In the informal territory between the festival and market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market further established itself as a motor for international co-productions, while the Berlinale Talent Campus secured its place as an internationally one-of-a-kind working and inspiration platform for young filmmakers from around the world. The three year-old World Cinema Fund once again used the Berlinale as a showcase for its successful film support activity: Three WCF-funded films were invited to take part in the official programme. With Ariel Rotter’s El Otro, the WCF was able to add another Bear-winner to its portfolio.
A Berlinale of the stars, especially women
The Competition films at this year’s Berlinale managed to attract a noticeable number of film stars and personalities to Berlin. The press and audiences were pleased and the Red Carpet was surrounded every day from early afternoon. At this year's festival, actresses in particular provided the memorable moments: Cate Blanchett, Marianne Faithfull, Lauren Bacall, Sharon Stone, Judi Dench, Jennifer Lopez, Emanuelle Béart, Nina Hoss, Julia Jentsch and Yu Nan, the lead actress in winning film Tuya's Marriage. Plenty of male celebrities were present too: everyone’s eyes were also on Matt Damon, Joseph Fiennes, Guillaume Dépardieu and superstar RAIN (Jung Ji-hoon) while the Jury offered plenty of “manpower” with Willem Dafoe, Gael García Bernal and Mario Adorf.
Once again the Competition presented itself as a mix of generations when it came to the directors. Young, promising names like David Mackenzie, Ariel Rotter and Li Yu drew attention alongside the greats of their trade, such as Jiri Menzel, Jacques Rivette and Paul Schrader. With Steven Soderbergh, Park Chan-wook, Francois Ozon and Christian Petzold, several big names of contemporary cinema presented their new works in Berlin.
However, not all the films in this Competition were equally popular. While Sam Gabarski’s Irina Palm, Mackenzie’s Hallam Foe, Li Yu’s Lost in Beijing and Petzold’s Yella resonated positively with both the press and the general public, the eagerly awaited Bordertown disappointed many observers, because it failed to sufficiently tackle its charged topic head on – the persecution and murder of Mexican textile workers.