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BERLINALE 2023

The Berlinale announces its first Panorama and Generation titles

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- Iron Butterflies, Silver Haze and Inside are heading to the German gathering, constituting fine examples of “impressive independent filmmaking from across the globe”

The Berlinale announces its first Panorama and Generation titles
The Castle by Martín Benchimol (© Gema Films)

The Berlinale is preparing for its upcoming edition (16-26 February 2023), and has announced the first batch of titles in the Panorama and Generation sections. In the former, of the 14 films selected, 11 are world premieres.

“This year features impressive independent filmmaking from across the globe. The many works by filmmakers worldwide who are using their movies to defy war, systematic persecution and oppression are particularly striking,” noted section head Michael Stütz. “The trend towards transnational filmmaking is reflected in the numerous strong submissions. This all creates a rich breeding ground for a wide-ranging, highly topical 2023 Panorama.”

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Among the selected titles, film collective Babylon’13 – including Roman Liubyi – will present the documentary Iron Butterflies [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roman Liubyi
film profile
]
, while an art thief fights for survival in Inside by Vasilis Katsoupis, featuring Willem Dafoe. Stams by Bernhard Braunstein will zoom in on a skiing boarding school in the Tyrolean Alps, a training ground for the best of the best, while Denmark’s The Quiet Migration by Malene Choi, “about otherness and finding your own place in life”, will also be shown.

French co-productions include Martín Benchimol’s The Castle, the animation The Siren by Sepideh Farsi, set in Iran in the 1980s, and The Cemetery of Cinema, already teased at Final Cut in Venice in September, in which Thierno Souleymane Diallo is searching for a mythical film as well as his country’s forgotten heritage. Then there is Joris Lachaise’s Transfariana, a love story between a trans former sex worker and a FARC rebel, which begins in a Colombian prison.

Well-known director Ira Sachs will return with Passages [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, starring Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw and Adèle Exarchopoulous as people stuck in a “passionate, jealous and narcissistic relationship”. Silver Haze by Sacha Polak, which will see her reunite with Vicky Knight, looks like another highlight, described as a flick about “coming to terms with the past, social origins and the need to belong”.

In Generation, serious subjects will be explored in Domien Huyghe’s Sea Sparkle and Carla Subirana’s Sica, both dealing with grief. Jenna Hasse’s Longing for the World will see an unlikely friendship blossom between a teen, a seven-year-old and a local fisherman, and Rasmus A Sivertsen will focus on an unlikely heroine in the animation Just Super: Hedvig, “neither acrobatic nor athletic, and probably too clumsy to become a superheroine”. But she will try her best to convince her sceptical entourage of the opposite.

“Generation is excited about cinema that places the perspectives and personal experiences of young people at its centre, and that allows young audiences to see and envision themselves anew. A cinematic experience that holds up a mirror to a world created by others – and one that acts as a window onto a world that can be possible,” says section head Sebastian Markt. He also mentions documentaries that call attention to “themes that move not only young people, but also others”, such as Dreams’ Gate, following young Kurdish women during their battle for autonomy, and Waking up in Silence, a short film about Ukrainian refugee children.

Finally, Zeno Graton will deliver the story of “young love behind bars” in The Lost Boys, and Italy’s Antonio Bigini that of a boy with psychokinetic powers in The Properties of Metals.

The complete programme will be announced in mid-January.

Here is the full list of titles announced so far:

Panorama

The Burdened - Amr Gamal (Yemen/Sudan/Saudi Arabia)
The Cemetery of Cinema - Thierno Souleymane Diallo (France/Senegal/Guinea/Saudi Arabia)
The Castle - Martín Benchimol (Argentina/France)
Hello Dankness - Soda Jerk (Australia)
Inside - Vasilis Katsoupis (Greece/Germany/Belgium)
Iron Butterflies [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roman Liubyi
film profile
]
- Roman Liubyi (Ukraine/Germany)
Passages [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Ira Sachs (France)
Perpetrator - Jennifer Reeder (USA)
Reality - Tina Satter (USA)
Silver Haze - Sacha Polak (Netherlands/UK)
The Siren - Sepideh Farsi (France/Germany/Luxembourg/Belgium)
Stams - Bernhard Braunstein (Austria)
The Quiet Migration - Malene Choi (Denmark)
Transfariana - Joris Lachaise (France/Colombia)

Generation Kplus

Aaaah! - Osman Cerfon (France, short film)
Longing for the World - Jenna Hasse (Switzerland)
Dede Is Dead - Philippe Kastner (Czech Republic, short film)
To Be Sisters - Anne-Sophie Gousset, Clément Céard (France, short film)
Just Super - Rasmus A Sivertsen (Norway)
Nanitic - Carol Nguyen (Canada, short film)
The Properties of Metals - Antonio Bigini (Italy)
Sea Sparkle - Domien Huyghe (Belgium/Netherlands)
Waking up in Silence - Mila Zhluktenko, Daniel Asadi Faezi (Germany/Ukraine, short film)

Generation 14plus

Adolfo - Sofía Auza (USA/Mexico)
Before Madrid - Ilén Juambeltz, Nicolás Botana (Uruguay, short film)
Crushed - Ella Rocca (Switzerland, short film)
Dreams' Gate - Negin Ahmadi (Iran/Norway/France)
Infantaria Infantry - Laís Santos Araújo (Brazil, short film)
Tomorrow Is a Long Time - Jow Zhi Wei (Singapore/Taiwan/France/Portugal)
The Lost Boys - Zeno Graton (Belgium/France)
Sica - Carla Subirana (Spain)
To Write from Memory - Emory Chao Johnson (USA, short film)

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