The Berlinale's Kinderfilmfest has confirmed five titles for its new 14plus youth film competition, which will open on Feb 7 with the world premiere of Anders Gustafsson's Bagland (Scratch).
The Kinderfilmfest has also announced another innovation, a retrospective of works from the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem.
Commenting on the 14plus films, Kinderfilmfest and 14plus director Thomas Hailer said: "We have been able to draw on a rich range of outstanding international productions for this target group. At last we are able to offer these films a proper platform at the festival. This makes us really happy and is long overdue."
The five titles selected so far are:
Bagland, dir Anders Gustafsson. Bagland centres on the life of seventeen-year-old Mille whose turbulent day-to-day existence gives rise to a longing for independence and an ordered normality. Yet her biggest obstacle turns out to be precisely those she believes to love - they provoke the young woman to make a far-reaching decision of great consequence.
Jargo, dir Maria Solrun. A German film from Icelandic director Solrun, Jargo is set in one of the huge high-rise housing estates in the north of Berlin. The film is portrait of young people caught between cultures and sees a blond Arab boy encounters a Turkish Berliner.
Paradise Is Somewhere Else (Behesht jaye digari Asti), dir Abdolrasoul Golbon. The Iranian director's feature film debut Paradise Is Somewhere Else (Behesht jaye digari Asti) has played at a number of international festivals. It tells the story of a young man who, in trying to escape the ancient custom of retribution killing, sets off on a journey to find himself.
United, dir Magnus Martens. Billed as an unpretentious romantic comedy, United focuses on Kare, who is already 26 years old, but still lost in youthful dreams of everlasting love and a professional career with Manchester United. He gradually faces up to reality and begins to tackle his life without betraying his innermost desires.
Quality Of Life, dir Benjamin Morgan. After years of social work in the graffiti scene in San Francisco's Mission District, newcomer Benjamin Morgan transforms the life stories of two young men into a disturbingly realistic tale. Showing as a world premiere, Quality Of Life makes a plea for the acknowledgement of graffiti as an artform.
Meanwhile, a programme of seven shorts from the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem will depict some problems of growing up in a society torn apart by daily violence, including screenings of Sea Horses (Susei yam) by Nir Bergman (who received a Panorama award in 2003 for Broken Wings) and Nadav Gol's A Different War (Milhama a'heret).