Eclectic lineup for Berlin's Generation

Festival slates 27 feature films from 25 countries

BERLIN -- From animation to documentaries, from a coming-of-age story on the Mongolian steppes to a tale of squatters in a London warehouse, this year's Generation lineup provides the mix of mainstream and eclectic titles we have come to expect from the Berlin International Film Festival's kids-and-youth sidebar.

Fantasy and adventure are recurring themes in the films of Generation's Kplus children's section. Lars Buchel's "Lippel's Dream," about a boy caught up in a daydream of his own life, will open the section, and highlights include the world premiere of Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey's animated adventure "Brendan and the Secret of Kells" and Rene Bo Hansen's "The Eagle Hunter's Son," set in Mongolia.

But "these days, growing up can be dangerous," Generation director Maryanne Redpath said. And many of the films picked cast a light on the darker side of childhood.

"Afterschool," from director Antonio Campos, is about coming of age in the YouTube era, when a young student captures the death of two classmates on camera.

"Mary and Max," the feature debut from Oscar-winning shorts director Adam Elliot ("Harvie Krumpet") is the story of two very different pen pals -- an 8-year-old girl living in an Australian suburb and an obese 44-year-old New York man with Aspergers Syndrome. The film features voice work from Toni Collette, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana and Barry Humphries.

While there is some straight-up entertainment in this year's lineup -- the hero of Igor Veyshtagin's "Mamma Moo & Crow" is a zany, ambitious cow -- reality is never far away. "Unmade Beds" from Brit director Alexis Dos Santos ("Glue") focuses on life in a London East End squat, while Eleni Ampelakiotou's documentary "Teenage Response," features straight talk from 13 Berlin teens discussing their lives, fears and dreams.

In total, 27 feature films from 25 countries have been selected for the main program, alongside 30 shorts.

The full list of this year's Berlinale Generation films follows:

Generation Kplus -- feature films
"Brendan and the Secret of Kells," Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, Ireland/France/Belgium
"C'est pas moi, je le jure!" (It's Not Me, I Swear!), Philippe Falardeau, Canada
"Die Stimme des Adlers" (The Eagle Hunter's Son), Rene Bo Hansen, Germany/Sweden
"Flickan" (The Girl), Fredrik Edfeldt, Sweden
"Gagma Napiri" (The Other Bank), George Ovashvili, Georgia/Kazakhstan
"Kdopak by se vlka bal" (Who Is Afraid of the Wolf), Maria Prochazkova, Czech Republic
"Lippels Traum" (Lippel's Dream), Lars Buechel, Germany
"Los herederos" (The Inheritors), Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico
"Mamma Mu & Krakan" (Mamma Moo & Crow), Igor Veyshtagin, Sweden/Germany/Hungary
"Max Pinlig" (Max Embarrassing), Lotte Svendsen, Denmark
"Mommo" (The Bogeyman), Atalay Ta_diken, Turkey 2009
"Niloofar," Sabine El Gemayel, France/Iran/Lebanon
"The Strength of Water," Armagan Ballantyne, New Zealand/Germany

Generation 14plus -- feature films
"Afterschool," Antonio Campos, U.S.
"Cherrybomb," Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D'Sa, U.K.
"Gunlala de qiang" (Lala's Gun), Ning Jingwu, China
"Het zusje van Katia" (Katia's Sister), Mijke de Jong, the Netherlands
"I Know You Know," Justin Kerrigan, U.K./Germany
"I taket lyser stjarnorna" (Glowing Stars), Lisa Siwe, Sweden
"Mary and Max," Adam Elliot, Australia
"Miao Miao," Cheng Hsiao-Tse, Hongkong/Taiwan
"My Suicide," David Lee Miller, U.S.
"Snijeg" (Snow), Aida Begic, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Germany/France/Iran
"Sorasoi" Katsuhito Ishii, Shunichiro Miki und Yuuuka Ooosumi, Japan
"Teenage Response," Eleni Ampelakiotou, Germany
"Unmade Beds," Alexis Dos Santos, U.K.
"Voy a explotar" (I'm Gonna Explode), Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico