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BERLINALE 2021 Competition / Berlinale Special

The filmmakers in the Berlinale's International Competition haven't lost their faith in humankind

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- The likes of Céline Sciamma, Radu Jude and Xavier Beauvois will be vying for this year's Golden Bear

The filmmakers in the Berlinale's International Competition haven't lost their faith in humankind
Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma

Before announcing the titles in Berlinale Special and the gathering’s International Competition, Berlinale executive director Mariette Rissenbeek welcomed her online audience. “I’m glad to be standing here today – on the day when we had originally planned to open the 71st Berlinale. At the end of last year, it certainly didn’t look like I’d be able to do so. Now, with the 2021 Berlinale, we are breaking new ground: something like this has never taken place before.”

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With the Industry Event scheduled to take place from 1-5 March, selected films will then be shown in Berlin during the so-called Summer Special (9-20 June). “We want to hold a big celebration for film fans, enchant the audience with cinema once again and offer them a feast for the senses,” she added, pointing out that the digital edition for the film industry and the press will give “a little taste” of the celebrations to follow in June.

In the International Competition, composed of 15 films, two of which are first features, Xavier Beauvois will show Drift Away [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile
]
. “He is less interested in sociological or political elements, but rather in philosophical and existential questions,” observed artistic director Carlo Chatrian, revealing the remaining titles in this year's programme. Radu Jude will offer an “X-ray of contemporary Romania” with Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Radu Jude
film profile
]
, while in Maria Schrader's I'm Your Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maria Schrader
film profile
]
, “the charming prince is not chosen by a woman, but designed to her taste”. Finally, Céline Sciamma will present Petite Maman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. “After the discovery of Tomboy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Céline Sciamma
film profile
]
in Panorama, she is back at the festival with her favourite subject, kids and rites of passage, which is treated with special magical realism that flows in a very smooth way into the storytelling.”

Berlinale Special will showcase 11 titles, including two documentaries about well-known musicians: Tina Turner and Lucio Dalla, in Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin’s Tina, and Pietro Marcello's For Lucio [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, respectively. Kevin Macdonald will show his already feted The Mauritanian [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim and Shailene Woodley, with more stars to be found in Lina Roessler’s Best Sellers, featuring Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza. Je suis Karl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Schwochow
film profile
]
by Christian Schwochow will represent Germany (and the Czech Republic), as will Marc Bauder's Who We Were [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marc Bauder
film profile
]
and Tim Fehlbaum’s Tides [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a co-production between Germany and Switzerland.

“The line-up is made up of films that, either in their production or in their post-production process, have endured the pandemic. They all carry, beneath their surfaces, the uncertain times we are experiencing,” noticed Chatrian. “Last year, I highlighted the ‘heart of darkness’ that some films showed. This year, the whole picture looks less dark. However, the sense of apprehension is very much present. But the filmmakers haven't lost their faith in humankind. On the contrary – their films emphasise the power that any human relationship has.”

You can find Mariette Rissenbeek's full speech here.

Here is the full list of films in the International Competition and Berlinale Special:

Competition

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Radu Jude
film profile
]
- Radu Jude (Romania/Luxembourg/Croatia/Czech Republic)
Ballad of a White Cow [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Behtash Sanaeeha, Maryam Moghaddam (Iran/France)
Drift Away [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile
]
 - Xavier Beauvois (France)
Fabian - Going to the Dogs [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Albrecht Schuch
film profile
]
- Dominik Graf (Germany)
Forest - I See You Everywhere [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Bence Fliegauf (Hungary)
Mr Bachmann and His Class [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Maria Speth (Germany)
I'm Your Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maria Schrader
film profile
]
- Maria Schrader (Germany)
Introduction - Hong Sangsoo (South Korea)
Memory Box [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil J…
film profile
]
- Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige (France/Lebanon/Canada/Qatar)
Natural Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dénes Nagy
film profile
]
- Dénes Nagy (Hungary/Latvia/France/Germany)
Next Door [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Daniel Brühl
film profile
]
- Daniel Brühl (Germany)
Petite Maman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Céline Sciamma (France)
Una película de policías (A Cop Movie) - Alonso Ruizpalacios (Mexico)
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alexandre Koberidze
film profile
]
- Alexandre Koberidze (Germany/Georgia)
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy - Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan)

Berlinale Special

Best Sellers - Lina Roessler (Canada/UK)
Courage [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aliaksei Paluyan and Jörn M…
film profile
]
- Aliaksei Paluyan (Germany)
French Exit [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Azazel Jacobs (Canada/Ireland)
Je suis Karl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Schwochow
film profile
]
- Christian Schwochow (Germany/Czech Republic)
Language Lessons - Natalie Morales (USA)
Limbo - Cheang Soi (Hong Kong/China)
The Mauritanian [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Kevin Macdonald (UK/USA)
For Lucio [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Pietro Marcello (Italy)
Tides [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Tim Fehlbaum (Germany/Switzerland)
Tina - Dan Lindsay, TJ Martin (USA)
Who We Were [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marc Bauder
film profile
]
- Marc Bauder (Germany)

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