The 67th edition of the Berlinale will open on 9 February with “Django”, the directing debut of Etienne Comar which tells the story of one of the most extraordinary pioneers of European jazz and the father of Gypsy Swing.
Django Reinhardt was a superb guitarist and Sinti composer who was persecuted by the Nazis. Music and the destiny of minorities in Europe are the two topics that are a recurrent theme at this edition of the Festival, particularly in the Panorama section.
It is also in Panorama that we find one of the few traces of Italy at the festival,
“Call me by your name” by Luca Guadagnino.
Another title that peeps into Generation kplus, the section dedicated to kids’ movies, is
“Amelie rennt”, by Tobias Wiemann.
Two movies filmed in our country but with an eye on the outside world: an all-foreign cast for Guadagnino, who has adapted a US bestseller for the big screen (the novel of the same name by André Aciman) and a German producer (Lieblings film) for “Amelie Rennt”, co-produced with Bolzano’s helios sustainable films.
The scarce Italian presence at the festival grows bigger if we move our attention to the EFM, the Berlinale’s market (9-17 February), and becomes particularly important if we look at Berlinale Talents, the platform for up-and-coming talents which the Berlinale has been heavily backing for 15 years now.
The 250 emerging professionals from 71 countries include several Italians: two sound designers Piernicola Di Muro and Davide Favargiotti, the director Michele Vannucci, the scriptwriter Carlo Salsa, the director and editor Cristina Picchi and the director and producer Lorenzo Cioffi.
Added to these are three people who live in in the United Kingdom but are Italian citizens:
Ali Mansuri, Luigi Campi and Victoria Fiore.
Another promising young Italian is Alessandro Borghi, one of the ten Shooting Stars, the showcase of actors selected for the Berlinale by European Film Promotion which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year.
Among the 36 film projects at the Berlinale’s Co-Production Market (12-15 February), there is another young talent, whose first work debuted at the Berlinale in 2015: Laura Bispuri who, after “Sworn Virgin” is looking for co-producers for “Daughter of Mine”, once again produced by Vivo Film.
There are some other well-known faces at the Berlinale, like Hans Petter Moland (“In Order of Disappearance”, “A Somewhat Gentle Man”, “ The Beautiful Country”), Lou Ye (“Blind Massage”), Celina Murga (“The third Side of the River”), and Anne Zohra Berrached (“24 Weeks”).
550 producers, international sales agents, distributors, broadcasters, film funds and nanciers will be involved in around 1200 “one to one” meetings.
Two Italian authors will also pop up as part of the day dedicated to books, Books at Berlinale: Fabio Geda and Marco Magnone, who wrote the children’s saga, “Berlin”, of which the first book, “Berlin – Fires of Tegel”, will be presented to an audience of producers and audiovisual professionals looking for ideas for transpositions.
It is a story about a group of teenagers in 1978 who find themselves alone in West Berlin, divided into five clans, after a mysterious virus wipes out all the adults in the city.
For the last three years the Co-Production Market has also been expanded to include TV series: this year 6 projects (plus one in collaboration with the Parisian festival “Series Mania”) will compete against each other in the CoPro Series pitching session at the legendary Zoo Palast cinema, which will also be hosting all of the Drama Series Days, featuring an intense program of conferences (on 13 and 14 February) where new trends will be discussed and sector developments, from the most highly anticipated genres to the various financing options and funds. “The Drama Series Days have been expanded and moved into a new venue mirroring the enthusiasm of the film and television industries with this initiative, now in its third year. The focus is exclusively on high quality content produced by an industry that is overlapping more and more with the film industry” explains the director of the European Film Market,
Matthijs Wouter Knol, who defines the EFM’s identity as being founded in the search for better quality products, whether these regard cinema or are connected to cinema.
“The audiovisual sector is consistently characterized by radical transformations.
The EFM positions itself as a market that is forward-thinking and, at the beginning of the year, offers an overview of what is to be expected in the future.”
For this reason, he continues, “the Film Market is once again expanding its portfolio”.
With the new EFM Horizons, for example, “New technologies change everything, focal points shifts, traditional companies have to reconfigure their approaches. EFM Horizons is a new innovation platform that takes all these developments into consideration and offers a variety of events focusing on the lm industry of the future”
Inside we will find Propellor Film Tech Hub, a collaborative project with the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) and the Berlin- based innovation studio Cinemathon that will be further developed into an incubator program that will take place in Summer 2018 in Berlin – an incubator set to develop new business models and prototypes for the production, distribution, sales and marketing of films.
In the meantime the Berlinale will also feature Propellor Speednic, a networking event with which, explains Matthijs Wouter Knol, “we are aiming to create a strong community of film pioneers and innovators from other industries to develop new ideas together in the next two years.”
In addition to Propellor Speednic, EFM Horizons, will also include EFM Startups, VR NOW Con Business Mixer, dedicated to virtual reality professionals, Game <3 Cinema, which attempts to imagine the movie theater as a place where film-lovers and video-game enthusiasts can come together, and e Next Level of Cinema dedicated to the most cutting edge innovations in the eld of screening technologies, sound systems and equipment for filming”.
MEDIASALLES AT THE BERLINALE
As is traditional, MEDIA Salles will be at the Berlinale to present a preview of the trend of the European theatrical market in 2016, and the latest edition of Digitalk.
The event will be held on Saturday 11 February at 1.00 p.m., at the Oxymoron, during the meeting dedicated to quality cinema in Europe organized jointly by MEDIA Salles, Ag Kino and Cicae.