Berlin Achieves Gender Parity at Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents

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Adina Pintilie

Overall, 11 of the 21 feature film projects on offer at this year's Berlinale Co-Production Market, which runs Feb. 22-26, are from women

Berlin's co-production market, where producers look for partners to finance their new projects, will feature more than 50 percent female-directed films for the first time in its 17-year history.

Overall, 11 of the 21 feature film projects on offer at this year's Berlinale Co-Production Market, which runs Feb. 22-26, are from women filmmakers. These include the new feature from Romania’s Adina Pintilie, who won Berlin’s Golden Bear and best first feature with Touch Me Not in 2018. Pintilie returns to Berlin with the relationship drama Death and the Maiden, which will be produced by her Bucharest-based Manekino Film.

Chilean director Pepa San Martín, whose feature Rara won the grand prix from Berlin's Generation Kplus international jury in 2016, is also bringing her new project, Happiness, to the co-production market. The story of two lifelong friends, one of whom shares some important news with the other during a weekend away together, Happiness will star Paulina García, winner of Berlin’s Silver Bear for her starring performance in Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria in 2013.

Other co-production market highlights include Sleepwalkers, the new film from director Radu Jude (Aferim!) and produced by Romania's Microfilm; and The Melting, the directorial debut of Belgian star Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown), from Savage Film.

The Berlinale Talents, the five-day film school/networking event, which runs Feb. 20-27, will also feature a gender-balanced group: 255 filmmakers from 86 countries — among them 126 woman, 123 men and six individuals who preferred not to state their gender — will participate.

Now in its 18th year, the Berlinale Talents has trained nearly 8,500 alumni across all fields. The class of 2020 includes talents from the fields of directing (113), producing (50), acting (15), screenwriting (2), cinematography (16), editing (14), set design (12), sales and distribution (9), score composition (7) and sound design (9), as well as film journalism (8).

The 70th Berlin International Festival, the first under the reign of co-head artistic director Carlo Chatrian and executive director Mariette Rissenbeek, runs Feb. 20-March 1.