Source: Christopher Aoun / Razor Film



All Eyes Off Me (Isr)

Dir. Hadas Ben Aroya
Israel’s Ben Aroya made waves at Locarno in 2016 with debut feature People That Are Not Me, in which she also starred as a young woman looking for love on Tel Aviv’s casual sex scene. She revisits this terrain for her second feature, following a woman who discovers she is pregnant by an on-off boyfriend, now in the thrall of a new wild woman, who in turn has designs on someone else. The cast features rising Israeli talents Elisheva Weil, Yoav Hait, Leib Lev Levin and Hadar Katz. Ben Aroya also produces with Maayan Eden. Contact: Martin Gondre, Best Friend Forever 

Bliss (Ger)

Dir. Henrika Kull
German writer/director Kull makes her second outing in Panorama with this story of two sex workers who meet in a Berlin brothel and fall in love. The lead roles are taken by Katharina Behrens, who was recently seen in Michael Venus’s Berlinale 2020 title Sleep, and Adam Hoya, the subject of Pia Hellenthal’s Panorama 2019 documentary Searching Eva, and formerly known as Eva Collé. Kull was previously in Panorama in 2018 with drama Jibril. Bliss is produced by Berlin’s Flare Film. Contact: Reel Suspects

Brother’s Keeper (Turkey-Rom)

Dir. Ferit Karahan
Turkish writer/director Karahan’s drama explores the microcosm of an authoritarian boarding school in the Anatolian mountains. When one of two young friends falls mysteriously ill, the tutors realise the seriousness of the situation too late as the school becomes isolated under a heavy snowfall. Turkey’s Asteros Film made the feature in co-production with Romania’s Flama Booking. Karahan’s debut was 2014 drama The Fall From Heaven, which he followed with comedy Eski Köye Yeni Adet in 2018. Contact: Intramovies 

Celts (Ser)

Dir. Milica Tomovic
The feature debut of Serbia’s Tomovic is set in 1993 Belgrade, where a mother throws a costume party for her daughter’s eighth birthday, but later sneaks out into the night in search of genuine thrills. Tomovic directed the 2016 short Transition, which played at Locarno and Toronto, and won a Heart of Sarajevo award. Celts was produced by Serbia’s EED Productions. Contact: M-Appeal 

Copilot (Ger-Fr)

Dir. Anne Zohra Berrached
German writer/director Berrached is back at the Berlinale after her debut Two Mothers screened in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar in 2013, while her second feature 24 Weeks played in Competition in 2016. Her latest feature is initially set in the mid-1990s and centres on Asli, a woman whose world is shaken when her lover Saeed disappears. Producers are Germany’s Razor Film Produktion, France’s Haut et Court and Germany’s Zero One Film. Contact: The Match Factory

Death Of A Virgin, And The Sin Of Not Living (Leb)

Dir. George Peter Barbari
A group of adolescent friends visit a sex worker to lose their virginity in this Lebanon-set debut feature from US-born Argentinian-Lebanese director Barbari. The filmmaker draws on his own experiences as a teenager for a wider exploration of the implications of this unofficial rite of passage and what it means, in his words, “having to deal with life and not knowing how to”. The film is produced by Christelle Younes and Reine Semaan under the banner of filmmaker collective Bee On Set Productions, which is based in Lebanon. Contact: Bee On Set Productions

Night Raiders (Can-NZ)

Dir. Danis Goulet
Taika Waititi is executive producer and Canadian Indigenous writer/director Goulet makes her feature directing debut on the story of a Cree woman who joins a band of vigilantes to infiltrate a state-run children’s academy and take back her daughter. The co-production shot in autumn 2019 mostly in Hamilton, Ontario, and stars Elle-Maija Tailfeathers (Blood Quantum). XYZ Films originally boarded US sales and has stepped up to handle the world. Contact: Rachael Conrad, XYZ Films 

Souad (Egy-Tun-Ger)

SOUAD - 1 (1)

Source: Best Friend Forever @ Vivid Reels


Dir. Ayten Amin
It has been nine months since this long-awaited drama — the second fiction feature by Egypt’s Amin — received a Cannes 2020 label. The story revolves around two teenage sisters, one of whom lives a secret life in the virtual world of social networks. Amin made her inter­national debut as one of the directors on the portmanteau feature Tahrir 2011: The Good, The Bad, And The Politician, which premiered at Venice, and followed this with her 2013 debut feature Villa 69. The producers of Souad include Egypt’s Vivid Reels with co-producers including Wim Wenders through Germany’s Road Movies and Mohamed Hefzy of Cairo-based Film Clinic. Contact: Martin Gondre, Best Friend Forever 

Ted K (US)

Dir. Tony Stone
Sharlto Copley stars in this biopic of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, currently serving eight life sentences for waging a bombing campaign over nearly 20 years. The film shot in Montana from 2018-19 on location on Kaczynski’s former land in Lincoln, with the production interviewing neighbours and employers, and referencing Kaczynski’s personal manifesto. The title is a Heathen Films presentation in association with Verisimilitude, Hideout Pictures and In Your Face Entertainment. Contacts: Dana O’Keefe, Cinetic Media (North America) and HanWay Films (international) 

Theo And The Metamorphosis (Fr)

Dir. Damien Odoul
Odoul was once a regular on the A-list festival circuit, with films such as Venice 2001 grand jury prize winner Deep Breath and Locarno 2012 title Rich Is The Wolf. The French director makes his Berlinale debut with his first feature since 2015 First World War drama The Fear, after taking a break from cinema to focus on poetry, theatre and photography. Théo Kermel stars as a young man with Down’s syndrome, who aspires to be a samurai warrior and decides to start a new life when he finds himself alone in the forest. Contact: Kidam 

The World After Us (Fr)

Dir. Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas
French director Ben Salah-Cazanas makes his feature debut with this contemporary tale about a struggling writer and Deliveroo driver whose literary ambitions are compromised when he falls in love and commits to renting an apartment beyond his means. Aurélien Gabrielli stars opposite Louise Chevillotte. Gabrielli and Ben Salah-Cazanas previously collaborated on short film Geneva about a man who turns to armed robbery to finance his mother’s euthanasia. Olivier Capelli produces The World After Us through Paris-based Les Idiots. Contact: Be For Films 

Panorama Documentaries

Dirty Feathers (US-Mex)

Dir. Carlos Alfonso Corral
The directing debut of cameraman Corral, this documentary looks at the hardships and hopes of the homeless on the streets of US-Mexico border towns El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Corral previously worked as assistant and first assistant camera on several features by Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini, including BFI London and Venice prize-winner What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire?. Minervini’s Pulpa Film produced Dirty Featherswith Corral and Denise Dorado’s Cine Candela. Contact: Manuela Buono, Slingshot Films 

Genderation (Ger)

Dir. Monika Treut
Treut has been a regular at the Berlinale since her 1985 debut drama Seduction: The Cruel Woman and received a Teddy Award for lifetime achievement in 2017. For her latest documentary, the director travels to the US to seek out the transgender pioneers and activists who appeared in her film Gendernauts — A Journey Through Shifting Identities, which premiered in Panorama in 1999. The new film also paints a portrait of the US at the end of the Donald Trump era. Producers are Treut’s own Hyena Films, ZDF and 3sat. Contact: Salzgeber

The Last Forest (Bra)

Dir. Luiz Bolognesi
Brazilian writer/director Bolognesi explores the daily lives and creation myths of the Indigenous Yanomami people in his latest feature and illustrates their struggle to preserve traditions and habitat in the Amazon rainforest. Producers are Sao Paulo-based Gullane and Buriti Filmes. Like his 2018 Panorama title Ex-Shaman, the film mixes elements of fiction and documentary. Bolognesi has also explored animation, with credits including 2013 Annecy prizewinner Rio 2096: A Story Of Love And FuryContact: Gullane  

Miguel’s War (Leb-Ger-Sp)

Dir. Eliane Raheb
Lebanon’s Raheb already has established herself with three powerful documentaries: This Is Lebanon, San Sebastian premiere Sleepless Nights and Those Who Remain. Her new film accompanies a gay man who fled war and repression in Lebanon to the hedonistic Madrid of the post-Franco era. Some 37 years later, Miguel returns alongside Raheb to face his inner conflicts. The project has been in the works for several years and picked up the Robert Bosch Stiftung prize at Berlinale Talents in 2016. Producers are Raheb’s Beirut-based Itar Productions, Berlin’s Kabinett-Film and Spain’s Zeitun Films. Contact: Itar Productions

North By Current (US)

Dir. Angelo Madsen Minax
The latest from US interdisciplinary artist Minax, known for explorations of queer and trans issues, is a personal essay about motherhood, grieving and transgender masculinity shot as the director returns to his hometown after a death in the family. The film was made with the help of fellowships from the Sundance and Tribeca institutes and participation in the Berlinale Doc Station forum. Field of Vision and POV American Documentary co-produced. Contact: Felix Endara, Hard Flow