For years, discussions with filmmakers directly after the screenings of their films have been a special attraction of the festival experience for many Berlinale visitors. With the establishment of the Haus der Berliner Festspiele as a new venue in 2012, the Berlinale now has the opportunity to use this space to expand discussions between filmmakers and the audience.
“Some topics simply demand more attention and a broader platform than the time allotted to them usually allows,” comments Festival Director Dieter Kosslick. Close contact with international stars in direct conversation after their appearance on the Red Carpet as well as immersion in topical issues –the events at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele promise both.
The talks will take place directly after the screenings and will vary, depending on the film, in content and form. In the Berlinale’s first year at this location, an impressive new format has already emerged.
Saturday, February 11 at 8:30pm: In the Land of Blood and Honey
(directed by Angelina Jolie)
With Angelina Jolie and Jasmila Žbanić
The new format will open with In the Land of Blood and Honey, Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut. The film tells a painful love story set against the backdrop the war in Bosnia. Following the screening, Angelina Jolie will talk with Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić, who won the Golden Bear for her post-war drama Grbavica (Grbavica - The Land of My Dreams) at the Berlinale in 2006. It will be a meeting between two filmmakers who have approached the same controversial topic in very different ways.
Sunday, February 12 at 11am: Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi und römischer Beton
With Heinz Emigholz (director), Arno Brandlhuber, Gertrud Koch, Anselm Franke
Moderated by Hanns Zischler
With translation into English
Following the screening of Heinz Emigholz’s Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi und römischer Beton (Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi and Roman Concrete), the Forum is hosting a panel discussion with the filmmaker. Emigholz will discuss the final film in his series “Architecture as Autobiography” with urban planer and architect Arno Brandlhuber, film scholar Gertrud Koch and curator Anselm Franke.
Sunday, February 12 at 3pm: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
With Alison Klayman (director)
Moderated by Klaas Ruitenbeek
The documentary portrait Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is also screening at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. American director Alison Klayman accompanied Chinese artist Ai Weiwei for years, and reveals the inseparable link between his artistic work and his political engagement. Following the screening, Alison Klayman will talk with Klaas Ruitenbeek, director of Berlin’s Museum for Asian Art. The event is being held in cooperation with Amnesty International.
Monday, February 13 at 3pm: Death Row
Werner Herzog (director)
Werner Herzog’s Death Row, a work that has an unusual format for a film festival, will be given a platform at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. The former President of the International Jury (Berlinale 2010) will present Herzog’s four-part TV series, each of which gives an individual portrait of a person who has been sentenced to death in the USA. Afterwards, the audience will have the opportunity to discuss what they have seen with Werner Herzog.
Tuesday, February 14 at 10:30am: “Happy Birthday, Studio Babelsberg!”
With Daniela Sannwald, Klaus Kreimeier, Christoph Fisser, Rudolf Jürschik
Moderated by Ralf Schenk
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Studio Babelsberg, three films from different political eras will be presented from the special series “Happy Birthday, Studio Babelsberg”. Josef von Sternberg’s Der Blaue Engel (1930) represents the Weimar Republic. It will be followed by Münchhausen (1943), which was made during the Nazi era. Wolfgang Staudte’s Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us, 1946) strikingly depicts post-war Germany. In a discussion about responsibility and the enmeshment of politics and studio system, film journalist and author Ralf Schenk will take a critical look at history. The panel will also include Daniela Sannwald, co-author of the book “Die Frauen von Babelsberg”, which has just been released; Klaus Kreimeier, an undeniable expert on cinema of these eras; as well as Christoph Fisser, one of the current directors of Studio Babelsberg. Rudolf Jürschik, who was DEFA’s last head dramaturge, will give insight into the work of the studio before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Wednesday, February 15. February at 3pm: Side By Side
With Keanu Reeves (producer), Chris Kenneally (director)
Moderated by Michael Donaldson
For the documentary film project Side By Side, Keanu Reeves interviewed over the years many masters of contemporary cinema. He asked them about the significance of digital technology for cinema and the art of filmmaking. The result is a number of very interesting conversations with legendary directors, such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Soderbergh. Following the screening, Keanu Reeves will discuss the topic with Chris Kenneally, the film’s director, and Michael Donaldson, a lawyer who is an important advocate of independent filmmakers and an expert on digital rights.
Thursday, February 16 at 2pm: Althawra…Khabar
With Noura Younis, Shaayma Adel, Samah Abdel Aaty (journalists)
Moderated by Alaa Karkouti
The first documentary film on the Arab Spring to be presented at this venue will be Bassam Mortada’s Althawra...Khabar (Reporting...A Revolution). The film accompanies six journalists from a Cairo daily paper, all of whom received training in video journalism right before the first demonstrations. With their newly acquired skills, they unexpectedly find themselves in the middle of a revolution. In a panel discussion with film journalist Alaa Karkouti from Kairo, they will reflect on the events and the conflict of having to position themselves between journalist duty and active participation.
Thursday, February 16 at 5pm: Hijos de las nubes, la última colonia
With Álvaro Longoria (director), Javier Bardem
Moderated by Vincenzo Bugno
Álvaro Longoria’s Hijos de las nubes, La última colonia (Sons of the Clouds, The Last Colony). The film draws attention to the current plight of the people of Western Sahara – a region that for decades has been a pawn on the board of European colonial interests. Following the film, Javier Bardem and Álvaro Longoriawill discuss the political situation with the audience. Berlinale delegate for the Maghreb & Mashreq and head of the World Cinema Fund Vincenzo Bugno will moderate the panel.
Friday, February 17 at 6pm: Anton Corbijn Inside Out
With Klaartje Quirijns (director)
Moderated by Anatol Weber
Director Klaartje Quirijns will present her documentary portrait of Anton Corbijn, who is a member of this year’s International Jury. Besides many music videos, Corbijn has made two feature films: Control (2007) about Joy Division’s frontman Ian Curtis, and The American (2010). He is internationally renowned as a photographer of musicians such as the Rolling Stones, U2 and Sting.
Saturday, February 18 at 2:30pm: Magyarország 2011
With Béla Tarr, Bence Fliegauf
Moderated by Nikolaj Nikitin
With translation into English
The programme will close with a film from Berlinale Shorts. Magyarország 2011 (Hungary 2011) is an omnibus film initiated by Béla Tarr (Berlinale 2011, Silver Bear for A torinói ló / The Turin Horse) on the current situation in Hungary. Eleven contributions – including ones by directors Bence Fliegauf (whose film Csak a szél / Just The Wind is also in this year’s Competition), György Pálfi, Márta Mészáros, Péter Forgács and Miklós Jancsó – show the diversity of contemporary Hungarian cinema despite the strict restrictions that have been imposed on freedom of the press and expression in the arts. Following the screening, Béla Tarr and Bence Fliegauf will talk with Berlinale delegate Nikolaj Nikitin about the possibilities of art, and film in particular, to influence or even change the political situation in a country. With this event, the Berlinale is sending a clear signal of support for independent Hungarian cinema.
The events at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele offer a presentation platform for a number of Berlinale sections.
Alongside Parabeton from the Forum, the Chinese animated film Da Nao Tian Gong 3D (The Monkey King - Uproar in Heaven 3D) from Generation will be screening here out of competition. In collaboration with the 3D specialists from Avatar and Harry Potter, The Monkey King - which originally consisted of some 130,000 drawings - is one of the first films to have been restored using modern 3D technology.
February 10, 2012