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BERLINALE 2020 EFM

A talented young line-up for Alpha Violet in Berlin

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- The French company will take Sundance award-winner Identifying Features to the EFM and will also kick off pre-sales for two first features currently in post-production, Apples and The Cemil Show

A talented young line-up for Alpha Violet in Berlin
Identifying Features by Fernanda Valadez

The European Film Market, unfolding within the 70th Berlinale (running 20 February to 1 March), will see the Paris-based international sales agent Alpha Violet screen a debut feature film which won over both the audience (who distinguished the film with the Audience Award) and the jury (who treated it to a special screenplay accolade) of the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition: Identifying Features [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the first feature by Mexico’s Fernanda Valadez, retraces the stoic, dogged and perilous peregrinations of a mother looking for her young son, who vanished without a trace while making his way from Mexico to the US with a friend in pursuit of the American dream. The film was co-produced by Spanish firm Nephilim Producciones.

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Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato’s team will further continue its unearthing and spotlighting of young filmmakers by kicking off pre-sales on two other debut feature films at the EFM, both of which are currently in post-production.

A promo reel will notably be available for Apples [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christos Nikou
film profile
]
by Greek director Christos Nikou (formerly assistant director to Yorgos Lanthimos on Canine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile
]
and to Richard Linklater on Before Midnight [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Nikou first made a name for himself with his short film KM, which screened in upwards of 40 international festivals, including Rotterdam, Stockholm, Palm Springs, Sydney and Tallinn). Written by the director himself, the story of Apples revolves around Aris, a solitary man who’s well into his thirties. The victim of an inexplicable memory loss phenomenon affecting his town, he is plunged into a severe form of amnesia which doctors try to cure by way of new treatments. These consist of repeating certain activities from his past in an attempt to create new memories. Thus, Aris relives some of his past experiences. But the process comes to a head when he meets Anna, a woman undergoing the same treatment. As their budding relationship develops, Aris will start to reconsider his acts and make some rather different decisions… Produced by Greek outfit Boo Productions and Poland’s Lava Films (with Bartosz Swiniarski notably in charge of cinematography), Apples is co-produced by Slovenian firm Perfo Production with the support of the Greek Film Centre, the ERT and the Polish Film Institute, among others.

The EFM will also see Alpha Violet kick off pre-sales on The Cemil Show, the first feature film by Turkey’s Bariş Sarhan, which is also in post-production. Written by the director himself, the screenplay follows Cemil, who has always dreamed of becoming an actor and who’s called up to audition for the role of a baddie in a feature film. He’s unsuccessful at the audition, but little by little, he morphs into the character he’d been rehearsing, which leads to him taking revenge on those who dismissed him. Standing tall in the cast are Ozan Çelik, Nesrin Cavadzade and Alican Yücesoy, whilst production was overseen by Bariş Sarhan and Umut Egitimci.

For the record, Alpha Violet has sold works internationally for a great many promising young filmmakers whose titles have featured in the bigger festivals, including the American of Lithuanian origin Tomas Vengris (Motherland [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Denmark’s Frelle Petersen (Uncle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Romania’s Marius Olteanu (Monsters. [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marius Olteanu
film profile
]
), Bulgarian director Nadejda Koseva (Irina [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martina Apostolova
film profile
]
), Poland’s Agnieszka Smoczyńska (Fugue [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
film profile
]
), Hungarian filmmaker Gabor Reisz (For Some Inexplicable Reason [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Argentine director Natalia Garagiola (Hunting Season [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Natalia Garagiola
film profile
]
), Italian duo Silvia Luzi and Luca Bellino (Crater [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino
film profile
]
), Spain’s Antonio Mendez Esparza (Here and There) and Ukrainian director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky (The Tribe [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), not to mention Brazilian filmmaker Alice Furtado (Sick, Sick, Sick [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

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(Translated from French)

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