The 71st Berlinale is being launched in the first week of March with an online Industry Event (European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents and Word Cinema Fund) for film professionals and accredited press.
From 1-5th of March, selected events from Berlinale Talents (talks and live workshops) and the World Cinema Fund (WCF Day) are available online to the general public. You can access live streaming 10 minutes before each screening, and follow the WCF, which this year focuses on “Decolonizing Cinema”, via YouTube and FB channels.
From June 9 to 20, 2021, the Summer Special will give general public the opportunity to see the majority of the 2021 selected films in Berlin, both at indoor and outdoor cinemas, and enjoy red-carpet screenings and gala events, including the awards ceremony. The opening of the Summer Special will be celebrated with a red-carpet gala on June 9.
The main program features several films that could potentially bring major stars to Berlin in June, including Tina Turner in documentary Tina, Michelle Pfeiffer in a comedy French Exit, Michael Caine starring in Best Sellers, Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Mauritanian, and Natalie Morales in Language Lessons.
A jury for this year's main competition is made up of six directors, all former winners of the Golden Bear award: Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran), Nadav Lapid (Israel), Adina Pintilie (Romania), Ildiko Enyedi (Hungary), Gianfranco Rosi (Italy) and Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
We took a pick in this year’s Competition program and chose our favorite five:
Ballad of A White Cow (Iran - France): Iranian films have a strong track record at Berlinale, with Golden Bears in the last decade for A Separation (2011), Taxi (2015) and There Is No Evil (2020). Maryam Moghaddam, best known internationally for her acting role in Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain, plays a struggling single mother with a deaf daughter who, after finding out that her husband was executed a year earlier for a crime he did not commit, battles for a public apology from the Court.
What Do We See When We Look At The Sky? (Georgia - Germany): a romantic tragicomedy with magical elements, it’s a story of two lovers who, after a chance encounter, are cursed to wake up each day with completely changed appearances. Alexandre Koberidze is said to have infused this film with a “poetry of aimlessness.”
Next Door (Germany): actor Daniel Brühl’s directorial debut follows a celebrated German-Spanish actor named Daniel. This black comedy centered on a film star and his neighbor and is a very personal project of Brühl’s, set in a neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, where the actor also lives, exploring issues of gentrification and inequality of Berlin.
I’m Your Man (Germany): German actress Maria Schrader, best known for starring in the “Deutschland” series, is etching her name into the international scene after directing successful Netflix series Unorthodox, which earned her a Primetime Emmy. I Am Your Man is a romantic comedy about love with a robot, starring Maren Eggert alongside award-winning actress Sandra Hüller.
Petite Maman (France): director Céline Sciamma, famous for her drama Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, returns to the contemporary world of children and adolescents that has characterized her previous work. We know little of the storyline apart from the fact that it involves two eight-year-old children, which is intriguing as is. The film was conceived during France’s first Covid-19 lockdown in early 2020 and shot late last year.
Full program for the 71st Berlinale is available online. We hope to see you on the red carpet in June!