The Berlinale is celebrating its seventieth anniversary and is doing so with a new, dual direction: the artistic side is entrusted to Carlo Chatrian, whereas Mariette Rissenbeek is responsible for the executive side.
“It’s a very special honor for us to start directly with such a great anniversary. We would like to keep the Berlinale as a festival for the public and for Berlin and we’re looking forward to new encounters and fresh perspectives,” this is how the two directors describe the task of guiding the festival which will open on February 20 with the screening of “My Salinger year” by Philippe Falardeau, part of the Berlinale Special Gala, the session that has replaced the Out of Competition section and will also be hosting the festival premiere of “Pinocchio” by Matteo Garrone.
There are three Italian films in competition, “Hidden away” by Giorgio Diritti, produced by Palomar, distributed by Rai Cinema and sold abroad by Rai Com.
Match Factory will, instead, be handling the international sales of the other two titles competing for the Golden Bear, “Siberia” by Abel Ferrara, a co-production between Italy, Germany, Mexico and United Kingdom (Vivo Film and Rai Cinema with Maze Pictures, Piano and Rimsky Productions) and “Bad Tales” by the d’Innocenzo brothers, an Italian-Swiss co-production (Pepito Produzioni with Rai Cinema, Amka Films Production and Quantum Marketing Italia).
It is also the anniversary of the Forum session, which is 50 years old and will be celebrating by re-proposing the films that inaugurated it in 1971; for Italy there will be “Obsession” by Luchino Visconti, “A Violent Life” by Sergio Citti and “Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times or Perhaps One Day Rome Will Permit Herself to Choose in Her Turn (Othon)” by Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet.
The new proposals include “The House of Love” by Luca Ferri, produced by Effendem Film with Lab 80, Enece Film and the French Prima Luce, and “Zeus Machine. The Invincible” by Nadia Ranocchi and David Zamagni, produced by Zapruder Film and In Between Art Film.
Challenging conventions and transgressing boundaries, often also in terms of theatrical language, represent the focus of Generation where we find “Ordinary Justice”, the directing debut by Chiara Bellosi, another Italian-Swiss co-production between Tempesta, Cinedokke and Rai Cinema (sold around the world by Vision Distribution) and two shorts: the Italian-French documentary set in Sardinia, “Renaissance” by Marta Anatra, and “toni_with_an_i” directed by Marco Alessi.
The earth’s exploitation and destruction at the hands of humans is another key focus in Panorama, as can be seen in the film by Danilo Caputo “Sow the Wind”, an Italian-Greek co-production between JBA Production OKTA and Graal S.A. (sold around the world by Pyramide International).
There is also another anniversary – a hundred years since the birth of Fellini – which will be celebrated with the screening of the restored version of “The Swindle” in the Berlinale Classics section.
Finally, in Critics’ Week, mention should be made of “Faith” by Valentina Pedicini, a documentary about a community of warrior monks.
New for this edition are the competitive session Encounters, created to support new voices in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms, and the On Transmission program, where Chatrian has asked seven great filmmakers to name a filmmaker or film to talk about theatrical art at the next festival.
Paolo Taviani, whose “Cesar must die”, Golden Bear 2012, will be screened, has chosen Carlo Sironi and “Sole”.