Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2016


Dec 17, 2015:
Berlinale 2016: Panorama Celebrates Teddy Award’s 30th Anniversary and Announces First Titles in Programme

With one quarter of the Panorama decided, a zeitgeisty picture emerges that has all the elements needed for a great programme: star entertainment combined with relevant themes, insights, and deliberations on the ethical and moral aspects of contemporary issues. Also included are explorations into the history of the Middle East, and excursions to Africa, Europe and the USA. In the viewings that are still underway in Berlin, further topics are reflected that confirm the present focus. By mid January some 32 fiction films and 18 documentaries will have been selected for the Panorama 2016.

Diversity and Surprise

Three films from United Kingdom display sophisticated genre leanings: John Michael McDonagh will be back in Berlin with a biting cops-on-the-loose satire set in New Mexico: War on Everyone starring Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Peña, Theo James and Tessa Thompson. With his Irish-British co-productions, The Guard and Calvary, McDonagh already had two big hits in the Panorama in 2011 and 2013.
Remainder, Omer Fast’s brilliant first feature explores a genre full of thrills and fantasies: having received an enormous compensation for an accident, the protagonist creates a parallel urban universe in the hope of recovering the gaps in his memory. Thrills and fantasies are also to be found in The Ones Below by David Farr: a wickedly spun tale about wanting a child, establishing a home and nuclear family, all the pleasant normalities that for so many seem worth striving for – although striving itself can take on rather bloodcurdling qualities.

Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore in Maggie's Plan

Ever since Rebecca Miller’s Ballad of Jack and Rose was screened in the Panorama in 2005 and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee in the Competition in 2009, we have been eagerly awaiting her next work. And here it is: Maggie's Plan features the star of Frances Ha Greta Gerwig (Panorama 2014), a superb Julianne Moore, and Berlin’s friend of longstanding, Ethan Hawke. Everything revolves around possible relationships, and the compulsions and constraints of pregnancy, as well as a threesome - or maybe not. The fresh ideas the actors bring to their characters make for great fun.

François Nambot and Geoffrey Couët in Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau (Paris 05:59)

The Sensitive Male

Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau are masters at enacting male characters that go beyond the usual clichés: since they presented their first work, Jeanne et le garçon formidable (The Perfect Guy) in the Competition in 1998, they have been invited back several times. As a night in Paris unfolds in their film Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau (Paris 05:59), viewers are taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Bouli Lanners recounts a dark saga that presents numerous luminaries in his French-Belgian co-production, Les premiers, les derniers (The First, the Last). In this end-of-the-world western not even those with the toughest exteriors can deny that a sensitivity slumbers within them. Lanners presented Ultranova in the Panorama in 2005.

Denial and Repression

S one strane (On the Other Side) by Croat Zrinko Ogresta picks up a thread of previous Panorama programmes: coming to terms with the political past. This is not always as spectacular as in The Act of Killing (Panorama Audience Award 2014). Yet when “down in the Balkans” the recent past creeps back into what is still the new normal, as it does in this film by Zrinko Ogresta, you come to realise that raising awareness is indispensable for the future. A compelling actress as well as a subtly intelligent and extraordinary cinematography make this work a rare find.
In the Czech debut film Já, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová) by Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda, a young woman escapes the pressures of a hostile environment. Yet the disastrous conditioning inflicted on her by her family and a world undergoing radical change makes life on her own unbearable.

Two films from Israel

Udi Aloni, enfant terrible of Israeli cinema, has shown all his films to date in Berlin – and once again he is interested in seeing Israel’s role towards co-existence with Palestinians from the perspective of potential justice. In Junction 48, adolescents still have hope, and rap is their voice! And it is used by young Israelis, whether of Jewish or Arab descent…
Arab-Israelis are also at centre stage in Sufat Chol (Sand Storm). Elite Zexer portrays a Bedouin family in the Israeli desert: the husband and father of three daughters takes a second wife. The first wife takes this hard and patriarchy soon finds itself cornered.

With the film The Sea Is Behind, Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Lasri caused a sensation at last year’s Panorama, and everyone agreed: he is an unusually talented director. His new film, Starve Your Dog, is in no way inferior. Rich in associations and visuals loaded with energy, the absurdities, abnormalities and disagreeable conditions of a profoundly misshapen society become perceptible.

First fiction film from Ghana at the Berlinale

In Nakom by Kelly Daniela Norris and TW Pittman, life is just starting for a young medical student, far away from his village in Ghana’s capital, Accra. But suddenly his father dies and, as the oldest son, he is ordered home. There he has his hands full, trying to deal with the wishes of his relatives and getting the farm back on track. A portrait of customs and traditions in rural Ghana, but also of a departure from the limitations that every village community in the world imposes on its children.

Panorama Dokumente

Dokumente films make up about a third of the Panorama programme. So far we have selected two:

Laura Israel’s Don't Blink - Robert Frank is an exceptionally lively and organic portrait of this photographer and filmmaker as well as a kaleidoscope of Jewish life in New York. When navigating his later years, Frank is at times grumpy and dissatisfied, at others affable and ironic. William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Ed Lachman, with music by Lou Reed, Patti Smith, the band Bauhaus – Frank’s life and work reveals a cornucopia of inspiration.
From Romania comes Hotel Dallas by Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang: the film investigates the formative influence of a TV series on a society in upheaval. With underlying humour, fun and fantasy, Livia Ungur takes us and Patrick Duffy, the star of TV series Dallas, on a tour through her Romania – a country that still has not stopped dreaming of better days.

Chantal Akerman and Claire Wauthion in Je, tu, il, elle (I, You, He, She)

Teddy30: Must-see basics

The only official LGBTIQ (in short, queer) film prize at an A-festival in the world is celebrating its 30th anniversary: the Teddy Award. An offshoot of the Panorama, the prize has been awarded since 1987 in the categories Short Film, Documentary and Feature to works relevant to queer culture. Eligible every year are films from all of the Berlinale sections. Meanwhile, the award has achieved international significance. This year’s anniversary programme will present a total of 15 films.

In 1987, before the still unknown directors Gus Van Sant (Best Short Films: Five Ways to Kill Yourself and My New Friend) and Pedro Almodóvar (Best Feature: Law of Desire) could be awarded the first Teddys, a number of filmmakers had already proven the existence of a cinematic culture that went far beyond the heteronormative mainstream. They included female directors, such as Ulrike Ottinger, Greta Schiller or Chantal Akerman, who is now deeply missed; and male directors, such as the Spaniard Agustí Vilaronga, the Israeli Dan Wolman or Lothar Lambert, who has contributed innumerable films to the Berlinale (not to mention the well-known greats of a distinctively gay cinema, such as Rosa von Praunheim, Werner Schroeter, Rainer Werner Fassbinder or Derek Jarman). For 2016 the Teddy has put together an anniversary programme of rarely seen works, some of which had been made before the award came into existence, and were also why it was established in the first place.

In this context, the Panorama will be presenting a special screening, the world premiere of the restoration of Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others, Germany 1919). This film by Richard Oswald was the first gay film in cinematic history. Its restoration has been carried out by the Outfest Legacy Project / UCLA Film & Television Archive in Los Angeles and underscores the need to archive films on 35mm, at present the only reliable storage medium.

Panorama 2016

Já, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová) – Czech Republic / Poland / Slowak Republic / France
By Tomáš Weinreb, Petr Kazda
With Michalina Olszanska, Marta Mazurek, Ondrej Malý
World premiere

Junction 48 – Israel / Germany / USA
By Udi Aloni
With Tamer Nafar, Samar Qupty, Salwa Nakkara, Sameh Zakout, Ayed Fadel
World premiere

Les premiers, les derniers (The First, the Last) – France / Belgium
By Bouli Lanners
With Albert Dupontel, Bouli Lanners, Suzanne Clément, Michael Lonsdale, David Murgia
International premiere

Maggie's Plan - USA
By Rebecca Miller
With Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph
European premiere

Nakom – Ghana / USA
By Kelly Daniela Norris, TW Pittman
With Jacob Ayanaba, Grace Ayariga, Abdul Aziz, Justina Kulidu, Shetu Musah, Esther Issaka, Thomas Kulidu, James Azudago, Felicia Awinbe, Sumaila Ndaago
World premiere

Remainder – United Kingdom / Germany
By Omer Fast
With Tom Sturridge, Cush Jumbo, Ed Speleers, Arsher Ali, Shaun Prendergast
International premiere

S one strane (On the Other Side) – Croatia / Serbia
By Zrinko Ogresta
With Ksenija Marinković, Lazar Ristovski
World premiere

Starve Your Dog – Morocco
By Hicham Lasri
With Jirari Ben Aissa, Latifa Ahrrare, Fehd Benchemsi
European premiere

Sufat Chol (Sand Storm) - Israel
By Elite Zexer
With Lamis Ammar, Ruba Blal-Asfour, Haitham Omari, Khadija Alakel, Jalal Masarwa
European premiere – debut feature film

Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau (Paris 05:59) - France
By Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
With Geoffrey Couët, François Nambot
World premiere

The Ones Below – United Kingdom
By David Farr
With Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn
European premiere – debut feature film

War on Everyone – United Kingdom
By John Michael McDonagh
With Michael Peña, Alexander Skarsgård, Theo James
World premiere

Panorama Dokumente

Don't Blink - Robert Frank – USA / France
By Laura Israel
International premiere

Hotel Dallas – Romania / USA
By Livia Ungur, Sherng-Lee Huang
With Patrick Duffy
World premiere - debut feature film


1 Berlin Harlem – Germany (Federal Republic), 1974
By Lothar Lambert, Wolfram Zobus

Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others) - Germany, 1919
By Richard Oswald

Before Stonewall – USA, 1984
By Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg
Info-Schau (former title of Panorama) 1985

Die Betörung der Blauen Matrosen (The Enchantment of the Blue Sailors) - Germany (Federal Republic), 1975
By Ulrike Ottinger

Die Wiese der Sachen (The Meadow of Things) - Germany (Federal Republic), 1974-1987
By Heinz Emigholz
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1988

Gendernauts - Eine Reise durch die Geschlechter (Gendernauts - A Journey Through Shifting Identities) - Germany, 1999
By Monika Treut
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1999

Je, tu, il, elle (I, You, He, She) - France / Belgium, 1974
By Chantal Akerman

Looking for Langston - United Kingdom, 1989
By Isaac Julien
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1989

Machboim (Hide and Seek) – Israel, 1979
By Dan Wolman
Info-Schau (former title of Panorama)1980

Marble Ass – Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1995
By Želimir Žilnik
Panorama / Teddy Award winner1995

Nitrate Kisses – USA, 1992
By Barbara Hammer
Forum 1993

The Watermelon Woman – USA, 1996
By Cheryl Dunye
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1996

Tongues Untied – USA, 1989
By Marlon Riggs
Panorama / Teddy Award winner 1990

Toute une nuit (A Whole Night) - France / Belgium, 1982
By Chantal Akerman
Info-Schau (former title of Panorama) 1983

Tras el cristal (In a Glass Cage) – Spain, 1987
By Agustí Vilaronga

Press Office
December 17, 2015

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