The International Filmfestival Berlin is the self-proclaimed world’s biggest public festival. It might as well be the film festival that covers the most wide- spread area in one big city with its screening venues, namely cinemas. With "Berlinale goes Kiez" the festival explores new theaters, and yes, they have actually emerged in Berlin for quite a few years now. One of them is the crowdfunded Wolf Cinema in Kreuzberg – such artistic venues are called neighbourhood cinemas in the Berlinale program. And within the framework of this year's main theme "Courage: Against All Odds" about challenges in the film industry etc., the Wolf gang, as they call themselves, had one important item on the agenda: "Local Heroes: Community Cinema Reloaded". It was an interesting and encouraging public talk about doomsday prophecies of the death of cinema, about practical things to think about when engaging in the idea of founding a cinema, and the often underestimated social factor of going to the movies. No time here for negative thinking and no sense of past years' talks about shifting film to galleries, the focus shifted to an optimistic view of social art work and the aspect of group dynamic.
The film programm itself and the competition in particular, tried to set the focus on politics. The opening film was the world premiere of Django by Etienne Comars. This intimate portrait of musician Django Reinhardt is the French producer and scriptwriter's debut. Stigmatised as a Sinte, the famous guitar player had to endure violence and opression during German National Socialism. In 1943, he was finally able to flee occupied Paris. With this choice for opening film, festival director Dieter Kosslik was able to put together European history and current debates on flight, seeking refuge and migration. Reflected also in his speeches during the festival, this seemed to prove one of his most important topics: to clearly identify the International Filmfestival as a festival with a political position.
The members of this year's international jury were Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven (jury president), Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha Fourati, the artist Olafur Eliasson from Iceland, American Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, German Actress Julia Jentsch, Mexican actor and director Diego Luna and Chinese screenwriter Wang Quan’an. They gave eight awards over all: The Golden Bear for Best Film went to On Body and Soul (Testrol és lélekrol) by Ildikó Enyedi. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to Félicité by Alain Gomis, Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for Spoor (Pokot). Aki Kaurismäki got the Silver Bear for Best Director for The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen). The Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor went to Kim Minhee for her performance in On the Beach at Night Alone (Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja) by Hong Sangsoo, and Georg Friedrich for his performance in Bright Nights (Helle Nächte) by Thomas Arslan. The Silver Bear for Best Screenplay went to Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza for A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) by Sebastián Lelio. Dana Bunescu won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for editing Ana, mon amour by Calin Peter Netzer.(Jennifer Borrmann, edited by Yael Shuv)
FIPRESCI in Berlin
Our jury presented the Prize of the International Film Critics to a film each in Competition, in Panorama and in Forum.
We participated in the "Talent Press" initiative at the "Berlinale Talents". Eight young critics wrote daily about the festival, its films, its events. See "Critics Reloaded".
Samir Farid, the Egyptian Critic, got a special award of the Berlin International Film Festival: the "Berlinale Camera" . The laudatory speech was delivered by critic and FIPRESCI General Secretary Klaus Eder. More
International Filmfestival Berlin: www.berlinale.de