Former Shooting Star Max Riemelt headlines with Katharina Schüttler and Hanno Kofler in Stephan Lacant’s Free Fall, which will open in the Berlinale’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar showcasing the work of Germany’s next generation of filmmakers.

Section head Linda Söffker has selected six feature-length fiction films, three documentaries and two medium-length fiction productions for the Perspektive’s 12th edition.

According to Söffker, a common thread of this year’s lineup is the subject of separation and loss: “parting, for instance, from home or a loved one seems to preoccupy the next generation most of all. Sometimes, the exploration is painful, at other times celebratory, but, at all times, these young filmmakers find a stirring cinematic translation,” she says.

Three of the fiction features – Nico Sommer’s Silvi, Sven Halfar’s DeAD and Sebastian Fritsch’s End Of Time - were produced by the directors themselves, while another two, Two Mothers and The Revenants, produced at Ludwigsburg’s Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and Munich’s Academy for Television & Film  (HFF), respectively, explore the boundaries between fiction and documentary.

Meanwhile, one of the documentaries, Sandra Kaudelka’s I Will Not Lose, which focuses on former professional athletes in the ex-GDR and how they could survive such a merciless system, was produced by dffb graduate Martin Heisler of Berlin-based Lichtblick Media, the producer of David Sieveking’s highly personal Forget Me Not.

The complete list of films in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino are:

  • Chiralia by Santiago Gil
  • Dancing with Bellies (Die mit dem Bauch tanzen) by Carolin Genreith (doc)
  • DeAD by Sven Halfar
  • End of Time (Endzeit) by Sebastian Fritzsch
  • Free Fall (Freier Fall) by Stephan Lacant
  • I Will Not Lose (Einzelkämpfer) by Sandra Kaudelka (doc)
  • Kalifornia by Laura Mahlberg
  • Metamorphosen by Sebastian Mez (doc)
  • Silvi by Nico Sommer
  • The Revenants (Die Wiedergänger) by Andreas Bolm
  • Two Mothers (Zwei Mütter) by Anne Zohra Berrached

In addition, this year will again see the Perspektive holding true to its tradition of presenting the winner of the best fiction feature film from Saarbrücken’s Max Ophüls Prize Festival on the Berlinale’s last day, the so-called “Cinema Day”, on Feb 17.

The Max Ophüls Prize Festival (Jan 21-27), which will be opened by Martin Schreier’s Robin Hood, will present 16 titles in its fiction feature film competition, of which 11 are being shown as world premieres and two as German premieres.

The world premieres include Rolf Roring’s Dear Courtney about a “great rock’n’roll swindle”, Nicolai Schwierz’s English-language, German-US co-production Grey Sheep, Stefan Schaller’s Guantanamo drama 5 Jahre Leben, and Bettina Blümner’s fiction debut Scherbenpark.

The winning film will be shown in Berlin along with Victor Orozco Ramirez’s 11-minute Reality 2.0, the winner of the First Steps Award 2012 in the category of documentary film, and a nominee, Serban Oliver Tataru’s Anatomie des Weggehens.