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The 70th Berlinale International Film Festival will be held from February 20 to March 1, 2020.
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Taskovski Films present in Berlinale with four titles in competition and recently on board with Sanctuary starring Javier Bardem

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London-based sales and production company Taskovski Films has acquired world sales rights to Radu Jude’s new documentary in Forum competition, The Exit of the Trains, co-directed with Adrian Cioflanca (Romania, 2020), as well as Forum titles The House of Love directed by Luca Ferri (Italy, 2020) is part of Ferris’ the apartment trilogy; Strike or Die by first-time director Jonathan Rescigno (France, 2020), a portrait of two generations, French miners of 1995 and youth of today,  who fight and for whom the battles have never ceased, despite all appearances; and Panorama Dokumente selection The Foundation Pit by Andrey Gryazev, is a found-footage documentary on censorship in Putin's Russia. Which four titles will have its World Premiere in Berlinale 2020. 

Taskovski Films is a compromised company in raising awareness of climate change through film and has come on board acquiring World Sales of the film project Sanctuary by Álvaro Longoria starring Javier and Carlos Bardem, the story of a cause to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary in the Antarctic Ocean. Longoria’s title will receive the Honorary Award from the Cinema for Peace Foundation in Berlin on Sunday 23rd, for the extraordinary work of the filmmakers and Green Peace advocating for marine conservation, and moreover, the film is nominated for the International Green Award. 

Sanctuary, which World Premiered at TIFF, will have a market EFM screening on Wednesday 26 at 11:30 CinemaxX 2, with the attendance of Greenpeace and presentation with the actor and producer Javier Bardem

World Premiere Screening dates:
The House of Love - Saturday 22 - 21:30 Delphi Filmpalast
Strike or Die - Sunday 23 - 13:30 Delphi Filmpalast
The Foundation Pit - Monday 24 - 22:00 Zoo Palast
The Exit of the Trains - Wednesday 26 - 19:00 CinemaxX 4

EFM Screening:
Sanctuary - Wednesday 26 - 11:30 CinemaxX 2




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THE EXIT OF THE TRAINS 
Radu Jude, Adrian Cioflâncă
Romania 2020, 175
World premiere | Documentary form

The Exit of the Trains  by Radu Jude and Adrian Cioflâncă (Romania, 2020) is a holocaust-centred, black-and-white and experimental documentary and montage made up with archive photos and documents concerning the June 1941 pogrom of Iasi, with photographs of the victims and a soundtrack with statements about their fate.

The Exit of the Trains is the second film that Taskovski Films represents from the Cannes veteran director Radu Jude and producer Ada Solomon. The Dead Nation (Radu Jude, 2017) is a film the British company also represents and continues to be in active circulation.    

Synopsis: On June 29, 1941, the Jewish residents of the city of Iasi were rounded up and beaten, shops and homes were looted, and most of the men were shot or crowded onto trains, where they later died of asphyxiation. While Germans took part in the pogrom, the majority of the perpetrators were Romanian policemen, military officers and civilians. How can a film deal with this crime? Radu Jude and Adrian Cioflâncă have opted for a radical, pared-down approach: their film lists the names of those who died from A to Z, illustrating them with photographs from passports and family albums. Astoundingly sober accounts are heard in voiceover. Through repetition, accumulation and variation, the filmmakers make the scale of the atrocity tangible, allow nuances to emerge and give the number of victims – 13,000 – concrete form, until, at the end, after about two-and-a-half hours, they draw on an entirely different visual register.

Radu Jude directed several award-winning short films, among them Lampa cu caciula (2006) - the most successful Romanian short film ever. Jude directed over 100 advertising commercials. Cea mai fericitã fatã din lume (2009), his feature film debut, won the CICAE Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, the FIRESCI Prize at the Sofia International Film Festival, the Prize for Best Screenplay at the Bucharest International Film Festival and the FIPRESCI Prize at IndieLisboa. The film was selected in the ACID Programme at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Toata lumea din familia noastra (2012) received the 'Heart of Sarajevo' Award and the Bayard d'Or in Namur, among other awards. Radu Jude's acclaimed historical drama Aferim! (2015) premiered at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival where he won the Silver Bear award as 'Best Director'. His film I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (2018) won the Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary International Film Festval.

Adrian Cioflâncă is a historian. Director of the „Wilhelm Filderman” Center for the Study of Jewish History in Romania and a member of the Collegium of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives. Between 2010-2012, he was director of the department in The Institute for the Investigation of the Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile. Adrian Cioflâncă edited, in collaboration, seven volumes; the last one: Istoria recentă altfel. Perspective culturale (Recent History Otherwise. Cultural Perspectives), Andi Mihalache, Adrian Cioflâncă (eds.), Iaşi, Editura Universităţii „Al. I Cuza”, 2013. He also authored studies in fields like the history of the Holocaust, history of communism, political violence, cultural history, the theory of history.

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THE HOUSE OF LOVE (LA CASA DELL’AMORE)
Luca Ferri
Italy, 2020, 77
World premiere | Documentary form

The House of Love directed by Luca Ferri (Biennale di Venezia- Orizzonti-, Locarno, Torino, Dok Leipzig, Tallinn, Mar de Plata...) is part of a trilogy called the apartment trilogy; three films shot entirely inside apartments: the first one, Dulcinea was selected at Locarno and the second one Pierino, had its premiere at Dok Leipzig.

La Casa dell’Amore (The House of Love) is a documentary that portrays the life of Bianca, a transsexual prostitute who lives in a suburb of Milan. Throughout its 77 minutes, the film never once leaves the small Milan apartment of Bianca Dolce Miele, a dark safe space illuminated by the warm light of the occasional candle, with objects arranged with ritualistic intention and a black cat always on the roam. A map of the heavens hangs above the bed, the outside world is accessed via telephone. “I’m always here, any time,” she promises her clients in a deep, throaty voice. “Give me half an hour to put on something sexy for you.”

The history behind the collaboration of Taskovski Films with this film is the involvement Irena has with the Emerging Producers training programme organised by Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, in which she has been a mentor over the past seven years, with over 120 alumni from 39 countries. One of the producer's alumni shared with Taskovski the final cut of the title in early 2020, soon when Irena decided to jump and support this outstanding project.

Berlinale quote on The House of Love: “  ...enchanted by its tenderness, its patience, its courage and its ability to go very far without ever violating the intimacy of the people who appear on screen"...  

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STRIKE OR DIE (GRÈVE OU CRÈVE)
Jonathan Rescigno
France, 2020, 93
World premiere | Documentary form

Strike or Die by first-time director Jonathan Rescigno (France), is a documentary composed of unreleased video footage of the French miner revolts in December 1995, in which thousands of miners rise up in revolt in one of the most violent struggles for social justice in French contemporary history fought against the reform in their retirement plan, filmed at the heart of the strikes and images of the present inhabitants of the city. A quarter of a century later, the rage still smoulders and the struggle is more present than ever. The film paints a portrait of two generations who fight, body and soul, and for whom the battles have never ceased, despite all appearances.

Social violence still exists here today, and probably more so than in 1995.  It has taken on a new face in the wake of the extinction of the working class, as we know it. This residual underlying violence particularly affects the youth who confront it through various means: some fighting against it and some fleeing.  

The workers' struggle was part of a whole, and drew its strength from a common cause, against a common enemy. The struggle of the youth today is of a more singular nature. But they are animated by the same rage to conquer, or at least a desire to free themselves from the expectations that are heaped upon them while living their youth. The young people met in the film have absolutely no idea what battles their parents and grandparents fought. This is precisely what Recigno seeks to reveal in Strike or Die. By examining the lives of my protagonists, the children of the mine: "The battles are now fought elsewhere and the young people live the fight in their own way".

Jonathan Rescigno, grandson of a miner, the miner’s strike in 1995, born in Forbach, France in 1980. He studied Art and Film in Metz and Strasbourg. In his short films and video installations, Rescigno deals with the shifting borders and social realities of his home region of Grand Est, located near the French-German border. Grève ou crève is his first feature-length film.

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THE FOUNDATION PIT
Andrey Gryazev
Russian Federation, 2020, 71
World premiere | Documentary form

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Gryazev, is a found-footage documentary on censorship in Putin's Russia. The film will have the world-premiere in Panorama Dokumente.

The film shows the division between Russian citizens and Putin's Government, that refers to itself as a democratic republic when actually the citizens are censored and not able to speak out. This film gives a voice to all those people that are against and have very specific complaints on Putin's government.  

Gryazev: "Since there is no socio-political cinema in Russia, because of censorship and lack of funding, the idea was to come up with a universal template with which any person could transmit the actual reality".  

Russian press: “Novaya Gazeta” - Larisa Malyukova

"Even for my compatriots, this film is unexpected – although it is entirely composed of video footage freely accessible on YouTube. Of course, we have seen some such critical, confessional monologues from our fellow citizens about their difficult, sometimes unbearable life before. But director Andrei Gryazev has connected these various videos in the framework of a single film and created a phantasmagorical landscape of a giant country, where people try to survive, but can’t."

"But in this chorus of curses, swear words, hatred of well-nourished officials there are also addresses in support of the power. Elderly ladies in T-shirts with portraits of the president argue for a quick launch of a national Internet, or else the Americans might switch it off altogether, and they won’t solve any issues! They also live in a foundation pit... which is where this film begins." 

The story divided into separate voices takes on symbolic significance and refers to Platonov’s Foundation Pit. The workers in the novel were also longing for happiness and ready to work honestly. Yet all their work turned into the digging of a mass grave, where their dreams would be buried, and with them the lives of millions of people.  

The Foundation Pit (Andrei Platonov, 1968) is a gloomy symbolic and semi-satirical novel by Andrei Platonov. The plot of the novel concerns a group of workers living in the early Soviet Union. They attempt to dig out a huge foundation pit on the base of which a gigantic house will be built for the country's proletarians.


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SANCTUARY
Álvaro Longoria
Spain, 2019, 75’
World premiere at Toronto International Film Festival | Documentary form

Sanctuary by Álvaro Longoria, starring Javier and Carlos Bardem, World Premiered at TIFF, the story of a cause to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary in the Antarctic Ocean. On this journey, we follow brothers Javier and Carlos Bardem, spokespersons for the Antarctic Sanctuary campaign, in their endeavour to raise the necessary awareness and support to make this initiative a reality.

Javier Bardem, Oscar-winning actor who joined Greenpeace’s Antarctic expedition in January 2018, said: “The benefits of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would be global. Healthy oceans sustain precious wildlife and help limit climate change.”

"Having witnessed the incredible and crucial work undertaken by Greenpeace activists, their fight for the wellbeing and care of this battered home we all share, has been an unforgettable and inspiring experience. In making this documentary, I hope we can contribute towards changing how we treat the environment, raise awareness and galvanize all of us to demand an end to the unsustainable and harmful practices damaging our planet.  We're already living in a state of climate emergency. Urgent action is needed”. 

Taskovski Films is a compromised company in raising awareness of climate change through film, which is our stronger communication tool. We decided to collaborate with the Sanctuary project and title to promote this Greenpeace campaign, as well as other environmental films such as Losing Alaska (Tom Burke, 2018) or Rush Hour (Luciana Kaplan, 2017).    

Irena Taskovski: “These actions within the film industry are especially important because of the power films have on viewers. If together you youth movements like Greta, we unite our forces we can make the change”.  

About the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary Greenpeace project: 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1052908420125417473 

The Arctic sea ice is melting. Climate change resulting from human activity has removed at least 75% of the summer sea ice volume at rates never before experienced in human history. Soon, the Arctic Ocean will be like other oceans for much of the year: open water that is exposed to exploitation and environmental destruction.

Humanity now faces a stark choice. We can exploit the resources of one of the world’s most fragile and precious oceans, or we can manage it responsibly – both for future generations, and for northern and Indigenous communities today, whose livelihoods rely upon a healthy ocean.

Arctic coastal states are keen to lay claim on the valuable resources found beyond their national boundaries, and they have all submitted applications to extend their polar seabeds. Governments and industry see the opening of the Arctic as yet another business opportunity to extract more fossil fuels and fish, placing this unique region – and the entire world – at even greater risk.

Part of the solution is simple: the creation of a sanctuary in the high seas region around the North Pole. An Arctic Sanctuary…

Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary is backed by campaigners, scientists, over 40 international celebrities and 1.300.000 people around the world.

TIFF Q&A with Javier and Carlos Bardem 

“One thing that we need to understand is that the new generations, the Greta’s of the world are really leading the way and we the older ones have to follow their path because they know better than us and are way more aware on what to do and who to put up there to Govern over us. Adults have to listen to their kids, I have hope for them”.    

Javier Bardem: “When I was invited to a panel to discuss with United Nations delegates how to create and protect at least 30, I talked about the documentary and my experience about the oceans because if there is no action, by 2030 the effect will be irreversible. This sounds and it is catastrophic, but when I saw the room was half empty, I worried that it was not a good start. For Delegates not be interested and not be wanting to listen to experts. We need to continue pressuring them to listen that we care and want them to take action” 

Greenpeace delegate: “The United Nations has agreed to adapt a new Global Ocean Treaty, which would give us the opportunity to create a network of ocean Sanctuaries to protect 30% of the oceans in the next few years. But the possibility is that this doesn’t happen if they adapt this treaty as just another piece of paper, which we hope doesn't happen. We didn’t get the Sanctuary status this year, but in 2020 there is a very big chance”.     

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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
Ambiance, film reviews, trailers and podcasts, EFM insider information, and much more.
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