For the 6th time, the Berlin daily newspaper "Der Tagesspiegel" is putting together a 9-person Reader’s Jury, which will award a prize to the best film showing in the Forum. Anyone interested in being part of the jury during the Berlinale can apply to the Tagesspiegel until January 26th. Participants should have an interest in independent cinema and enough time between February 9 and 18 to watch the entire Forum program. The jury watches four to five films per days. The winning film will be announced on February 18th and shown again on February 19th in a joint event organized by the Forum and the Tagesspiegel.
AUSENTE from Marco Berger is starting in selected cinemas on January 12. The film which had its world premiere in the 2011 Berlinale Forum where it received the Teddy award for best feature film is about the abuse of an adult by a minor, who is fully aware of his teacher’s delicate position and all too willing to exploit it. Martin finds a whole series of excuses to subtly invade his sport teacher Sebastian’s privacy, ending up spending a night in his apartment. But when Martin’s intentions dawn on him, the teacher has already been compromised. It takes a tragic accident for Sebastian to become aware of his own feelings for Martin. Marco Berger’s original feature film uses the glances exchanged by his protagonists to tell the story. Martin’s unwavering gaze is contradicted by his apologetic body language, which is nevertheless unable to conceal the fact that he wants to breach taboos and move into new territory. Sebastian’s evasive, worried look, on the other hand, reflects the fact that he does not want to see the game that is being played with him.
UTOPIANS by Zbigniew Bzymek is starting in selected cinemas on January 5. The film, which had its world premiere in the 2011 Forum is being distributed by arsenal distribution. It tells the story of three people on the edge: of society, of control, of strength and of collapse. Roger teaches yoga. The relationship with his daughter Zoe, who has just finished her military service, is put under strain by her love for Maya, a young woman who is allegedly a certified schizophrenic. There is tension with the participants of his yoga class when Roger repeatedly comes late and brings along a stray dog. When Roger, Zoe and Maya take on a renovation job on a middle-class home nothing goes to plan and the whole affair is wrought with tension. The different realities that Roger tries to get to grips with, metaphors for Maya’s schizophrenia catch up with him in his yoga class when his belief that "we can make our own time" reaches its limits just as fast as his "feel united with the world around you" notion clashes with social reality. For his feature debut, Zbigniew Bzymek has found a form that is remote from social drama – the outline of a story is sketched in a non-dramatic and non-linear way by scenes that are sometimes separated by fades to black. With an idiosyncratic floating atmosphere and one of the most long-lasting guitar improvisations since "Dead Man."
Forum Expanded 2012 will once again be exploring new forms of artistic, cinematic and political expression. 37 works by artists, filmmakers, theorists and musicians from 20 different countries comprise the compact and focused programme, taking in exhibitions, film programmes, discussions and performances that place an emphasis on aesthetic explorations of the global and individual dimensions of current crises.
The programme explores the extent to which the radical and avant-garde ideas of the past are still relevant today and seeks to redefine the role of contemporary cinema.
Thomas Imbach's DAY IS DONE from this year's Forum program is starting in selected cinemas on December 1, being distributed by arsenal distribution. The film just received the "Zurich Film Award 2011" last week. In the film essay Thomas Imbach observes life unfolding in front of him from the window of his studio over several years, complementing the images with archived answer phone messages from the same period. On the day of the release on December 1 director Thomas Imbach will be our guest at Kino Arsenal. The film will also be playing playing daily at Acud and fsk Kino from December 1.
TERRITOIRE PERDU by Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd is starting in selected cinemas across France next week. The film, which premiered in this year's Forum program, just received the Grand prix at the International Documentary Film Festival in Montréal (RIDM). Earlier this year it had already won the Special Jury Prize at Doclisboa as well as the Grand prix at Jihlava International Documentary Festival. In piercing black and white images shot on 8mm, TERRITOIRE PERDU depicts the plight of the Saharauis in the divided West Sahara, throwing light on a crisis largely neglected by the international community.
Marie Losier's THE BALLAD OF GENESIS AND LADY JAYE which had its world premiere at this year's Berlinale Forum where it received the Caligari as well as a Teddy award will be touring through several German cities from Novemvber 24-29. It is a film about Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, well-known for his work with Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and his life and work partner Lady Jaye. One would expect the film to be about the history of industrial music, about Genesis as a link between the pre- and post-punk era, about the underground scene since the 1970s. And it is, but it tells the story from the perspective of a great romantic love. Genesis and Lady Jaye start to undergo surgical procedures to merge into a third being, a pandrogynous being. Release 24.11. – playing daily in Berlin at Kino Arsenal and fsk. The preview on 23.11. in the presence of the director at Kino Arsenal is supported by the Caligari Award. (English with German subtitles). Distribution in cooperation with Neue Pegasos.
Jan Krüger's LOOKING FOR SIMON is starting in selected cinemas on November 10. The film, which had its world premiere in this year's Forum, is being distributed by Edition Salzgeber. It tells the story of Valerie, who has not been able to get hold of her son in Marseille for some time now. She goes to the French port city and finds an abandoned apartment. She asks Simon’s ex-lover Jens to come too so he can support her quest in the strange city. Why does somebody disappear without a trace? How can somebody one thought one knew so well suddenly become so unknown? And who is Simon really? As it unfolds, Jan Krüger’s film develops into an unconventional psycho-thriller. Each lead that Valerie and Jens pursue comes to nothing. Despite booking a trip, Simon did not go to Morocco; neither of them can explain why he might have bought an expensive yellow sports car. Together they watch vacation videos and other films they find in the apartment. And they come across two people – Simon’s colleague Camille and the mysterious car dealer Jalil – who both evidently had a special relationship with the disappeared Simon. Valerie and Jens begin to question their own relationship with him and consequently themselves. All the participants are thrown off course by the search. And with its particular atmosphere, the French port city plays a very singular role.
Submissions for the 42nd Berlinale Forum can now be made until October 31.
To submit your film online, please go to www.berlinale.de. Please make sure that you read the regulations carefully before submitting your film. The 42nd Berlinale Forum will take place from February 9-19, 2012.
Matt Porterfield’s PUTTY HILL is starting in selected cinemas on September 29. The film, which had its world premiere in the 2010 Forum and has played successfully at many international festivals since, is being distributed by arsenal distribution. The film is set on the day before the funeral of a young man, who died of an overdose, showing his family and friends, who are beginning to get on with their lives again. Observing them in an almost documentary fashion, the film captures a mood and a milieu at the same time. Teenagers that come across as strangely exhausted by the impositions of growing up, only finding freedom in the small patch of green by the river or at the skate-park; adults whose lives are not just marked by tattoos. It is the film's great gentleness that allows both the places and the protagonists to speak for themselves.
Hugo Vieira da Silva's SWANS, which had its world premiere in this year's Forum, is opening in selected cinemas across Germany on July 14. The film's distributor is Edition Salzgeber.
Nanouk Leopold's BROWNIAN MOVEMENT from this year's Forum programme is starting in selected cinemas on June 30. Main actress Sandra Hüller just received a special mention at the Festival des Deutschen Films.
On June 9, Szabolcs Hajdu's BIBLIOTHÈQUE PASCAL from the 2010 Forum is opening in selected cinemas across Germany. The film's distributor is Camino Filmverleih.
Volker Sattel’s extremely topical film UNTER KONTROLLE is starting on May 26. The film’s distributor, Farbfilm, in conjunction with arsenal distribution, will circulate 25 copies to cinemas across Germany.
Philip Scheffner's DAY OF SPARROW has been awarded the city of Ludwigsburg prize at the 2011 German documentary film awards.
This year’s Horizonte Prize (worth 3,000 euros) at DOK.fest Munich went to Marcela Said and Jean de Certeau’s EL MOCITO. The film premiered in this year’s Forum.