Everyday reality prevails at Berlinale's Perspektive

No easy topics on young helmers' slate

Reality is the watchword for this year's Perspektive Deutsches Kino — the Berlin International Film Festival's German cinema sidebar.

Fully one-third of the features picked for this year's lineup are documentaries, and even the dramas tell stories plucked straight from everyday life.

Astrid Schult's documentary "Zirkus is nich" follows an 8-year-old boy from the tough East Berlin neighborhood of Hellersdorf who struggles to do his part to support his family.

Bettina Bluemner's "Prinzes-sinnenbad" and Maja Classen's "Osdorf" also are nonfiction pieces told from the fringes. "Prinzessinnenbad" is a look at a girl gang in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, while "Osdorf" peers into the lives of young men in Hamburg with immigrant backgrounds.

One of two short-film directors making their feature-length debuts this year is Sonja Heiss, whose "Hotel Very Welcome" mixes drama with documentary footage to tell the story of young people in different countries across Asia. The other is Bastian Guenther, whose "Autopiloten" is a portrait of four different men traveling the autobahns in the Ruhr region — western Germany's "rust belt."

The other documentary in this year's selection is an intimate look at the work of one of Germany's most acclaimed directors. Marcel Wehn's "One Who Set Forth — Wim Wenders' Early Years" explores the themes and style of Wenders' first films.

The 2007 Perspektive Deutsches Kino lineup comprises "Alle Alle" by Pepe Planitzer; "Aschermittwoch" by Ileana Cosmovici; "Aufrecht stehen" by Hannah Schweier; "Autopiloten" by Guenther; "Blindflug" by Ben von Grafenstein; "Hotel Very Welcome" by Heiss; "Memoryeffect" by Claudia Lehmann; "One Who Set Forth — Wim Wenders' Early Years" by Wehn; "Osdorf" by Classen; "Prinzessinnenbad" by Bluemner; "Was am Ende zaehlt" by Julia von Heinz; and "Zirkus is nich" by Schult.