Screen profiles the hottest world premieres in the Berlinale 2012 Panorama section, including Iron Sky [pictured].
Belief, Love, Death (Glaube, Liebe, Tod) (Aust)
Veteran Austrian actor-director Peter Kern starred in 1978 Berlinale entry Flaming Hearts. He went on to serve on the jury in 1992, while his 2009 feature Initiation screened in Panorama. Kern’s latest centres around an elderly mother and her son and how their relationship changes after they pick up an immigrant hitchhiker. Kern, Traute Furthner and Joao Moreira Pedrosa star.
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Central Station (Sharqiya) (Isr-Fr-Ger)
Ami Livne’s feature debut tells the story of Kamel (Adnan Abu Wadi), a security guard at a bus station in a Bedouin village. When he finds a demolition notice on the door of his home, he decides to stage a terror attack at the bus station to attract media attention. Central Station was produced by EZ Films, Golden Cinema, Laila Films and Detailfilm, with support from the Israel Film Fund.
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Author Stephen Elliot’s directorial debut is about a woman who moves to San Francisco where she becomes involved with pornography and a cocaine-addicted lawyer. The cast features James Franco, Heather Graham, Dev Patel, Lili Taylor and Ashley Hinshaw. Elliot co-wrote the screenplay with porn actress Lorelei Lee.
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The debut feature of Colombian producer-turned-director Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza, Choco is a drama about a young, displaced woman (Karent Hinestroza) trying to support her two children and her drunken musician husband. Esteban Copete, Fabio Garcia, Daniela Mosquera and Jesus Benavides also star in the film, which will go on to open the Cartagena International Film Festival after its world premiere in Berlin.
Contact Antorcha Films Hendrix@antorchafilms.com
The Convoy (Rus)
Russian director Alexei Mizgirev’s third feature is an apocalyptic portrait of the police and the army in Russia, starring Oleg Vasilkov, Azamat Nigmanov and Dmitry Kulichkov. Mizgirev’s first feature, the 2007 film Hard-Hearted, about a war veteran in Moscow, won the best debut feature award at the Sochi Open Russian Film Festival, while his second feature Tambourine, Drum won the Silver Leopard for best director and the jury prize in Locarno in 2009.
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Diaz - Don’t Clean Up This Blood (It-Rom-Fr)
Maximum Velocity director Daniele Vicari’s drama charts the controversial raid by Italian police on protesters who were using a school as sleeping quarters during the 2001 G8 summit. Elio Germano and Claudio Santamaria star in the film, produced by Fandango, Mandragora Movies and Le Pacte. Laura Paolucci wrote the screenplay.
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Kirsten Sheridan’s third feature after 2001’s Disco Pigs and 2007’s August Rush is a thriller about a group of street teens who break into a house in a rich Dublin suburb for a night of partying. But by morning the group has been split apart by dark revelations. Dublin-based film-making collective The Factory produce with funding from the Irish Film Board and US and UK-based Lightstream Pictures. Sheridan was nominated for a best original screenplay Oscar in 2002 for her father Jim’s In America.
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Set against a backdrop of general strikes in Nepal, Highway explores five relationships that become connected during an ill-fated bus journey from eastern Nepal to the capital Kathmandu. Director Deepak Rauniyar, whose short Threshold featured in the 2009 Cannes Short Film Corner, makes his feature debut. Joslyn Barnes of New York-based Louverture films co-produces the partly crowd-funded project.
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Tony Gatlif’s Indignados is a fictional account of the European economic crisis seen through the eyes of a young African (played by Mamebetty Honoré Diallo). The film shot in Greece, Spain and France in autumn 2011. Gatlif’s Princes Films produces with Claudie Ossard’s Eurowide Film Production, Rhone-Alpes Cinéma and Hérodiade. Gatlif’s Exiles won the best director prize at Cannes in 2004 and his Korkoro picked up three awards at the Montreal Film Festival in 2009. Les Films Du Losange will release Indignados in France in March and will be selling at Berlin.
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Iron Sky (Fin-Neth-Aust-Ger)
Finland’s sci-fi comedy is about a Nazi invasion from the moon. Timo Vuorensola makes his directorial feature debut and co-wrote the script with Michael Kalesniko from a story by Johanna Sinisalo. Blind Spot Pictures produces with 27 Films Production and New Holland Pictures. Christopher Kirby, Julia Dietze and Udo Kier are among the cast. The production has famously raised almost $1.2m of its budget through crowd funds. Iron Sky has sold in more than 20 territories, including to Revolver in the UK.
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Umut Dag’s debut feature, written by Petra Ladinigg, explores the friendship between two women in a Turkish family in Vienna, whose bond is tested when one of them begins to explore the world outside of their large family. Shot in Vienna and Anatolia, Wega Film (The White Ribbon) produces with funding from the Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Film Fund and broadcaster ORF. Nihal Koldas and Begum Akkaya star.
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Mommy Is Coming (Ger)
Cheryl Dunye’s Berlin-set erotic comedy follows a warring lesbian couple who receive an unexpected visit from one of the women’s mothers. Lil Harlow, Maggie Tapert and Dunye star. The film was produced by Jürgen Brüning, Claus Matthes and Dunye. GMfilms has picked up distribution in Germany. Dunye’s drama The Watermelon Woman won the Teddy Award at Berlin in 1996.
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Rent-A-Cat (Rentaneko) (Jap)
Naoko Ogigami’s Glasses (Megane) screened in Berlin’s Panorama section in 2008, winning the Manfred Salzgeber prize, while her debut feature Yoshino’s Barber Shop also premiered at the Berlinale in 2004. She returns with her sixth feature about a woman who rents cats to lonely people. The cast includes Mikako Ichikawa, Reiko Kusamura and Ken Mitsuishi.
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The Wall (Die Wand) (Aust-Ger)
German TV director Julian Pölsler makes his feature debut with an adaptation of Marlen Haushofer’s novel The Wall. Martina Gedeck (The Lives Of Others) stars in the story of a woman’s transformation after she is forced by an inexplicable phenomenon to break with her regular life and enter a strange world. StudioCanal has picked up German rights.
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The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears (Mac-Ger-Slov-Bel)
Teona Mitevska’s first feature in five years charts the parallel stories of two mothers’ struggle for survival. Shot in Macedonia and Germany, the film stars Spanish actress Victoria Abril — who won a Silver Bear at Berlin in 1991 for her performance in Amantes — alongside Labina Mitevska. The drama is director Mitevska’s third film to screen in the Panorama section, following 2001 short Veta and 2008 feature I Am From Titov Veles.
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