In more Berlinale news, two new episodes of House of Cards to be shown on festival closing day.
The award will be presented to Baumgartner after laudatory speeches by Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick and Aki Kaurismäki on Feb 8 before a screening of Kaurismäki’s 1991 film La Vie de Bohème.
In 1982, Baumgartner and Reinhard Brundig founded the distrubution company Pandora Filmverleih in Frankfurt, which became one of the leading players in the world of interational arthouse cinema, discovering such talents as Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurimäki, Sally Potter, Andrei Tarkovsky and Kim Ki Duk.
Pandora’s move into production has seen the company backing films by Emir Kusturica (Underground), Sam Garbarski (Irina Palm), Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre), Sergey Dvorstevoy (Tulpan), Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive), Claire Denis (Bastards), and, most recently, Fatih Akin (The Cut), to mention just a handful.
Apart from Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion, Baumgartner is also a partner with Thanassis Karathanos in Pallas Film, which has produced films by Rafi Pitts (The Hunter), Tomas Lunak (Alois Nebel), Dito Tsintsadze (Invasion), and Aktan Arym Kubat (The Light Thief).
Moreover, he founded Echo Film in Bolzano with three fellow South Tyroleans Andreas Pichler, Georg Tschurtschenthaler, and Philipp Morawetz, in January 2012 to produce films in this new burgeoning production hub in Northern Italy.
This year’s Berlinale will be presenting 409 films in 959 public screenings (2013: 403 in 878 screenings), with 62 of these titles by former participants from the last 11 years of the Berlinale Talents programme.
House of Cards special screening
At the Berlinale’s press conference today, Kosslick revealed that an addition to the Berlinale Special line-up will be a free screening of the first two episodes from the second season of House Of Cards on the last day of the festival (Feb 16).
¨This is part of the festival’s focus on television because we see the development of interesting formats here and we want to open our European Film Market for such trends. And this why one of the Industry Debates will address this issue.
¨Nobody must be afraid that we are going to become a television festival,¨ he stressed. ¨That’s the classic German way of seeing things.¨
Scorsese work in progress
Another late addition is being presented as a ¨work in progress¨ in the Berlinale Special section: Untitled New York Review of Books Documentary by Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi.
The film reveals the inner workings of the publication and its esteemed editor Robert Silvers from its launch in 1963 to the present, with contributions by such writers as James Baldwin, Susan Sontag and Michael Chabon.
Berlinale helping Silver Bear winner
Kosslick also took the opportunity to bring journalists up to date on the plight of Nazif Mujic from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who won the Silver Bear last year for playing himself in Danis Tanovic’s An Episode in the Life of An Iron Picker.
The festival had only learnt a week ago that Mujic, his wife Senada and their three children were in a refugee hostel on the outskirts of Berlin and in danger of being deported at the end of February.
“We have been trying to help him as much as we can and arranged for him to have a lawyer,” Kosslick explained. “As the winner of a Silver Bear, he is naturally a guest of the festival and we will treat like any Berlinale guest who has been here with us before.”
GMfilms picks up two Berlinale films
Michael Höfner’s Berlin-based GMfilms has picked up two Berlinale titles ahead of their screenings at the festival for theatrical release in Germany.
They are: Bruce LaBruce’s Forum Expanded film Pierrot Lunaire - handled internationally by m-appeal’s Raspberry&Cream - and Diego Araujo’s Ecuador-Argentine co-production Holiday (Feriado) which will be presented in Generation 14plus.