The Competition lineup at the 61st Berlinale (Feb 10-20) includes a mouthwatering selection of new work fom established and new directors - including 16 world premieres. Screen profiles the films

In competition


Dir: Rodrigo Moreno

This Argentinian comedy drama is about a man stunned when his girlfriend asks for time apart. Moreno made his feature debut with The Custodian (El Custodio), a winner of Berlin’s Alfred Bauer Award in 2006.

Int’l sales: The Match Factory,


Dir: Lee Yoon-ki

South Korean director Lee returns to Berlin after 2009’s My Dear Enemy with this drama about a young married couple, played by Hyun Bin and Im Su-jung, who are on the verge of breaking up. The only Asian film in this year’s competition line-up.

Int’l sales: Fortissimo Film Sales,


Dir: Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut with John Logan’s adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy, and also takes on the lead role of Caius Martius Coriolanus. A modern-day update set in the Balkans, the film’s cast includes Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain and James Nesbitt.

Int’l sales: Icon Entertainment International,


Dir: Miranda July

July’s follow-up to 2005’s Me And You And Everyone We Know gets an international premiere at Berlin after its Sundance debut. July directs, writes and stars in the story of a thirtysomething couple whose relationship is tested after they adopt a terminally ill cat. Gina Kwon produces alongside Germany’s Razor Film. The Match Factory has already sold to France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Int’l sales: The Match Factory,


Dir: Andres Veiel

The second feature from German documentary-maker Veiel, who picked up the 2004 Panorama Audience Award for Addicted To Acting, charts the relationship between writer Bernward Vesper and Red Army Faction member Gudrun Ensslin. The cast includes August Diehl, Lena Lauzemis and Alexander Fehling as Andreas Baader.

Int’l sales: The Match Factory,


Dir: Joshua Marston

With his second feature, Marston is tapping some of the elements which made his first film, Maria Full Of Grace, such a phenomenal success: using mostly local non-professional actors and highlighting a hidden problem. Last time it was drug mules in Mexico; The Forgiveness Of Blood takes on the impact of Albanian blood feuds on the lives of two teenagers. The film was shot in northern Albania.

Int’l sales: Fandango Portobello,


Dir: Alexander Mindadze

A drama set against the Chernobyl disaster, Innocent Saturday follows a party official (Anton Shagin) searching for the woman he loves. Mindadze’s writing credits include Berlinale Silver Bear winner The Play For A Passenger. NFP has German rights.

Int’l sales: Bavaria Film,


Dir: Jonathan Sagall

Two women reunite in London where they take the opportunity to discuss the details of a life-changing event which occurred when they were teenagers in Jerusalem. Canada-born writer-director Jonathan Sagall started his career as an actor in Israel, starring in the Lemon Popsicle films in the 1980s.

Contact: Guy Allon, producer,


Dir: JC Chandor

The feature debut of director Chandor, Margin Call is a financial-crisis drama about 24 hours inside an investment firm. The film had its world premiere at Sundance, where it was picked up by Lionsgate Films and Roadside Attractions for the US. The cast includes Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany and Zachary Quinto.

Int’l sales: Myriad Pictures,


Dir: Asghar Farhadi

Iranian director Farhadi won the Silver Bear in Berlin in 2009 for About Elly, and is back in competition this year with the story of a divorcing couple fighting over their child. The project almost fell through when Farhadi faced a production ban by Iranian authorities after comments he made in support of his fellow director Jafar Panahi.

Int’l sales: TBC


Dir: Seyfi Teoman

The second film from Teoman, whose debut Summer Book premiered at Berlin in 2008, is based on Baris Bicakci’s novel about two male friends whose relationship is tested when a young woman moves into their home.

Contact: Bulut Film,

THE PRIZE (Mex-Fr-Pol-Ger)

Dir: Paula Markovitch

Lake Tahoe and Duck Season writer Markovitch makes her directorial debut with this semi-autobiographical story about a girl growing up under the military junta in Argentina. It is backed by Mexico’s Cacao Films, Argentina’s Magma Cine and France’s Mille and Une Productions.

Int’l sales: UMedia,


Dir: Ulrich Köhler

Shot in Cameroon, Sleeping Sickness follows European ex-pats working in the humanitarian sector in Africa. Husband Ebbo is fulfilled by his work, while wife Vera misses her daughter, who is at school in Germany. Berlin-based Ulrich Köhler directed 2002 Panorama selection Bungalow.

Int’l sales: The Match Factory,


Dir: Michel Ocelot

French director Ocelot makes his Berlin competition debut with the feature adaptation of his own 1992 animated TV series. The fairy-tale animation is the first 3D film in the competition line-up, and is one of three 3D films in Berlin, along with Cave Of Forgotten Dreams and Pina, both out of competition.

Int’l sales: StudioCanal,


Dir: Bela Tarr

Pioneering Hungarian auteur Tarr returns to the Berlinale with a film about a man and his daughter, whose horse is approaching its final days. Inspired by a story of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche protecting a horse from abuse, the film was shot near Budapest with a cast including Janos Derzsi, Erika Bok and Mihaly Kormos.

Int’l sales: Films Boutique,


Dir: Victoria Mahoney

Sundance Lab alumnus Mahoney makes her directorial debut with this drama about a 17-year-old girl fending for herself in a dangerous neighbourhood. Zoe Kravitz headlines the cast, which includes Gabourey Sidibe and Tim Blake Nelson.

Int’l sales: Elephant Eye Films, ns

Out of competition


Dir: Yasemin Samdereli

A Turkish family that has lived in Germany for three generations sets off on a turbulent journey to their homeland, in Samdereli’s feature debut which is produced by Munich-based Roxy Film. Concorde will distribute in Germany and Austria.

Int’l sales: Beta Cinema,


Dir: Wolfgang Murnberger

Moritz Bleibtreu and Georg Friedrich star in this crime drama about a Jewish concentration-camp prisoner and an SS officer. Murnberger’s The Bone Man was a world premiere at the Berlinale in 2009.

Int’l sales: Beta Cinema,

PINA (Ger-Fr)

Dir: Wim Wenders

A 3D documentary portrait of the late choreographer Pina Bausch. Veteran German film-maker Wenders won the Silver Bear Jury Prize at Berlin in 2000 with The Million Dollar Hotel.

Int’l sales: HanWay Films,


Dir Philippe Le Guay

This comedy, set in Paris in 1960, stars Fabrice Luchini as an uptight family man whose life changes when he discovers a group of housemaids are living in his apartment block. Le Guay’s drama Nightshift screened in Berlin’s Panorama section in 2001.

Int’l sales: SND Groupe M6,


Dir: Jaume Collet-Serra

Previously titled Unknown White Male, this Berlin-set thriller stars Liam Neeson as a man who wakes up from a coma to find someone has stolen his identity. The film was made under the alliance between Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment and Studio Babelsberg, where it was shot. Warner Bros releases in the US on February 18 and Kinowelt releases in Germany on March 3 under the title Unknown Identity.

Int’l rights: Dark Castle/Warner Bros

Opening film, out of competition


Dir: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

The Coen brothers’ version of True Grit returns to Charles Portis’ source novel, and has garnered Jeff Bridges another best actor Oscar nomination for his performance as the drunken marshal Rooster Cogburn, the part that won John Wayne his only Oscar back in 1969. The film has taken almost $150m in the US.

Int’l dist: Paramount Pictures Int’l

Panorama & Panorama Special

7 Sins Forgiven (Ind)
Ashamed (S Kor)
Asshole (Ind)
Bullhead (Bel)
Dance Town (S Kor)
The Devil’s Double (Bel)
Elite Squad 2 – The Enemy Within (Bra)
Even The Rain
The Fatherless (Aust)
The Guard
Here (US)
Into The White Night (Jap)
Life In A Day
Man At Sea (Gr)
The Mortician
Mothers (Macedonia-Fr)
The Mountain (Nor)
Off Beat (Switz)
Suicide Room (Pol)
Target (Rus)
Top Floor Left Wing
Uber Uns Das All
The Unjust (S Kor)
Vampire (US-Can)


Porno Melodrama (Lith-Fr-Fin)
Spring (UK)
Warum Madame Warum (Ger)

Panorama dokumente

The Advocate For Fagdom (Fr)
Barzakh (Fin-Lith)
The Bengali Detective (UK-US-Aust)
The Big Eden (Ger)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (Swe-US)
Bombay Beach (US)
Brasch – Das Wünschen Und Das Fürchten (Ger)
homo@lv (Lat)
House Of Shame/Chantal All Night Long (Ger)
How Are You (Den)
Im Himmel, Unter Der Erde. Der Jüdische Friedhof Weissensee (Ger)
Leicht Muss Man Sein, Fliegen Muss Man Können (Ger)
Mama Africa
(Ger-S Afr-Fin)
Mondo Lux
The Queen Has No Crown (Isr)
Rent Boys
Together (Chi)
!Women Art Revolution (US)
We Were Here (US)

Special screenings in the Berlinale

Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (US), dir: Werner Herzog
Offside (Iran), dir: Jafar Panahi