Citizenfour, The Cut and Quatsch to screen at Berlinale; Critics’ Week Berlin to be launched

The German Film Critics Association (VDFK) has joined forces with the Heinrich Böll Foundation to launch a Critics’ Week Berlin as “a hub for everyone who connects intellectual reflection with the sensual pleasure of watching films”.

Inspired by the examples of Cannes, Venice and Locarno, the first edition’s selection of 10 features is based on two concepts: “stirring, daring, surprising cinema and a potential for cultural and critical discussion.”

The initiative is not part of the Berlinale, although members of the VDFK board had spoken with festival director Dieter Kosslick about the idea of a critics’ week in the past.

Two titles already confirmed are the world premiere of Bernard Émond’s Le Journal d’un vieil homme (The Diary of an Old Man), adapted from the Chekhov novella A Dreary Story, and Johnnie To’s romantic comedy Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2, which will be presented as a double feature together with its first episode.

The Critics’ Week screenings will be run Feb 5-12 at the Hackesche Höfe cinemas, with entrance free for VDFK members and those officially accredited at the Berlinale.

This year will see the Heinrich Böll Foundation celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Peace Film Prize which it presents with partners to a film screening in the Berlinale programme.

Past winners include Long Night’s Journey Into Day, Grbavica and Just The Wind which are being shown as part of a retrospective at Berlin’s Bali-Kino this week to recognise the 30th anniversary.

LOLA@Berlinale titles revealed

Laura Poitras’ portrait of Edward Snowden, Citizenfour, Fatih Akin’s Venice competition title The Cut and Veit Helmer’s children’s film Quatsch are to show in the LOLA@Berlinale sidebar during the festival in Berlin next month.

They are among 48 titles – 26 fiction feature films, 17 documentaries, and five children’s films – pre-selected by members of the German Film Academy for the German Film Awards (LOLAs) nominations.

The “long list” includes films which premiered at last year’s Berlinale including Edward Berger’s Jack, Dominik Graf’s Beloved Sisters and Johannes Naber’s Age Of Cannibals as well as this year’s Competition title As We Were Dreaming by Andreas Dresen and as-yet-unreleased films by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Elser), Rosa von Praunheim (Härte) and Oskar Roehler (Tod den Hippies! Es lebe der Punk!)

The fiction films and documentaries will be screened at the Zoo Palast cinema during the Berlinale, while the five pre-selected children’s films will be shown at the Filmkunst 66 cinema on the festival’s final day (Feb 15).

The screenings will be open to all of those accredited at the Berlinale as well as members of the German Film Academy who are eligible to vote.

The nominations short list will then be unveiled on May 7, with the final winners of the LOLAs announced at a gala ceremony in Berlin’s Palais am Funkturm on June 19.