German production companies are involved in about half the Competition titles.
World premieres of new films by Bela Tarr, Joshua Marston and Rodrigo Moreno are among the final competition titles to be confirmed as Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick completed his lineup for 2011.
Unlike the previous two years when the Berlinale Competition presented 26 films — including “out of competition” screenings — this year sees the Competition section made up of a total of only 22 titles, although Kosslick has programmed special screenings in the Berlinale Palast of Jafar Panahi’s Silver Bear winner Offside and the European premiere of Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary Cave Of Forgotten Dreams. Herzog was the president of the International Jury at last year’s Berlinale.
Kosslick had already told ScreenDaily that German films would be “strongly represented in the Competition as well as in the other sections” [of the Berlinale], but nobody would have perhaps expected local producers to have such a pronounced profile as is now the case in the festival’s main programme.
Half of the 22 titles invited to the Competition are either German or with German involvement. Apart from the previously announced 3D dance documentary Pina and Andres Veiel’s If Not Us, Who?, Kosslick has selected writer-director Yasemin Samdereli’s feature debut, the comedy-melodrama Almanya, and Ulrich Köhler’s Sleeping Sickness, which was shot on location in West Africa last year.
Moreover, German production companies were involved in Bela Tarr’s The Turin Horse, Rodrigo Moreno’s A Mysterious World, Paula Markovitch’s The Prize, Miranda July’s The Future, and Seyfi Teoman’s Our Grand Despair.
In addition, Germany was a lead partner on Jaume Collet-Serra’s political thriller Unknown which was shooting at Berlin locations a year ago as the second project to be made as part of a strategic alliance struck between Studio Babelsberg and Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment. Unknown will have its international premiere at the Berlinale in an “out of competition” screening and will then be released by Kinowelt in Germany on March 3 under the title Unknown Identity (its working title during production had been Unknown White Male).
Finally, a German production house – Bavaria Film – was a partner on Alexander Mindadze’s Innocent Saturday, a drama set against the background of the reactor explosion in Chernobyl in April 1986. The film – which is being handled internationally by Bavaria Film International – was shot on location in Ukraine last summer.
Kosslick serves up yet another innovation this year by sparing himself the effort of selecting a film to close the Berlinale after the awards ceremony and will instead show the winner of the Golden Bear to round off the evening.
16 of the films showing in the Competition programme are world premieres, and three – Almanya, The Prize and Margin Call – are feature debuts.
The Competition titles announced today are:
The Turin Horse (A Torino Lo), dir Bela Tarr (Hungary/France/Germany/Switzerland) [world premiere]
Almanya (Almanya - Willkommen in Deutschland), dir Yasemin Samdereli (Germany) [world premiere/out of competition]
The Prize (El Premio), dir Paula Markovitch (Mexico/France/Poland/Germany) [world premiere]
Nader And Simin, A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), dir Asghar Farhadi (Iran) [international premiere]
Tales Of The Night (Les Cotes De La Nuit), dir Michel Ocelet (France) [world premiere]
Service Entrance (Les Femmes Du 6eme Etage), dir Philippe Le Guay (France) [international premiere/out of competition]
Margin Call, dir JC Chandor (US) [international premiere]
My Best Enemy (Mein Bester Feind), dir Wolfgang Murnberger (Austria/Luxemburg) [world premiere/out of competition]
Come Rain Come Shine (Saranghanda, Saranghaji Anneunda), dir Lee Yoon-ki (Republic of Korea) [world premiere]
Sleeping Sickness (Schlafkrankheit), dir Ulrich Köhler (Germany/France/Netherlands) [world premiere]
The Forgiveness Of Blood, dir Joshua Marston (US) [world premiere]
A Mysterious World (Un Mundo Misterioso), dir Rodrigo Moreno (Argentina/Germany/Uruguay) [world premiere]
Unknown, dir Jaume Collet-Serra (Germany/UK/France) [international premiere / out of competition]
Innocent Saturday (V Subbotu), dir Alexander Mindadze (Russia/Germany/Ukraine) [world premiere]
The previously announced Competition titles are:
Our Grand Despair (Bizim Büyük Çaresizliğimiz), dir Seyfi Teoman (Turkey/Germany/Netherlands) [world premiere]
Coriolanus, dir Ralph Fiennes (UK) [world premiere]
Pina, dir Wim Wenders (Germany/France) [world premiere/out of competition]
The Future, dir Miranda July (Germany/US) international premiere
True Grit, dirs Joel and Ethan Coen, (US) [international premiere out of competition]
If Not Us, Who (Wer wenn nicht wir), dir Andres Veiel (Germany) [world premiere]
Yelling To The Sky, dir Victoria Mahoney (US) [world premiere]
Special Screenings in the Berlinale Palast:
Cave Of Forgotten Dreams, dir Werner Herzog (US) [European premiere]
Offside, dir Jafar Panahi (Iran)