Berlinale Special

Feb 11, 2021
Berlinale Special – Engaging Stories, Current Topics, Personal Journeys

Tina Turner & The Ikettes perform at KMET 1973 in Tina

The programme of Berlinale Special is an important addition to the international Competition and one of the most multifaceted sections of the festival. This year’s line-up comprises eleven titles from ten countries, among them are three first features.

“Even in this year’s reduced edition, Berlinale Special delves into the extremes of the cinematic spectrum. Whether the films are the result of one filmmaker with a recognisable voice or a more cooperative work including stars we all admire, they offer the pleasure of engaging stories, current topics and personal journeys,” says Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

The 2021 selection includes films that are currently running successful campaigns for awards (French Exit and The Mauritanian), new (female) voices in the North American indie scene (Best Sellers and Language Lessons), a gripping and hard-boiled detective movie in the best Hong Kong tradition (Limbo), as well as two big and adrenaline-fueled German productions (Je suis Karl and Tides). A group of original documentaries - two of them focusing on world-renowned singers (Tina and Per Lucio) and the other two on current topics (ecological in Who We Were and political in Courage) – complete the selection of Berlinale Special.

Tina Turner, Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges, Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tahar Rahim and Shailene Woodley, Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales are some of the stars in the films.

The films of Berlinale Special:

*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.

Best Sellers
Canada / United Kingdom
by Lina Roessler
with Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza
*World premiere / Debut film

by Aliaksei Paluyan
with Maryna Yakubovich, Pavel Haradnizky, Denis Tarasenka
*World premiere / Documentary form / Debut film

French Exit
Canada / Ireland
by Azazel Jacobs
with Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges, Valerie Mahaffey, Imogen Poots

Je suis Karl
Germany / Czech Republic
by Christian Schwochow
with Luna Wedler, Jannis Niewöhner, Milan Peschel
*World premiere

Language Lessons
by Natalie Morales
with Natalie Morales, Mark Duplass, Desean Terry
*World premiere / Debut film

Hong Kong, China / People’s Republic of China
by Cheang Soi
with Lam Ka Tung, Liu Cya, Lee Mason, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
*World premiere

The Mauritanian
United Kingdom
by Kevin Macdonald
with Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch

Per Lucio (For Lucio)
by Pietro Marcello
*World premiere / Documentary form

Germany / Switzerland
by Tim Fehlbaum
with Nora Arnezedar, Iain Glen, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina
*World premiere

by Dan Lindsay, T. J. Martin
with Tina Turner, Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, Katori Hall
*World premiere / Documentary form

Wer wir waren (Who We Were)
by Marc Bauder
with Alexander Gerst, Sylvia Erle, Dennis Snower, Matthieu Ricard
*World premiere / Documentary form

Press Office
February 11, 2021