From February 11th – 22nd, the Berlin Film Festival will be celebrating ist sixtieth anniversary with a series of initiatives and special events, starting with the public screening of “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang at the Brandenburg Gate.
The city will also be plastered with portraits of the many stars who have contributed to the Festival’s history.
Like last year, there are no Italian films in competition.
Roberto Cicutto, in his role as president of Cinecittà Luce, downplayed the situation stating that “this should not be interpreted as an act of indifference towards our movies. Cinema is like the pieces of a mosaic, it is a complex puzzle that corresponds to an artistic and industrial design. We think that the design of Italian cinema is extremely visible at the Berlinale 2010”.
And, in fact, the Italian movies are spread more or less throughout all the festival’s fringe sections.
Silvio Soldini returns to Berlin (after being selected for the competition in 2002 with “Burning in the Wind”) with a romantic comedy “What I want most”, starring Alba Rohrwacher, Giuseppe Battiston and Pierfrancesco Favino, in the Berlinale Special section. The Panorama section includes Ferzan Ozpetek with “Mine Vaganti”, a big cast comedy about a numerous and extravagant Apulian family, written by the director with Ivan Cotroneo, produced by Fandango in collaboration with Rai Cinema and starring, amongst others, Ennio Fantastichini, Lunetta Savino, Carolina Crescentini and Nicole Grimaudo. Also in the Panorama section: “Due vite per caso”, by Alessandro Aronadio (Lucky Red), with Lorenzo Balducci and Isabella Ragonese, a movie freely inspired by the events of the G8 in Genoa in 2001.
“In the Food for Love” is this year’s slogan for the fourth edition of “Culinary Cinema” (February 14th-19th), which will be inaugurated by Luca Guadagnino’s “I Am Love”.
The screenings, held inside the Martin Grophius Bau will, as always, be followed by tasty suppers inspired by the movies, prepared in the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant by famous chefs such as Christian Lohse, who will prepare a “Russian-Italian Declaration of Love” in honor of Guadagnino’s movie in which Tilda Swinton plays a Russian woman who gets married and becomes a member of a rich Milanese family.
“I Am Love” has already been to the Toronto Film Festival (Worldpremiere Cinema), along with, amongst others, “La Pivellina” by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, which was also presented at the “Quinzaine des realizateurs” at the Cannes Film Festival (where it was awarded the Europa Cinemas Label), and which has been selected for the Generation Kplus section.
The film, set in a Romany camp on the outskirts of Rome, tells a story of courage and prejudice, poised between reality and fiction.
We return to the kitchen for “Come si deve”, the short directed by Davide Minnella and written by Stefano Sardo, in which Piera Degli Esposti plays a prison cook whose job it is to prepare the last supper for prisoners awaiting execution.
Italy is represented in the Forum section by “The Mouth of the Wolf ”, the first feature length movie by Pietro Marcello (produced by Indigo Film), and the first Italian movie to win the Turin Film Festival (in 2009).
Another story that mixes reality and fiction, it is a love story between Enzo, who has just come out of prison after 30 years, and Mary, a transsexual with years of experience living on the streets of Genoa. “Giardini di luce” is the only Italian documentary in competition in the “Berlinale Short” section.
Produced by the Apulia Film Commission as part of the framework program agreement “Sensi Contemporanei”(part of the “Memory Project”), it is directed by Apulian Davide Pepe, and inspired by the Feast of San Trifone, patron saint of Adelfia, in the province of Bari.
Finally, we should mention that “Liquid Roads” by Marco Bechis has been selected for the Co-Production Market.
From February 14th – 16th, the producers and directors of 37 projects will meet with 450 potential financial backers and co-producers.
The figures confirm the importance of this event, which is housed in the same venue as the European Film Market.
To date, 90 movies, i.e. 40% of the projects presented, have been realized, and two of these have been included in this year’s Berlinale program: the German-Iranian co-production “The Hunter”, by Rafi Pitts, in competition, and “The Famous and the Dead”, the debut work by Esmir Filho in Generation 14plus.
Italy’s shooting star for 2010 is , the young protagonist of “Ten Winters”.
Cinema&Video International, n. 1-2 gennaio-febbraio 2010
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