film is no coincidence: Peter von Kant is a freewheeling take on German maverick Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, which was released exactly 50 years ago. Ozon turns the protagonist into a male filmmaker played by Denis Menochet, making way for not only a self-portrait but also a commentary on the contemporary culture of cultivated fame. Another Ozon film, 8 Women, which won a Silver Bear at the Berlinale 20 years ago, is screening as part of a tribute to French actress Isabelle Huppert, who, too, has a new film playing in the Berlinale Special Galasthis year.
The new Isabelle Huppert starrer in Berlin this year is About Joan, French director Laurent Lariviere’s sophomore effort. Cast alongside German actor Lars Eidinger and SwannArlaud (who was in Ozon’s 2019 film By the Grace of God), the iconic French actress plays a successful publisher whose life is thrown into turmoil when a man she loved many years ago returns. She leaves Paris and heads out to the countryside along with her son, who, too, has just made his way back to France from Montreal. Lariviere, whose first film, I Am a Soldier, was in the Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2015, presents the story (filmed in France, Ireland and Germany) in the form of “one liberated woman’s nostalgic, fragmented and dreamlike”reminiscences. Who better to play that woman than Huppert, the 2022 Berlinale Honorary Golden Bear winner?
Call Jane, directed by playwright and Oscar-nominated Carol screenwriter Phyllis Nagy from a script by Hayley Schore and Indian-origin doctor and film/TVwriter Roshan Sethi, is headlined by Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver.Banks plays a 1960s American suburban housewife and motherwho is stonewalled by an all-male, anti-abortion hospital board despite her plea that her pregnancy could be a threat to her life. Pushed to the wall, she stumbles upon the “Janes”, an underground outfitthat helps women denied reproductive freedom. The film, which premiered in Sundance last month, has the 72-year-old Sigourney Weaver in the role of the head of an ‘illegal’ abortion facilitation service. The Alien and Gorillas in the Mist actress has earned glowing reviews for her performance as the feisty and charismatic rebel.
GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE
The British film by Australian director Sophie Hyde has the 62-year-old two-time Academy Award-winning Emma Thompson, one of the finest actresses of her generation, as a retired teacher who has had a routine, loveless marriage. Her husband is now dead and she decides to discover the real pleasures of physical desire. She hires the services of a young sex worker named Leo Grande. The film, written by English comedienne Katy Brand,also features Daryl McCormack. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before making the Berlinale Special Gala cut.
A E I O U – A QUICK ALPHABET OF LOVE
The Austrian Sophie Rois, 60, one of the most feted screen performers of the German-speaking region, plays the female lead role in German actress-director-musician Nicolette Krebitz’s second directorial venture, A E I O U – A Quick Alphabet of Love. The veteran star of theatre, film and television plays a past-her-prime actress who is exactly her real-life age – 60. With her career floundering, she reluctantly takes up a job as a language coach for a 17-year-old social misfit with a speech impediment. But she recognizes the boy as the thief who recently snatched her bag in the street. A E I O U competes for the Golden Bear. Rois’ acting credits include Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Enemy at the Gates, Tom Tykwer’s Threeand Terrence Malick’sA Hidden Life.
BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE
Both Sides of the Blade (original French title: Avec Amour et Acharnement, which literally translates to “With love and fury”) reunites director Claire Denis with star Juliette Binoche after their critically lauded collaboration on the 2017 film Let the Sunshine In. The story of a passionate love triangle, the film has the 57-year-old actress playing a woman caught between two men. Sarah has been in a long and loving relationship with Jean (Vincent Lindon). One morning she runs into Francois, the boyfriend she dumped years ago for Jean. Life begins to unravel as the past intrudes into the cosy world of Sarah and Jean, whose love has stood firm all these years. The last time Denis and Binoche, two luminaries of French cinema, teamed up they created magic. Will it be any less this time around?
The young Spanish director Carla Simon earned critical plaudits with her self-reflexive debut feature Summer 1993 (2017). Alcarras, her second film, has made it to the Berlinale Competition. Summer 1993 screened in Berlin as part of the festival’s Generation section. Her return to the Potsdamer Platz is understandably piqued widespread interest. The film revolves around a family of peach farmers who work in an orchard in Alcarras, a small village in Catalonia. The owner of the estate dies and the inheritor decides to replace the peach trees with solar panels, a more lucrative business. The livelihood of the family is threatened.
Another young female director making waves is Indonesia’s Kamila Andini who earned critical acclaim for her debut, The Mirror Never Lies (2011). Last year, her third film Yuni (2021) won the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. Andini makes her first appearance in the Berlinale Competition with Nana, set in 1960s Indonesia. The titular character who, after losing her family to the conflicts that rocked the country, has built a new life with a wealthy Sudanese man. In spite of the love that has for her children, Nana increasingly feels out of place as memories of the past haunt her. Nana looks like another gem from the maker of the haunting Seen and Unseen.
THE NOVELIST’S FILM
If there is a film by the prolific Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo in any selection, is it even possible for it to not be on pre-festival must-watch list. The 61-year-old director, for whom this is the third successive year in berlin, has toted up nearly 20 films in the past decade. He the Silver Bear for Best Director for his 2020 Berlinale Competition entry The Woman Who Ran. In 2021, his film Introduction bagged the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay. The characters in The Novelist’s Film relocate from Seoul to the periphery of the city to reconnect with themselves and others. The black and white film, reportedly shot in two weeks outside Seoul in March last year, celebrates the beauty of chance meetings and the importance of being honest and truthful when surrounded by perfidy.
Ulrich Seidl is another filmmaker who cannot but be on this list. The Austrian director’s new film Rimini is in the Golden Bear Competition with a more than a fair chance of a shot at award glory. The synopsis of the film reads: Richie Bravo, once upon a time a successful pop star, chases after his faded fame in wintry Rimini. Trapped between permanent intoxication and concerts for busloads of tourists, his world starts to collapse when his adult daughter breaks into his life. She demands money from his that he doesn’t have.” The last part of Seidl’s Paradise trilogy, Paradise: Hope premiered in the Berlinale Competition in 2013. A film produced by Seidl, KurdwinAyub’sSonne, is in the Encounters section of Berlinale 2022.
A multitalented International Jury will decide who will take home the Golden and the Silver Bears at the Berlinale 2022.
Director M. Night Shyamalan will head a multitalented, multinational Jury who will decide the winners of the Golden and the Silver Bears at the Berlinale 2022. Eighteen films are competing for the awards in this year’s Competition. The winners will be announced at the Berlinale Palast on February 16.
The other members of the jury are director, screenwriter and visual artist Karim Aïnouz (Brazil / Algeria), producer Saïd Ben Saïd (France / Tunisia), director and scriptwriter Anne Zohra Berrached (Germany), filmmaker and author Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), director and screenwriter Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Japan), actor and producer Connie Nielsen (Denmark).
Shyamalan has been captivating audiences worldwide with his genre films over the past three decades. His impressive filmmaking includes 14 feature films as a cinema director. 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.
Karim Aïnouz first studied architecture in Paris and Brasilia before doing a degree in film studies at New York University and gaining practical experience as an assistant director for Todd Haynes. His feature film debut Madame Satã premiered at Cannes in 2002, later O Céu de Suely (Love for Sale, 2006) and Viajo Porque Preciso, Volto Porque te Amo (I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You, 2009) screened in Venice. Aïnouz is also a regular guest at the Berlinale.
Saïd Ben Saïd is a French-Tunisian film producer, founder and chairman of SBS Productions. His large output of 40 films includes films directed by Paul Verhoeven, David Cronenberg, Roman Polanski, Brian De Palma, Nadav Lapid, Philippe Garrel, Walter Hill, Alain Corneau, Kleber Mendonça Filho, André Téchiné and Ira Sachs. Recent releases include: David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars with Julianne Moore who won Best Actress in Cannes in 2014, Paul Verhoeven’s Elle which was awarded with Best Foreign Picture at the 2017 Golden Globes, Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms which won the 2019 Golden Bear at the Berlinale and Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Bacurau which received the 2019 Jury Prize in Cannes.
Anne Zohra Berrached, born in Erfurt in 1982 as the daughter of a German and an Algerian, first studied social pedagogy and worked as a theatre pedagogue in London before turning to filmmaking. After her first own short documentary film Der Pausenclown (2009), she studied at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Her first feature-length film Zwei Mütter (Two Mothers) was awarded the section prize in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino at the Berlinale in 2013, and three years later 24 Wochen (24 Weeks) ran for the Golden Bear in the Competition.
Zimbabwean filmmaker and writer Tsitsi Dangarembga studied at Cambridge and the University of Zimbabwe before coming to Berlin to study directing at the German Film and Television Academy. As a screenwriter or director, she has been involved in several of her home country’s cinematic milestones, including Neria (1991), Flame (1996), Everyone’s Child (1996) and I Want a Wedding Dress (2011).
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi‘s episodic film Gûzen to sôzô (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy) premiered in the Competition at the Berlinale in 2021, where it won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize. In the same year, he also received the Best Screenplay Prize for an adaptation of Murakami’s Doiraibu mai kâ (Drive My Car), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Connie Nielsen was born in Denmark where she started her career on stage alongside her mother in political Revue and Variety shows. She moved to France and Italy as a young woman to continue her studies and further her acting career internationally. Once in the US, she starred in Ridley Scott’s Oscar winner Gladiator (2000), Mission to Mars (2000) by Brian de Palma and Basic (2003). She first appeared in a Danish production for Susanne Bier’s Brothers (2004) for which she was nominated for the European Film Award, among others, and received Best Actress awards in San Sebastián and the Danish film prize The Bodil.
Berlinale Special makes room mainly to documentaries that are the best way to explore our world and its legacy. 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.
Films intended for the widest public will be presented in the 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 are Against the Ice; À propos de Joan (About Joan); Gangubai Kathiawadi; Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Incroyable mais vrai (Incredible But True); Der Passfälscher (The Forger); Occhiali neri (Dark Glasses); The Outfit.
Berlinale Special films are 1341 Framim Mehamatzlema Shel Micha Bar-Am (1341 Frames of Love and War); Eine deutsche Partei (A German Party); Le chêne (Die Eiche – Mein Zuhause); Nest, Nothing Lasts Forever; Terminal norte (North Terminal); This Much I Know To Be True.
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
Alain Guiraudie will open the section with his political satire Viens je t’emmène (Nobody’s Hero), his first film to be presented at the Berlinale
An acclaimed auteur of European cinema is launching the 2022 Panorama: Alain Guiraudie will open the section with his political satire Viens je t’emmène (Nobody’s Hero), his first film to be presented at the Berlinale. Guiraudie’s love-struck band of middle-class citizens race through the streets of Clermont-Ferrand following a terrorist attack. Love, paranoia and distrust propel his cast of characters through this satire which, in spite of all its social criticism, is full of empathy for its flawed heroines and heroes.
Some directors in this year’s programme tackle social turmoil with visual verve and an appetite for dramatic gestures, setting a clear example for combative genre cinema that turns social codes upside down.
Some directors in this year’s programme tackle social turmoil with visual verve and an appetite for dramatic gestures, setting a clear example for combative genre cinema that turns social codes upside down.
Fields of vision and sightlines become harbingers of upheaval when Mexican director Alejandra Márquez Abella depicts the decline in power of the elite in her epic third feature film, El norte sobre el vacío (Northern Skies Over Empty Space). In her debut Fogaréu, Brazilian filmmaker Flávia Neves combines family horror with the history of colonialism and slavery in a surreal and virtuoso manner. In Una femmina (Una Femmina – The Code of Silence), Francesco Costabile reveals with dramatic intensity a young woman’s process of emancipation in the midst of a family entangled in dark machinations. The camera’s gaze anticipates the confrontation and duel for power that is imposed with brute force.
Director Isabelle Stever opens up perspectives that uncompromisingly smash into a thousand pieces the traditional family drama and its fossilised conventions. Grand Jeté invites us to witness the blossoming desire between a mother and her estranged son. Steeped in unparalleled physical intensity, the film challenges our viewing habits and moral assumptions with relentless persistence and a masterful mis-en-scène.
Produkty 24 (Convenience Store) by Uzbek director Michael Borodin and Baqyt (Happiness) by Askar Uzabayev from Kazakhstan peer into the depths of social and family structures of violence. Both filmmakers deliver enormously important, fictional contributions about modern slavery in Russia and domestic violence against women, which is tragically the order of the day, and not just in Kazakhstan.
Ten documentary works enrich this year’s programme with their stories and heterogeneous points of view. Many of them combine history and the present to open up new perspectives, make biographies visible and bring previously hidden subcultures to life. In Cem Kaya’s documentary essay Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm (Love, Deutschmarks and Death), the director orchestrates material from 60 years of alternative German post-war and Turkish-German cultural history. Berlin singer-songwriter Bettina Wegner is the focal point of the film portrait Bettina in which Lutz Pehnert deploys meticulously researched and arranged archive material to tell not only the biography of an artist, but also the history of the divided Germany.
In New York’s legendary Chelsea Hotel, we meet such illustrious residents as the inquisitive choreographer Merle and the eccentric, hermit-like photographer Bettina. They represent two of those who decided to stay on despite major refurbishment and who are insisting on their right of residence. In Dreaming Walls, Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier create a kaleidoscopic portrait of the resisters and the spaces they inhabit and roam.
The camera as a tool for self-reflection and a way to search for clues is a recurring motif in films such as No U-Turn from Nigeria, in which we set off with director Ike Nnaebue on a cinematic journey retracing his steps from Lagos to Tangier, the continent-traversing route he first travelled as a teenager in hope of a better life. Along the way, he draws a multinational and multilingual portrait of African migration. In No Simple Way Home by Akuol de Mabior from South Sudan, the director confronts her own family history, which is closely linked to the history of the young East African state. And in Nous, étudiants ! (We, Students !), Rafiki Fariala also poses questions about a better future, this time in the Central African Republic. His camera accompanies him and his loyal clique in a wide variety of situations and visualises the poetic plea of a forward-looking generation. Both countries are being represented with a film at the Berlinale for the first time.
The 2022 Panorama offers a wild ride through contemporary cinema with works that denounce corrupt elites, dissect hardened and toxic family structures and lead us to places of resistance and reconciliation. The films mediate between past and present and look at the interplay between the individual and society. They demonstrate an aesthetic desire to create, a delight in dramatic gestures and a satirical sensibility. Simultaneously disarming, cruel, humorous and loving, they are one thing above all else: made for the big screen.
With all precautionary measure, Berlinale is back to business with physical screenings in the forthcoming 72 Berlin International Film Festival. Here is what Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek and Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian have to say.
“The conclusion of the 2020 Berlinale marked the beginning of a long pause caused by the pandemic. Since then, those of us in the cultural industries, particularly freelance artists, but also people working in an organisational capacity, have repeatedly had to adjust to new conditions: from adapted workplaces and procedures to “new” ways of digital communication – something which had a profound impact on many people’s everyday lives – to complying with social distancing anytime and anywhere,” says Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek, who is gearing up for Berlinale 2022.
“This has not been an easy or particularly rewarding experience. With the 2022 Berlinale, we would like to offer 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,” Rissenbeek says.
She adds: This year, we are 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.
“This year, all of us who are shaping the Berlinale are particularly motivated. We want to create a platform for social issues. We want to give people a voice, we want to think about and discuss diversity, gender equality, sustainability and the promotion of young talent.”
Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian says, “The 2021 Berlinale taught us the value of flexibility and the extraordinary capacity to adapt not only for films and artists, but also for cinema and those who like us support it. The year 2022 comes with a new set of challenges. We believe that flexibility must now be replaced by firmness in the context of a project that can no longer forsake its primary role.”
He says the films of the 72nd Berlinale provide a good description of the world in its current changed state, but also of how it was, and how it should or could be. Faced with the desire to reproduce what we have lived through (and we inhabitants of planet Earth have never been so far apart and yet so similar in our lifestyles), many films have responded with the power of the imagination, humour, the emotions, and physical confrontations that are sometimes passionate and sometimes violent.
“Masters and newcomers find themselves on the same wavelength, ready to challenge the dominant sameness with stories that are surprising for their stylistic freedom and the desire to experiment,” he says.
Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus are set to face competition between a string of films and a qualified team of Jury will decide their fate.
The Dutch-Belgian co-production Knor by Mascha Halberstad opens the Generation Kplus competition. The stop-motion film, which was created in more than 200 days of shooting, tells the story of nine-year-old Babs in elaborate, detailed animation. Her grandfather gave her a pig with the ulterior motive of secretly using it for his comeback as Sausage King. Fast-paced, funny and simultaneously complex and profoundly told.
The film Allons enfants by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai will kick off the Generation 14plus competition. The documentary accompanies young people from various social backgrounds during their first year at the Paris Lycée Turgot, where they are being trained in hip-hop dance. The film succeeds in combining institutional film and group portraits and inspires with dance sequences in which the young people discover their outlet and expression in movement.
Both competition openings will take place in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, to which Generation is returning again this festival year.
The three jurors of the two international juries each award the Grand Prix for the Best Film (worth 7,500 euros) and the Special Prize for the Best Short Film (worth 2,500 Euros). The prize in the 14plus competition is provided by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung), in the Kplus competition the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (The Children’s Charity of Germany) is the sponsor.
The Members of the International Jury of Generation Kplus are Daniela Cajias, Nicola Jones and Samuel Kishi Leopo.
Bolivia-born cinematographer Daniela Cajias became the first woman to receive the Spanish film award Goya in 2021 for her work on Pilar Palomero’s award-winning feature debut Las niñas. The film celebrated its world premiere in 2020 in the Generation Kplus competition. Daniela Cajías was also represented at Generation with As duas Irenes (2017) and La eterna noche de las doce lunas (2013) – two films that were successful at international festivals and received numerous awards.
Born in Halle/Saale, with stations in Leipzig, Munich and Berlin, Nicola Jones worked as a consultant and speaker in the area of film funding as well as international film relations and EU film policy. In 2016, she took over the direction of the German Children’s Media Festival Goldener Spatz. As managing director of the Children’s Media Foundation of the same name, she remains active at European level with the KIDS Regio initiative.
Born in Mexico, the director, screenwriter and editor studied audiovisual arts in Guadalajara and made numerous short films before presenting his feature film debut Somos Mari Pepa at Generation in 2014. In 2020, he was awarded the Grand Prix of the International Jury Generation Kplus with Los Lobos and the Peace Film Prize which is awarded during the Berlinale. Samuel Kishi Leopo has been the Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Organization for Migration (IOM) since 2021.
The Members of the International Jury of Generation 14plus are Paolo Bertolin, Rubika Shah and Dash Shaw.
Film critic and historian Paolo Bertolin works prolifically as a festival programmer and curator for the Venice International Film Festival and the international Festival de Cannes and as an artistic consultant for various international film festivals and institutions. As a producer, the native Italian has already been represented in the Berlinale Competition several times with films (Cha và con và, Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis, Chitrashala).
Rubika Shah, an award-winning British-Australian director, screenwriter and winner of the BAFTA Breakthrough 2020 made her debut in the Generation 14plus competition in 2015 with Let’s Dance: Bowie Down Under. In 2017, she presented her short film White Riot: London to the Berlinale audience. In 2020, she returned to Berlin with the long documentary work White Riot and received the Special Mention of the Generation Youth Jury. Rubika Shah is currently working on A Saudi Tale for BBC Film.
With his debut film My Entire Highschool Sinking into the Sea, comic book author and animator Dash Shaw made his first guest appearance at Generation in 2017. His second feature film, Cryptozoo, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the NEXT Innovator Award. At the 71st Berlinale, the animated film received a special mention in the 14plus competition from Generation’s International Jury. The American is the author of several graphic novels, most recently “Discipline” was published by New York Review Comics.
Meanwhile, the youngest official Berlinale juries are staffed by seven Berlin children aged eleven to 14 for the Generation Kplus competition and five young people for the Generation 14plus competition. Independently of the international juries, they award the Crystal Bears for the best short and long films. All young festival visitors who have shared their thoughts and comments on Generation films via the film questionnaires can qualify for participation in the Children’s or Youth Jury.
After the first appearance at the 70th Berlinale 2020, the independent jury of the AG Kino Gilde e.V. has returned: Together with the cinema association, Generation is committed to strengthening innovative cinema for young people – even beyond the festival.
Eleven filmmakers have been at the Berlinale before, eight in Competition, and five of them already hold a “bear” in their hands.
Eighteen 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.
Among them, 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, said, “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 centre, in the periphery, in the countryside or they follow the characters in their journeys away from towns.”
The Competition Films are: A E I O U – Das schnelle Alphabet der Liebe (A E I O U – A Quick Alphabet of Love); Alcarràs; Avec amour et acharnement (Both Sides of the Blade); Call Jane; Drii Winter (A Piece of Sky); Everything Will Be Ok; La ligne (The Line); Leonora addio; Les passagers de la nuit (The Passengers of the Night); Nana (Before, Now & Then); Peter von Kant; Rabiye Kurnaz gegen George W. Bush (Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush); Rimini; Robe of Gems; So-seol-ga-ui Yeong-hwa (The Novelist’s Film); Un año, una noche (One Year, One Night); Un été comme ça (That Kind of Summer); Yin Ru Chen Yan (Return to Dust).
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
As many as 18 directorial feature film debuts from the sections Competition, Encounters, Panorama, Forum, Generation and Perspektive Deutsches Kino are nominated for the GWFF Best First Feature Award
In a bid to support the next generation of filmmakers, Berlinale introduced GWFF Best First Feature Award in 2006. The award is endowed with 50,000 Euros, donated by the GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten), a society dedicated to safeguarding film and television rights. The prize money is to be split between the producer and the director of the winning film. Additionally, the director will be awarded with a high-quality viewfinder as both a useful instrument and memorable trophy.
In total, 18 directorial feature film debuts from the sections Competition, Encounters, Panorama, Forum, Generation and Perspektive Deutsches Kino are nominated for the GWFF Best First Feature Award.
A three-person jury will decide on the GWFF Best First Feature Award: They are Gaia Furrer (Italy), Vimukthi Jayasundara (Sri Lanka) and Shahrbanoo Sadat (Afghanistan).
Born in 1975 in Italy, Gaia Furrer graduated in Cinema History at the University La Sapienza in Rome. She collaborated with Film Italia, the public agency in charge of promoting Italian cinema abroad, curating national and international projects. Furrer has also programmed and consulted on a few film festivals.
Vimukthi Jayasundara is an award-winning Sri Lankan director known for his surreal films. After finishing his documentary, Land of Silence (2002), he made his directorial debut with Forsaken Land (2005), which won the Camera d’Or for best first feature at Cannes. This was followed by Between Two Worlds (2009), which competed at the Venice Film Festival, Chatrack (2011), which went on to be selected for Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes and Dark in the White Light, which was selected for the Competition at Locarno in 2015.
Shahrbanoo Sadat is an Afghan filmmaker, who was recently evacuated from Kabul, when the Taliban seized power in August 2021. Her filmography involves the debut film Wolf and Sheep, which won the top award at the Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. Her second feature Parwareshgah (The Orphanage) was supported by, among others, the Berlinale World Cinema Fund and also premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight in 2019.
The following 18 feature films are nominated for the GWFF Best First Feature Award: Competition: Robe of Gems (Robe of Gems); Encounters: Sonne; Panorama: Alle reden übers Wetter (Talking About the Weather), Cinco lobitos (Lullaby), Una femmina (Una Femmina – The Code of Silence), Fogaréu (Fogaréu), Kdyby radši hoelo (Somewhere Over the Chemtrails), Produkty 24 (Convenience Store); Forum: Bashtaalak sa’at (Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day?), Cette maison (This House); Europe: Germany / France by Philip Scheffner; Generation Kplus: Bimileui eondeok (The Hill of Secrets), An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl), Moja Vesna (Moja Vesna); Generation 14plus: Stay Awake, Sublime; Perspektive Deutsches Kino: Echo, Wir könnten genauso gut tot sein (We Might As Well Be Dead).
A three-member jury will choose the winners for Best Film, Best Director and the Special Jury Award.
The Encounters programme of Berlinale 2022 features 15 films and Chiara Marañón (Spain), Ben Rivers (United Kingdom) and Silvan Zürcher (Switzerland) are the three-member Jury for it.
Spanish born Chiara Marañón is the Director of Content at MUBI. She holds a BA in Cinema Studies and two MAs from the International Film & TV School in Cuba and the University of Westminster. Marañón has served as a jury member at international film festivals including Mar del Plata or Jeonju, and curated programmes for FICCI in Cartagena and Tabakalera Centre for Contemporary Art in San Sebastián. As a filmmaker, she directed The Girl in The Lemon Factory (2013), working together with Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami on the screenplay.
Ben Rivers is a British artist and filmmaker. He won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2011 for his first feature film Two Years at Sea. In 2014 he was awarded his second Tiger Award for Short Film for Things at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and in 2015 he was nominated for the Golden Leopard at Locarno for The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers. Rivers’ short film The Hunchback, which he co-directed with Gabriel Abrantes and which won three awards, also premiered at Locarno.
Silvan Zürcher is a Swiss producer, screenwriter and director. He studied philosophy, film and German studies in Bern and Zurich, then film production at the DFFB in Berlin. His first feature film Das merkwürdige Kätzchen (The Strange Little Cat, director: Ramon Zürcher) premiered in 2013 at the Forum of the Berlinale and was subsequently celebrated at numerous international festivals and won many awards. In 2017, he founded the production company Zürcher Film together with his brother Ramon Zürcher. In 2021, their second feature film Das Mädchen und die Spinne (The Girl and the Spider, co-directed with Ramon Zürcher) celebrated its world premiere in the Berlinale’s international competition Encounters and was awarded the prize for Best Director and the FIPRESCI Prize.
Each selected film aims to engage in a conversation, not only with the audience, but also with the other films.
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.
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.
According to 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.”
The films are A Little Love Package; À vendredi, Robinson (See You Friday, Robinson); Axiom; Brat vo vsyom (Brother in Every Inch); Coma; Father’s Day; Flux Gourmet; I Poli ke i Poli (The City and the City); Journal d’Amérique (American Journal); Keiko, me wo sumasete (Small, Slow but Steady); Mutzenbacher; Queens of the Qing Dynasty; Sonne; Unrueh (Unrest); Zum Tod meiner Mutter (The Death of my Mother).