Berlin Forum features 9 German titles


COLOGNE, Germany -- There might be fewer German titles in Competition in the Berlin International Film Festival this year but the Festival's Forum sidebar is more than making up for that.

The Forum lineup, announced Wednesday, features no fewer than nine German-language features, including "Madonnas," the sophomore effort from Maria Speth ("The Days Between") featuring 2006 Silver Bear winner Sandra Hueller ("Requiem").

Also from Germany is the family drama "Hounds," from first-timer Ann-Kristin Reyels and Angela Schanelic's "Afternoon," a retelling of Chekhov's "The Sea Gull" set in modern day Potsdam and Berlin.

Berlin-based artist Philip Scheffner will also be represented in this year's Forum with "The Halfmoon Files," a look at the history of colonialism though the use of historic sound documents.

From Austria, the Forum has picked "It Happened Just Before," a documentary-style drama from Anja Salomonowitz, "Schindler's Houses" from Heinz Emingholz which chronicles the work of architect Rudolph Schindler in Los Angeles; and "The Prater," Ulrike Ottinger's portrait of Vienna's legendary fun fair with its iconic giant Ferris wheel.

Two films from German-speaking Switzerland are also in this year's Forum lineup: Thomas Imbach's underwater fairytale "I Was a Swiss Banker" and Stefan Schwietert's portrayal of three traditional Swiss musicians, "Heimatklaenge."

But the Berlinale Forum is hardly restricting itself to German-language cinema.

This year's Forum includes pictures from India -- Farhan Akhtar's updated version of classic Bollywood gangster film "Don" -- to the U.S., with Frederick Weisman's three-and-half-hour documentary examination of democracy in Idaho: "State Legislature."

Other Forum titles include the debut feature "Elvis Pelvis," a father-and-son tale from director Kevin Aduaka; "Dol," a sarcastic drama from Iraqi Kurd helmer Hiner Saleem and "Shotgun Stories," from Jeff Nichols, which tells the story of two feuding brothers in the southern U.S.

A full list of films running in the 37th Berlinale Forum follows.

[WP=World premiere, IP=International premiere]

"...a bude hur" (It Gonna Get Worse) by Petr Nikolaev, Czech Republic (IP)

"A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factor" by Esther B. Robinson, USA (WP)

"a.k.a. Nikki S. Lee" by Nikki S. Lee, USA/Republic of Korea (IP)

"Ad Lib Night" (Aju teukbyeolhan sonnim) by Lee Yoon-ki, Republic of Korea (IP)

"Armin" by Ognjen Svilicic, Croatia/Germany/Bosnia and Herzegowina (WP)

"Campaign" (Senkyo) by Kazuhiro Soda, USA/Japan (WP)

"Le cercle des noyes" (Drowned by Oblivion) by Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd, Belgium/France (IP)

"Chrigu" by Jan Gassmann, Christian Ziorjen, Switzerland (IP)

"Dans les villes" (In the Cities) by Catherine Martin, Canada (IP)

"Dol" by Hiner Saleem, Iraqi Kurdistan Region/France/Germany (IP)

"Elvis Pelvis" by Kevin Aduaka, Great Britain/France (WP)

"L'esprit des lieux" (The Spirit of Places) by Catherine Martin, Canada (IP)

"Extranjera" (Foreigner) by Ines de Oliveira Cezar, Argentina/Greece/Poland (WP)

"Eye in the Sky" (Gen zong) by Yau Nai Hoi, Hongkong, China (WP)

"Faro, la reine des eaux" by Salif Traore, Mali/France/Canada/Germany (WP)

"The Halfmoon Files" by Philip Scheffner, Germany (WP)

"Heimatklaenge" by Stefan Schwietert, Switzerland/Germany (WP)

"I Was a Swiss Banker" by Thomas Imbach, Switzerland (WP)

"Ichijiku no kao" (Faces of a Fig Tree) by Momoi Kaori, Japan (IP)

"Jagdhunde" (Hounds) by Ann-Kristin Reyels, Germany (WP)

"Kain no matsuei" (Cain's Descendant) by Oku Shutaro, Japan

"Klopka" (The Trap) by Srdan Golubovi, Serbia/Germany/Hungary (WP)

"Kurz davor ist es passiert" (It Happened Just Before) by Anja Salomonowitz, Austria (IP)

"Madonnen" (Madonnas) by Maria Speth, Germany/Switzerland/Belgium (WP)

"Mona Lisa" (Meng Na Li Sha) by Li Ying, People's Republic of China/Japan (WP)

"Nachmittag" (Afternoon) by Angela Schanelec, Germany (WP)

"Pas douce" (A Parting Shot) by Jeanne Waltz, France/Switzerland (WP)

"Potosi, le temps du voyage" (Potosi, the Journey) by Ron Havilio, Israel/France (WP)

"Prater" by Ulrike Ottinger, Austria/Germany (WP)

"Riza" by Tayfun Pirselimoglu, Turkey (WP)

"Schindlers Haeuser" (Schindler's Houses) by Heinz Emigholz, Austria (WP)

"Shotgun Stories" by Jeff Nichols, USA (WP)

"Stone Time Touch" by Garine Torossian, Canada (WP)

"Substitute" by Fred Poulet, Vikash Dhorasoo, France (IP)

"El telon de azucar" (The Sugar Curtain) by Camila Guzman Urzua, Cuba/Spain/France

"Tout refleurit" (All Blossoms Again) by Aurelien Gerbault, France (IP)

"Tuli" by Auraeus Solito, Philippines

"Village People Radio Show" (Apa khabar orang kampung) by Amir Muhammad, Malaysia (WP)

"Wolfsbergen" by Nanouk Leopold, Netherlands/Belgium (WP)

Special screenings:

"Brand Upon the Brain!" by Guy Maddin, Canada

"Don" by Farhan Akhtar, India

"Killer of Sheep" by Charles Burnett, USA 1977

"State Legislature" by Frederick Wiseman, USA (WP)