Berlin Film Festival Sets Forum Lineup

Mick Bello

Aurielle Akerele in 'The Inheritance'

The 71st Berlin International Film Festival has unveiled the titles that will screen in the 2021 Forum and Forum Extended sidebars.

The Berlin Film Festival has unveiled the titles that will screen in its Forum section this year, which focuses on cutting-edge and experimental cinema.

The 17 films picked for Berlin's Forum range across style and genre from Ski, a combination of documentary and drama from first-timer director Manque La Banca, to Ephraim Asili’s The Inheritance and Vincent Meessen’s Just A Movement, both of which use Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 classic La chinoise as a jumping-off point for seperate cinematic revisions. Director Sabrina Zhao adapts a work by German playwright Bertolt Brecht for her feature-length debut, The Good Woman of Sichuan, which will premiere at Berlin's Forum, while Israeli documentarian Avi Mograbi looks closer to home for his subject. His The First 54 Years – An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation is a somber examination of the conditions after more than half a century in the Palestinian occupied territories.

On Monday, Berlin had announced the titles for the 2021 Generation and Retrospective sidebars.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Berlin 2021 will be split into two stages. From March 1 through March 5, the festival will hold an online-only event mainly for the international industry. The European Film Market will also go virtual, following a model established last year by the likes of Cannes and the American Film Market in Santa Monica.

An in-person festival in the German capital, with red-carpet screenings and gala events, is planned for June 9-June 20.

Judging this year's competition will be a six-person jury made up of former winners of the Berlinale's Golden Bear for best film.

Berlin is one of many film festivals improvising this year amid the second wave of COVID-19 which has led to lockdown measures across much of the world.

Sundance 2021 was a largely virtual affair, as was this year's Göteborg Film Festival, Scandinavia's largest, which wrapped last week.

Cannes, which had to cancel its 2020 event because of coronavirus, has already pushed back this year's festival, which is now scheduled for July, from its initial dates in May.

Rotterdam, one of the most important events for the international independent scene, has taken the Berlin route and split its festival in two, holding a virtual fest for the industry in February, and an in-person event set for early summer.

The Berlinale was the last major European festival to be held before the continent went into COVID-19 lockdown in early March last year.

Here are titles picked for the 2021 Berlinale Forum and Forum Extended lineups.

From Where They Stood (France/Germany), dir. Christophe Cognet

Anamnesis (Germany), dir. Chris Wright, Stefan Kolbe

Tzarevna Scaling (Russia), dir. Uldus Bakhtiozina

Ski (Argentina / Brazil), dir. Manque La Banca

The First 54 Years – An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation (France / Finland / Israel / Germany), dir. Avi Mograbi

Night Nursery (Burkina Faso / France / Germany), dir. Moumouni Sanou

The Inheritance (USA), dir. Ephraim Asili

Come Here (Thailand), dir. Anocha Suwichakornpong

Just A Movement (Belgium / France), dir. Vincent Meessen

Mbah Jhiwo / Ancient Soul (Spain), dir.Alvaro Gurrea

Jack’s Ride (Portugal), dir. Susana Nobre

What Will Summer Bring (Argentina), dir. Ignacio Ceroi

A River Runs, Turns, Erases, Replaces (USA), dir. Shengze Zhu

The Good Woman of Sichuan (Canada), dir. Sabrina Zhao

Ste. Anne (Canada), dir. Rhayne Vermette

Taming the Garden (Switzerland / Germany / Georgia), dir. Salomé Jashi

The Luminous View (Italy / Spain), dir. Fabrizio Ferraro