Category: Berlin Film Festival

‘Ivo’ Review: Promising German Director Examines the Coping Strategies of Dealing With Death Every Day

Ivo (Minna Wündrich) spends her days tending to terminally ill patients. In her capacity as a palliative care nurse, she’s not responsible for saving them — that’s the doctors’ concern — though this 40-ish single mother does her best to listen to their complaints and ease their pain. It can be a draining experience, both […] Go to Source

Berlinale Competition Titles ‘Dying’ and ‘Architecton’ Score Multiple Deals With the Match Factory

The Match Factory has revealed multiple distribution deals for two Berlinale competition titles: German director Matthias Glasner’s “Dying,” which won the festival’s Silver Bear for best screenplay, and Russian director Victor Kossakovsky’s documentary “Architecton.” “Dying,” which stars Lars Eidinger, Lilith Stangenberg and Corinna Harfouch, also picked up the Guild of German Arthouse Cinemas and the […] Go to Source

Berlin Competition Title ‘La Cocina,’ Starring Rooney Mara, Sells Nearly Worldwide for HanWay (EXCLUSIVE)

“La Cocina,” the Rooney Mara-starring drama that recently bowed in competition at the Berlinale, has been acquired for most international territories. HanWay Films has closed sales for France (Originals Factory), Australia and New Zealand (Vendetta), Spain (Avalon), Italy (Teodora Film), Benelux (Cherry Pickers), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Scandinavia (Mis. Label), Poland (Monolith), Romania (Bad Unicorn), Baltics (Acme), Czech […] Go to Source

‘All Shall Be Well’ Review: A Found Family is Lost in a Tender But Tentative, Queer-Themed Grief Drama

With a title that itself feels like a soothing murmur, Hong Kong director Ray Yeung’s “All Shall Be Well” returns to the social and lifestage milieu of his well-received 2019 later-life gay romance “Suk Suk,” and occupies a similarly melancholic, placatory register. But those hoping for a renewal, or maybe even an amping up of […] Go to Source

‘The Strangers’ Case’ Review: A Polished But Heavy-Handed Thriller Sorts the Villains From the Victims of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

The international scope and grueling human cost of the global refugee crisis lends itself to contemporary epic filmmaking of a particularly sober stripe, as seen mostly recently in Agnieszka Holland’s “Green Border” and Matteo Garrone’s Oscar-nominated “Io Capitano.” Shorn of their ripped-from-the-headlines urgency, such stories of humans crossing vast distances and facing hostile odds in […] Go to Source

‘The Roundup: Punishment’ Review: Beefy International Treasure Don Lee Goes Places and Punches People and What More Could We Want?

The shortest distance between two points is popularly believed to be a straight line. But if one of those points is the chin, cheekbone or torso of some sneering and/or psychotic Korean gangster, the shortest route is actually the arc described by either one of Korean megastar Don Lee’s fists, here playing the fists of […] Go to Source

In Berlinale Film ‘Paradises of Diane,’ a Woman Abandons Her Baby but Finds Herself: ‘We Don’t Want to Judge Her’

“Paradises of Diane,” which premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival, came out of an exploration of the “dark side of maternity” and the role of the mother in society, director Carmen Jaquier tells Variety. The film, which was directed with Jan Gassmann, starts with Diane abandoning her new-born baby at a […] Go to Source

‘Gloria!’ Review: Upbeat Italian Convent Drama Gives 18th-Century Baroque Standards a Girl-Power Pop Makeover

With the possible exception of “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” any film with an exclamation point in the title should by rights be a spangly, full-scale musical. A frothy tale of warring classical music sensibilities in a Venetian girls’ refuge, “Gloria!” stops short of complete commitment to that rule — but it’s when it fully suspends reality […] Go to Source

Christoph Waltz, Sebastian Stan, Tom Wlaschiha Celebrate Berlinale Films at Studio Babelsberg Party

Sebastian Stan, whose “A Different Man” screens in the Berlin Film Festival, Christoph Waltz and Tom Wlaschiha, the “Faceless Man” in “Game of Thrones,” were among the guests at Studio Babelsberg Night, the historic Berlin film studios’ party at Soho House Berlin held to celebrate the 74th edition of the festival. The event was supported […] Go to Source

Helicopter Rescues, Motorbike Accidents, Altitude Sickness: How Nepal’s Min Bahadur Bham Overcame the Odds to Shoot Berlin Competition Title ‘Shambhala’...

Nepali filmmaker Min Bahadur Bham’s journey to make Berlin competition title “Shambhala” was arduous but an ultimately rewarding one. Bham’s 2012 short “Bhansulli” debuted at Venice. His debut feature “Kalo Pothi” (aka “The Black Hen,” 2015) won the Fedeora best film award at Venice Critics’ Week and became Nepal’s official Oscar entry. It has been a […] Go to Source

‘Unique and Bold Choices’ Reigned Supreme at Berlinale’s Co-Pro Series: ‘This Should Attract Buyers and Co-producers Now’

From Namibian western to animated revenge thriller, from Bosnian family saga to a lesbian vampire breakup story, 10 upscale scripted TV projects were spotlighted at the Berlinale Series Market’s Co-Pro Series on Tuesday morning, representing “unique and bold choices with regard to genre and perspective, on top of great storytelling,” Martina Bleis, Head of the […] Go to Source

Martin Scorsese to Play Dante Alighieri’s Mentor in Julian Schnabel’s Upcoming ‘In the Hand of Dante’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Martin Scorsese will soon be seen on the big screen, and he won’t be playing himself. The master director, who is being feted with Berlin Film Festival’s honorary Golden Bear on Tuesday night, has a small but powerful role playing an elderly sage who influences Dante Alighieri while he is writing “The Divine Comedy” in […] Go to Source

Oscar Winner Simon Beaufoy Joins ‘Acute, Urgent and Funny’ Tale of Climate Change ‘S.O.L.’ Created by the Late Ruth McCance...

Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy – behind “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours” or “The Full Monty” – has joined “S.O.L.”  The six-episode thriller, presented at Berlinale’s Co-Pro Series and developed with TV4, is produced by Warp Films (UK) and Rainy Days (Sweden). It was created by Ruth McCance. Diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer, she died in December, aged […] Go to Source

Latido Films, ‘Ane’ Director David Perez Sanudo Clinch Two-Picture Deal (EXCLUSIVE) 

In a coup for the Madrid-based sales agency, Latido Films has cliched a two picture deal with David Pérez Sañudo whose debut feature, “Ane,” repped by Latido, swept three Spanish Academy Goya Awards in 2021.  Latido will take world sales rights on both titles. The move comes as Spanish sales companies battle to retain top-flight […] Go to Source

‘A Traveler’s Needs’ Review: Hong Sangsoo and Isabelle Huppert Reunite for an Airy, Enigmatic Afternoon Ramble

Iris, the petite enigma at the center of “A Traveler’s Needs,” dresses at once to be noticed, and to disappear. Over a bright sundress, spattered all over with red and violet blossoms, she wears a cardigan of a most assertive, eye-searing green. It’s the grassy hue, in fact, of green-screen backdrops, as we notice when […] Go to Source

Berlin Film Festival Hosts the European Actors Selected for the Shooting Stars Program

The Berlin Film Festival hosted the 10 young European actors selected for the Shooting Stars program, run by European Film Promotion, at a gala event Monday. The presentation of the Shooting Stars took place prior to the screening of Claire Burger’s “Langue Étrangère,” which plays in competition. They were welcomed on stage at the Berlinale […] Go to Source

Nelson Carlos De Los Santos Arias Creates Post-Colonial Fable ‘Pepe,’ Taking on Pablo Escobar’s Infamous Zoo: ‘Imagination isn’t owned by...

In “Pepe,” Nelson Carlos De Los Santos Arias tells the story of a very special hippopotamus. Or rather, he allows the hippopotamus to tell the story himself. “Pablo Escobar brought three hippos to Colombia back in 1981. He was ‘the pioneer’ among drug lords investing in exotic pets. When he had to abandon his mansion […] Go to Source

Ted Hope, Bobby Allen, Beki Probst Join New Locarno Film Festival Industry Advisory Board

The Locarno Film Festival has formed an advisory board for its industry side and recruited a roster of top indie industry figures including former Amazon Studios film executive Ted Hope, Bobby Allen, who is senior VP of content at Mubi, and former European Film Market chief Beki Probst as members. Locarno’s industry advisory board will be […] Go to Source

European Orgs Could Step Up Ukrainian Biz Support as Filmmakers and Supporters Point to Funding Gaps

European film agencies, festivals and organizations could do more to support Ukrainian filmmakers, the head of Germany’s state film promotion body, German Films, says. Simone Baumann, managing director of German Films — which supports the promotion of national filmmakers at festivals and events worldwide — says there is a lot of talk at festival panels […] Go to Source

‘The Empire’ Review: Bruno Dumont’s Self-Consciously Daft Sci-Fi Bauble Isn’t Quite as Amusing as It Thinks

It is increasingly weird to recall that for a while, French director Bruno Dumont was the kind of filmmaker who reminded you, often forcibly and somewhat against your will, that the word “auteur” contains most of the letters of “austere.” “The Empire,” another of the director’s proudly off-kilter comedies that pitches the bumbling denizens of […] Go to Source

Chile Hits New Awards Record as CinemaChile, Now 15, Illustrates the Virtues of an Industry Priority: Promotion 

Chilean film and TV shows scored 309 awards around the world in 2023, CinemaChile announced in January. One month later, CinemaChile, the national promotion board, is turning 15 at Berlin. The consequence of longterm uninterrupted promotion of a industry must not be underestimated.  Over the last 15 years, film and TV have seen two seismic […] Go to Source

‘Dahomey’ Review: Mati Diop’s Exquisitely Strange Documentary Meditation on the Return of Looted Artifacts to Benin

In November 2021, 61 years after Benin gained independence from the French empire, 26 of the many thousands of plundered national antiquities were returned by France to their African home. Inserting an inquisitive, imaginative intelligence into this key moment in the troubled timeline of post-imperial cultural politics, French-Senegalese director Mati Diop fashions her superb, short […] Go to Source

Greek Filmmaker Yorgos Zois, Director of Berlinale Encounters Premiere ‘Arcadia,’ Developing Mystery-Drama Series ‘Play’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Zois, who’s set to bow his sophomore feature, “Arcadia,” in the competitive Encounters strand of the Berlin Film Festival Feb. 18, is developing his first TV series. “Play” follows a lone cinephile who joins a mysterious group of strangers that reenact scenes from movies in real life. The eight-part mystery-drama series tells […] Go to Source

Mati Diop Merges Fact With Fantasy In Berlin Doc ‘Dahomey’

Launching in competition in Berlin, Mati Diop’s “Dahomey” traces the path of 26 royal treasures purloined by French soldiers in 1892 and restituted to the country of Benin in 2021. Moving from Paris to Cotonou, the inventive documentary allows the artifacts to speak for themselves, reflecting on their journey in Fon-language dialogue often set against […] Go to Source

Levan Akin Discusses Panorama Opener ‘Crossing,’ Connecting With Audiences, Loving Anne Rice

Georgian-Swedish director Levan Akin is again winning over audiences with his latest film, “Crossing,” which opened the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. The touching drama is about retired teacher Lia (Mzia Arabuli), who sets off with a young companion, Achi (Lucas Kankava), on a journey from the Georgian city of Batumi to Turkey, where she […] Go to Source

African Cinema Set to Shine at Berlin Film Festival, but Continent’s Moviemakers Insist ‘There’s Always Room for More’

Africa’s growing screen industries are making their mark on the global stage, with three titles in the main competition at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, but how to unlock the continent’s still-untapped potential was a question on the minds of many at a conference hosted on Saturday by the European Film Market. A partnership between […] Go to Source

‘The Fable’ Review: A Father Takes Flight in an Evocative Indian Drama

A tale of magical realism slowly stripped of its magic, Raam Reddy’s gorgeously photographed, politically subversive “The Fable” trades in idyllic memories, but reveals their hidden dimensions. Set in 1989, on a lush Himalayan orchard in northeastern India, Reddy’s second feature follows a family of four, whose patriarch runs the once-colonial estate with the help […] Go to Source

‘The Adamant Girl’ Review: P.S. Vinothraj Delivers a Radical Exploration of Gendered Traditions

Farcical and viscerally upsetting in equal measure, P.S. Vinothraj’s “The Adamant Girl” masterfully exposes the nature of superstition by zeroing in on gendered expectations. A story of a betrothed woman being shepherded by her fiancé’s family between sites of religious ritual, the rural Tamil-language drama plays like an extension of “Pebbles,” Vinothraj’s remarkable 2021 debut […] Go to Source

‘Suspended Time’ Review: Olivier Assayas’ Sunny Indulgence Returns Us to the Early Days of Lockdown

If any part of you has been curious as to how French filmmaker Olivier Assayas spent the early days of the global pandemic, along comes “Suspended Time” to answer your question, with very much the answer you might expect: pretty comfortably, thanks for asking. Alternating a thinly fictionalised portrait of the artist isolating at his […] Go to Source

‘The Visitor’ Review: Bruce LaBruce Is Back with a Spunky Call-to-Arms Loosely Inspired by ‘Teorema’

A low-budget romp set in contemporary London against a curdled cultural backdrop of racist politics, Bruce LaBruce’s “The Visitor” pays explicit homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s sexually provocative last feature, “Teorema.” The cheeky Canadian director’s graphic reimagining sees various mysterious suitcases appearing here and there, each of which turns out to contain an identical naked […] Go to Source