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Berlin Forum Focuses on Innovative Debuts

Pop Art and Politics – the Forum Focuses on Innovative Debuts

The program of the 35th International Forum of New Cinema presents itself in leaner, rejuvenated form. Reducing the selection of films by more than a quarter in comparison with earlier years focuses the gaze on essentials: an innovative, global filmmaking eager to experiment and take unconventional paths outside the mainstream. The program, consisting of 39 feature and documentary films, including 16 debut works, is presenting 24 world premieres. A total of 33 countries are represented in the Forum.

The directing debuts and films by young directors that characterize the 35th Forum are sassy, playful, and colorful. The compilation film Lost and Found, which introduces a young generation of Eastern European filmmakers, is not the only one testifying to a new wave of cinema between Estonia and Romania. Feature film debuts like the Russian entry, media artist Tania Detkina’s Pakostnik, which effervesces with dadaistic imagination, and Alexander Shapiro’s Putevoditel from Ukraine, an ironic-cool instruction manual for the city of Kiev, also bear witness to an unfettered, wild cinema growing in strength again in Eastern Europe.

The spectrum of feature film debuts ranges from the Chinese film Niu Pi (Oxhide), in which 23-year-old Liu Jiayin captures her cramped everyday Beijing family life in big-screen images, to the first feature film by the British installation artist Tracey Emin, whose Top Spot adds to her autobiographical work a multifaceted memory to her hometown Margate.

The crossover between cultural genres is a constant feature of the current Forum program. With verschwende deine jugend.doc (wasting one’s youth.doc), music journalist Jürgen Teipel has developed an authentic portrait of the German Punk and New Wave movement from 1977 to 1983 out of a reading tour with photos, original recordings, and examples of music associated with his docu-novel “Verschwende Deine Jugend”. French director Claire Denis devotes her attention to dance theater in Vers Mathilde, an experimental, quasi-mirror-image portrait of the choreograph Mathilde Monnier. The feature film Stadt als Beute (Berlin Stories), made in Berlin, also comes from the world of the stage. Directors Irene von Alberti, Miriam Dehne, and Esther Gronenborn have developed three surprising Berlin stories out of the rehearsals for a play by René Pollesch; with a twinkling eye, the episodes comment upon the relationship between art and the reality of life.

Characteristic of the Forum’s choice of films is that feature films interpret reality and documentaries write stories. Thus, the US feature film On the Outs, by Lori Silverbush and Michael Skolnik, portrays with sober realism the lives of three young women in Jersey City who search for their place in life between street crime and prison, while in El Inmortal, the Spanish director Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez tells the hair-raising story of twin brothers torn apart in the Nicaraguan civil war, only to find each other on opposite sides of the front: one a Sandinista, one a Contra.

World premieres and European premieres in the Forum program:

Amu (Shonali Bose) Indien, IP, 98 min., 35mm

Arlit, deuxième Paris (Idrissou Mora-Kpai) Benin/France, WP, 78 min., 35mm

Barrage (Raphaël Jacoulot) France, WP, 93 min., 35mm

Brasileirinho (Mika Kaurismäki) Brasil/Finland/Switzerland, WP, 90 min., 35mm

Coca – The Dove from Chechnya (Eric Bergkraut) Switzerland, WP, 87 min., 35mm

Como pasan las horas /The Hours Go By (Inés de Oliveira Cézar) Argentina, WP, 90 min., 35mm

Crash Test Dummies (Jörg Kalt) Austria, WP, 95 min., 35mm

D’Annunzios Höhle (Photographie und jenseits – Teil 8-10) /D’Annuncio’s Cave (Photography and beyond – Part 8-10) (Heinz Emigholz) Germany, WP, 102 min., 35mm / DigiBeta

Der irrationale Rest (Thorsten Trimpop) Germany, WP, 100 min., 35mm

Die Vogelpredigt oder Das Schreien der Mönche /St. Francis Birds Tour (Clemens Klopfenstein) Switzerland/Italy, IP, 88 min., 35mm

Durchfahrtsland (Alexandra Sell) Germany, WP, 91 min., 35mm

El Inmortal (Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez) Nicaragua/Mexico/Spain, EP, 78 min., 35mm

Grietjie van Garies (Odette Geldenhuys) South Africa, WP, 48 min., DigiBeta

Kekexili Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (Lu Chuan) China, EP, 95 min., 35mm

Les yeux clairs (Jérôme Bonnell) France, WP, 87 min., 35mm

Lost and Found (Nadejda Koseva, Cristian Mungiu, Jasmila Zbanich, Kornél Mundruczó, Stefan Arsenijevic, Mait Laas) Estonia/Bulgaria/Romania/Hungary/Bosnia/Serbia, WP, 95 min., 35mm

Lu Cao Di/ Mongolian Ping Pong (Ning Hao) China, WP, 108 min., 35mm

Mahiru no hoshizora/ Starlit High Noon (Nakagawa Yosuke) Japan, WP, 90 min., 35mm

Mein Bruder. We’ll meet again (Thomas Heise) Germany, WP, 57 min., 35mm

Melegin Düsüsü /Angel’s Fall (Semih Kaplanoglu) Turkey, WP, 97 min., 35mm

Niu pi Oxhide (Liu Jiayin) China, WP, 110 min., DigiBeta

Odessa Odessa… (Michale Boganim) Israel/France, EP, 96 min., 35mm

On the Outs (Lori Silverbush, Michael Skolnik) USA, EP, 82 min., HD

Oprosti za Kung Fu/ Sorry for Kung Fu (Ognjen Svilicic) Croatia, IP, 71 min., 35mm

Pakostnik/ The Rascal (Tania Detkina) Russia, WP, 82 min., 35mm

Profils paysans: Le quotidien (Raymond Depardon) France, WP, 85 min., 35mm

Putevoditel/ The Guidebook (Alexander Shapiro) Ukraine, WP, 108 min., 35mm

Ratziti lihiyot gibor /On the Objection Front (Shiri Tsur) Israel, IP, 63 min., DigiBeta

Sekai no owari World's End / Girl Friend (Kazama Shiori) Japan, EP, 112 min., 35mm

Shin Sung-il-eui hangbang-bulmyung/ Shin Sung-il Is Lost (Shin Jane) Korea, IP, 103 min., DigiBeta

Stadt als Beute /Berlin Stories (Irene von Alberti, Miriam Dehne, Esther Gronenborn) Germany, WP, 90 min., 35mm

Top Spot (Tracey Emin) Great Britain, EP, 62 min., DigiBeta

Vers Mathilde (Claire Denis) France, IP, 84 min., 35mm

verschwende deine jugend.doc/ wasting one’s youth.doc (Jürgen Teipel, Sigrid Harder) Germany, WP, 87 min., HD

Violent Days (Lucile Chaufour) France, IP, 80 min., 35mm

Yamanaka Tokiwa /Into the Picture Scroll – The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa (Haneda Sumiko) Japan, IP, 100 min., 35mm

Yan Mo /Before the Flood (Yan Yu, Li Yifan) China, WP, 150 min., DigiBeta

Yeoja, Jeong-hae /This Charming Girl (Lee Yoon-ki) Korea, EP, 99 min., 35mm

Zero Degrees of Separation (Elle Flanders) Canada, WP, 85 min., DigiBeta


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