Berlin: Forum Sidebar Sets Arab Focus, Gerard Depardieu Thriller
Mexican films also will be in the spotlight in the section, which will feature 44 movies, including 34 world premieres.
The Berlin International Film Festival's 46th Forum sidebar will screen a total of 44 films in its main program, including 34 world premieres and nine international premieres, it was announced Tuesday.
One focus of this year’s lineup is the Arab region. "Films shot by often young directors from an area that stretches between Egypt and Saudi Arabia explore both the past and present of their homelands," organizers said.
The Forum section will, among others, screen The Wandering, a fantasy thriller from French director Guillaume Nicloux that stars Gerard Depardieu as a solitary hunter in the woods. "This stout protagonist loses first his dog and then his way," says a film description. "A summer stroll soon morphs into a fantastical excursion from which there is no escape."
Meanwhile, A Magical Substance Flows Into Me from Jumana Manna looks at Palestinian musical diversity, while Tamer El Said’s In the Last Days of the City sends his alter ego through the director’s home city of Cairo, which is in a state of uproar.
Also part of the lineup is Mahmoud Sabbagh's Barakah Meets Barakah, a Saudi Arabian love story. And Maher Abi Samra’s documentary A Maid for Each deals with the employment of maids in middle-class Lebanese households, "a practice at once omnipresent and kept largely under wraps," according to a description.
Meanwhile, documentary Ta’ang, by Chinese director Wang Bing, shows "everyday life in a largely unknown conflict." The Forum title focuses on the Ta’ang minority fight for independence against the Burmese army on the border with China.
"The full range of current Mexican cinema is on display in this year’s program," Berlin organizers also promise. Among the Forum films from the country is Joaquin del Paso’s utopian feature Panamerican Machinery, a portrait of a factory on the edge of Mexico City in which productivity and progress are foreign concepts. "When the boss of the small company dies and the staff realize he’s been paying their wages from his own pocket for years, they are forced to take drastic measures," says a plot description.
Here is the full Forum sidebar program:
A Magical Substance Flows into Me by Jumana Manna, Palestinian Territories / United Kingdom / United Arab Emirates — World Premiere
In the Last Days of the City by Tamer El Said, Egypt / Germany / United Kingdom — World Premiere
And-Ek Ghes ... by Colorado Velcu, Philip Scheffner, Germany — World Premiere
A Road by Daichi Sugimoto, Japan — International Premiere
Baden Baden by Rachel Lang, Belgium / France — International Premiere
Barakah Meets Barakah by Mahmoud Sabbagh, Saudi Arabia — World Premiere
Between Fences by Avi Mograbi, Israel / France — World Premiere
The Wandering by Guillaume Nicloux, France — World Premiere
Deadweight by Axel Koenzen, Germany / Finland — World Premiere
Depth Two by Ognjen Glavonic, Serbia — World Premiere
Eldorado XXI by Salome Lamas, Portugal / France — World Premiere
Elixir by Daniil Zinchenko, Russian Federation — International Premiere
Fantastic by Offer Egozy, USA — World Premiere
City of Jade by Midi Z, Taiwan / Myanmar — World Premiere
The Son of Joseph by Eugène Green, France / Belgium — World Premiere
The Dreamed Ones by Ruth Beckermann, Austria — World Premiere
Havarie by Philip Scheffner, Germany — World Premiere
火Hee by Kaori Momoi, Japan — World Premiere
Homo sapiens by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria — World Premiere
How Heavy This Hammer by Kazik Radwanski, Canada — International Premiere
IIllegitimate by Adrian Sitaru, Rumania / Poland / France — World Premiere
Inertia by Idan Haguel, Israel — International Premiere
Kate Plays Christine by Robert Greene, USA — International Premiere
Piece of Land by Volker Koepp, Germany — World Premiere
Old Stone by Johnny Ma, People’s Republic of China / Canada — World Premiere
Lily Lane by Bence Fliegauf, Hungary — World Premiere
A Maid for Each by Maher Abi Samra, Lebanon / France / Norway — World Premiere
Houses Without Doors by Avo Kaprealian, Syria / Lebanon — World Premiere
Panamerican Machinery by Joaquín del Paso, Mexico / Poland — World Premiere
We Are Never Alone by Petr Vaclav, Czech Republic / France — World Premiere
P.S. Jerusalem by Danae Elon, Canada — European Premiere
An Outpost of Progress by Hugo Vieira da Silva, Portugal — World Premiere
The Revolution Won’t Be Televised by Rama Thiaw, Senegal — World Premiere
Rio Corgo by Maya Kosa, Sergio da Costa, Switzerland / Portugal — International Premiere
Those Who Jump by Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner, Abou Bakar Sidibé, Denmark — World Premiere
Short Stay by Ted Fendt, USA — World Premiere
Ta’ang by Wang Bing, Hong Kong, China / People’s Republic of China / France — World Premiere
Tales of Two Who Dreamt by Andrea Bussmann, Nicolás Pereda, Canada / Mexico — World Premiere
Tempestad by Tatiana Huezo, Mexico — World Premiere
Dust Cloth by Ahu Ozturk, Turkey / Germany — International Premiere
Trivisa by Frank Hui, Vicky Wong, Jevons Au, Hong Kong, China — World Premiere
Humidity by Nikola Ljuca, Serbia / The Netherlands / Greece — World Premiere
The Yard by Måns Månsson, Sweden / Germany — International Premiere
Life After Life by Zhang Hanyi, People’s Republic of China — World Premiere