This year’s Panorama will present 17 feature films in its main programme, 16 in the Panorama Special and 17 in its Panorama Dokumente series. 26 of these 50 films are world premieres and seven are first works. The former Panorama Short Film series has now been integrated into the Berlinale’s Short Film Competition, a new section established in 2007.
In addition to the directors of these films, the festival is expecting: Maria de Medeiros, Julie Delpy, Isabelle Carré, Gilbert Melki, John Waters, Erkan Can, Rei Dan, Kaori Momoi, Daniel Brühl, Angela Winkler, Karoline Eichhorn, Antonio Banderas, Marina Hands, Danny Glover, Ohad Knoller, among others. For their documentary Invisibles, producer Javier Bardem, and directors Isabel Coixet, Fernando León de Aranoa, Mariano Barroso, Javier Corcuera, and Wim Wenders will also attend the festival.
In addition to the Panorama films already announced, certain trends can be discerned in this year’s entries:
“Young people’s search for identity”: 14 feature films from nearly every continent explore this topic which can reflect cultural and social change like almost no other.
“State paranoia”: whether it is the clandestine web of international espionage in Hal Hartley’s Fay Grim, British security cameras in Paul Oremland’s debut film Surveillance, or the overreaction of the FBI to an alleged bio-terrorist in Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Strange Culture – fear and its relation to social and state systems is the subject of a number of films.
“Actors turned directors”: this special emphasis, mentioned in the Panorama’s previous announcement, is further underscored by Sarah Polley’s feature directorial debut, Away From Her. With great understanding and precision, the Canadian actress examines the universal issue of caring for the elderly and, more specifically, the care of Alzheimer’s patients.
The film nations of France, Korea and Germany are particularly well represented. The American “Independents” are back with impressive diversity and a radicalness of form and content. Again, Central and Eastern European film nations are also participating in greater numbers: five films come from the region, two of them from Hungary. The Berlinale’s traditional mission, to function as a political and cultural bridge between the East and West, has shifted in the last years towards making films available to new sections of the population and facilitating their access to the market.
The Panorama has been successful in winning over three outstanding film experts for the jury of this year’s Manfred Salzgeber Prize:
Kanako Hayashi, director of the Tokyo film festival FILMeX (Japan)
Udi Aloni, visual artist, filmmaker and activist for a rapprochement between Israelis and Palestinians (USA/Israel), and
Jost Hering, Berlin film producer and co-producer who has realized over 40 films since 1989 (Germany).
The Manfred Salzgeber Prize goes to a documentary or feature film that “broadens the boundaries of cinema today”; it is a non-cash prize for technical services required for cinema screenings.
A new venue: four Berlinale sections will also be showing films at the CUBIX on Alexanderplatz for the first time. The Panorama alone is offering 41 extra screenings, providing the public with even more opportunities to see Berlinale films.
List of titles in addition to the first two Panorama press releases:
The Home Song Stories by Tony Ayres
with Joan Chen, Qi Yuwu, Joel Lok, Irene Chen, Steve Vidler, Kerry Walker, Darren Yap, Annette Shun Wah
From Azerbaijan /Russian Federation:
Proschai, Yuzhnyi Gorod (Good Bye, Southern City) by Oleg Safarliyev
Deserto Feliz (Happy Desert) by Paulo Caldas
Away From Her by Sarah Polley
with Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Murphy, Wendy Crewson
Poor Boy's Game by Clement Virgo
with Danny Glover, Rossif Sutherland, Greg Bryk
From the Czech Republic:
Grandhotel by David Ondricek
with Marek Taclík, Klara Issa, Jaroslav Plesl, Jaromír Dulava, Dita Zabranska
Guten Morgen, Herr Grothe (Good Morning Mr. Grothe) by Lars Kraume
with Sebastian Blomberg, Ludwig Trepte, Nina Kunzendorf, Nele Müller-Stöfen
From Germany /Republic of Serbia/Austria/Bulgaria:
Gucha (Gucha - Distant Trumpet) by Dusan Milic
with Marko Markovic, Aleksandra Manasijevic, Mladen Nelevic, Svetislav Pesic, Slavoljub Pesic
From Great Britain:
Surveillance by Paul Oremland
with Dawn Steele, Tom Harper, Simon Callow, Sean Brenden
Boldog új élet (Happy New Life) by Árpád Bogdán
with Lajos Orsós, Michaela Göczi, István Szilvási
Férfiakt (Men In The Nude) by Károly Esztergályos
with Laszlo Galffi, David Szabo, Eva Kerekes
Riparo (Zuflucht) by Marco Simon Puccioni
with Maria de Medeiros, Mounir Ouadi, Vitaliano Trevisan, Gisella Burinato
From the People´s Republic of China/Hongkong, China:
Luo Ye Gui Gen (Getting Home) by Zhang Yang
with Zhao Benshan, Hong Qiwen, Song Dandan, Guo Degang, Hu Jun, Sun Haiying, Xia Yu, Wu Ma
From the USA:
Itty Bitty Titty Committee by Jamie Babbit
with Nicole Vicius, Melonie Diaz, Melanie Mayron, Guinevere Turner, Carly Pope
January 26, 2007