Berlin Film Festival Unveils Panorama, Encounters Titles

Theo Kermel in 'Theo and the Metamorphosis'

Theo Kermel in 'Theo and the Metamorphosis'

The 71st Berlin International Film Festival has announced the films screening in its main Panorama sidebar, as well as the lineup for the 2021 Encounters and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebars.

The Berlin Film Festival has unveiled the titles that will screen in its Panorama, Encounters, and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebars.

The art-house heavy selection for the 2021 Panorama includes several directorial debuts, including British drama Censor by Prano Bailey-Bond, Danis Goulet's Canadian/New Zealand co-production Night Raiders, and The World After Us, the first feature from French filmmaker Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas, which will have its world premiere in Berlin. Other 2021 Panorama highlights include German drama Human Factors by Ronny Trocker, featuring local stars Mark Waschke and Sabine Timoteo; Ted K, director Tony Stone's experimental portrait of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski; and Dirty Feathers, a documentary from director Carlos Alfonso Corral set on the streets of border towns El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.

The Encounters line up, meant to highlight films that push the boundaries of cinema, includes The Beta Test from directors Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe; Social Hygiene from Canadian filmmaker, and Berlin regular, Denis Côté; and District Terminal from Iranian directors Bardia Yadegari and Ehsan Mirhosseini.

The Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar, for up-and-coming German filmmakers, features titles including Jesus Egon Christ by David Vajda and Sasa Vajda, Mia Maariel Meyer's The Seed, and Wood and Water from first-time director Jonas Bak.

Earlier this week, Berlin announced the titles for its 2021 Generation and Retrospective sidebars, as well as the films in its Forum section for experimental and cutting-edge cinema.

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 the titles picked for Berlin's Panorama, Encounters, and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebars:


Censor (United Kingdom), dir. Prano Bailey-Bond

Death of a Virgin, and the Sin of Not Living (Lebanon), dir. George Peter Barbari

Dirty Feathers (USA / Mexico), dir. Carlos Alfonso Corral

Genderation (Germany), dir. Monika Treut

Bliss (Germany), dir. Henrika Kull

Celts (Serbia), dir. Milica Tomovic

Human Factors (Germany / Italy / Denmark), dir. Ronny Trocker

Miguel's War (Lebanon / Germany / Spain), dir. Eliane Raheb

All Eyes Off Me (Israel), dir. Hadas Ben Aroya

The World After Us (France), dir. Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas

Night Raiders (Canada / New Zealand), dir. Danis Goulet

North By Current (USA), dir. Angelo Madsen Minax

Brother's Keeper (Turkey / Romania), dir. Ferit Karahan

Souad (Egypt / Tunisia / Germany), dir. Ayten Amin

Ted K (USA), dir. Tony Stone

Theo and the Metamorphosis (France), dir. Damien Odoul

The Last Forest (Brazil), dir. Luiz Bolognesi

Copilot (Germany / France), dir. Anne Zohra Berrached

A Balance (Japan), dir. Yujiro Harumoto


As I Want (Egypt / France / Norway / Palestine), dir. Samaher Alqadi

Azor (Switzerland / France / Argentina), dir. Andreas Fontana

The Beta Test (USA / United Kingdom), dir. Jim Cummings, PJ McCabe

Bloodsuckers (Germany), dir. Julian Radlmaier

Social Hygiene (Canada), dir. Denis Cote

The Girl and the Spider (Switzerland), dir. Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher

District Terminal (Iran / Germany), dir. Bardia Yadegari, Ehsan Mirhosseini

Moon, 66 Questions (Greece / France), dir. Jacqueline Lentzou

We (France), dir. Alice Diop

Rock Bottom Riser (USA), dir. Fern Silva

The Scary of Sixty-First (USA), dir. Dasha Nekrasova

Taste (Vietnam / Singapore / France / Thailand / Germany /Taiwan), dir. Le Bao


Instructions for Survival, dir. Yana Ugrekhelidze

Jesus Egon Christ, dir. David Vajda, Saša Vajda

Keep Moving, dir. Salar Ghazi

The Seed, dir. Mia Maariel Meyer

When a farm goes aflame, dir. Jide Tom Akinleminu

Wood and Water, dir. Jonas Bak