Feb 10, 2021
Encounters – Regaining a Sense of Discovery

Eve Duranceau, G.A. Roy and Maxim Gaudette in Hygiène sociale (Social Hygiene) by Denis Côté

The competitive section Encounters was introduced in 2020. Its goal is to support new voices in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms in the official selection. A three-member jury will choose the winners for Best Film, Best Director and a Special Jury Award, and will announce them during the Berlinale Industry Event in March. The award ceremony will take place at the Summer Special in June. This year’s line-up comprises twelve titles from 16 countries, of which seven are first features.

“Each film in the second edition of Encounters is a line that crosses an unknown field. If something relates to these very diverse cinematic achievements, it is a sense of discovery. Like the Lumière brothers 125 years later. These films want to take us to places where we will learn something about the world, humankind and maybe about ourselves too. In a time, where trips are almost always cancelled, cinema regains its function,” says Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

Whether in Tahir square in Egypt or in the mundane offices, hotels and fancy homes of Los Angeles, in the heart of the dark Argentinian dictatorship or in the natural wonders of Hawaii, in the past of Baltic aristocracy or in a futuristic Tehran, in an ordinary yet dreamy-like Swiss apartment or a haunted flat on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in a bourgeois Greek house or a domestic prison in Saigon, in the banlieues of Paris or the fields of rural Quebec – the Encounters journey has many stops.

It is not only about being in places where people suffer, dream, work, talk, sing and dance, it is more about being with them. Through the art of uncompromised filmmakers – Berlinale habitués or newcomers, trained in prestigious European schools or autodidacts from Vietnam – the old, contradictory, crazy world we know, love and miss, returns to us.

The Encounters films:

*World premiere is used to indicate that these films have not been shown to an audience yet. Since they will be available in online screenings to a professional audience (industry and press) only, they will keep their status World premiere until they will be presented publicly in cinemas or at festivals.

As I Want
Egypt / France / Norway / Palestine / Germany
by Samaher Alqadi
*World premiere / Documentary form / Debut film

Switzerland / France / Argentina
by Andreas Fontana
with Fabrizio Rongione, Stéphanie Cléau
*World premiere / Debut film

The Beta Test
USA / United Kingdom
by Jim Cummings, PJ McCabe
with Jim Cummings, Virginia Newcomb, PJ McCabe
*World premiere

Blutsauger (Bloodsuckers)
by Julian Radlmaier
with Alexandre Koberidze, Lilith Stangenberg, Alexander Herbst, Corinna Harfouch
*World premiere

Hygiène sociale (Social Hygiene)
by Denis Côté
with Maxim Gaudette, Larissa Corriveau, Eleonore Loiselle
*World premiere

Das Mädchen und die Spinne (The Girl and the Spider)
by Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher
with Henriette Confurius, Liliane Amuat, Ursina Lardi
*World premiere

Mantagheye payani (District Terminal)
Iran / Germany
by Bardia Yadegari, Ehsan Mirhosseini
with Bardia Yadegari, Farideh Azadi, Ali Hemmati
*World premiere / Debut film

Moon, 66 Questions
Greece / France
by Jacqueline Lentzou
with Sofia Kokkali, Lazaros Georgakopoulos
*World premiere / Debut film

Nous (We)
by Alice Diop
with Ismael Soumaïla Sissoko, N'deye Sighane Diop, Pierre Bergounioux
*World premiere / Documentary form

Rock Bottom Riser
by Fern Silva
*World premiere / Experimental film / Debut film

The Scary of Sixty-First
by Dasha Nekrasova
with Betsey Brown, Madeline Quinn, Dasha Nekrasova
*World premiere / Debut film

Vị (Taste)
Vietnam / Singapore / France / Thailand / Germany /Taiwan
by Lê Bảo
with Olegunleko Ezekiel Gbenga, Thi Minh Nga Khuong, Thi Dung Le
*World premiere / Debut film

Press Office
February 10, 2021