The co-directors of Berlin’s Generation section talk about its new venue and why film-makers keep coming back for more.

“It’s quite remarkable,” says Maryanne Redpath, who has been director of the Generation section since 2004. “We have a lot of filmmakers coming back to Generation who were here with films in the past,”.

Esben Toft Jacobsen from Denmark here this year with The Great Bear and Israeli filmmaker Nir Bergman with Intimate Grammar were in Berlin with short films as was Anne Sewitsky whose new film Jørgen + Anne will open the Kplus competition.

“On the one hand, we have a lot of happy returns, but there are also many feature debuts this year,” Generation’s co-director Florian Weghorn adds.

“In terms of films for young people and teenagers, the subject of coming of age is becoming almost an epidemic in the film world,” Redpath continues. “We also have some cross-section screenings from other Berlinale sections dealing with the process of growing up, and there were no less than five in the Competition that we could have shown on this subject.”

“The process of growing up in different backgrounds and cultures is really interesting in terms of conflict which is the basis of good filmmaking and stories that get told. This is being recognized across the board and we are happy about that - it is a confirmation of our work over all these years.”

Meanwhile, this year sees Generation moving from the Zoo Palast to the House of World Cultures (HdKW) in the Tiergarten (previously known as a the Kongreßhalle) for its premiere screening venue. “We are really excited about the building’s possibilities and will have a shuttle bus running every 20 minutes between Potsdamer Platz and the HdKW,” Weghorn explains.

Moreover, as Redpath points out, “if the accredited Berlinale guests are interested in both Generation competitions, they can spend the whole day at the House of World Cultures and do ‘film hopping’ to see eight premieres a day!”
Martin Blaney