Berlinale unveils its film line-up: Filmstiftung-backed productions in the Berlinale Special Gala, Encounters, Panorama, Forum and Generation Kplus sections
- Berlinale Special Gala: "Je suis Karl" by Christian Schwochow
- Encounters: "Bloodsuckers – A Marxist Vampire Comedy" by Julian Radlmaier
- Panorama: "Copilot" by Anne Zohra Berrached
- Perspektive Deutsches Kino: "Instructions for Survival" by Yana Ugrekhelidze
- Forum: "Taming The Garden" by Salomé Jashi
- Generation Kplus Competition: "Mission Ulja Funk" by Barbara Kronenberg
- Film- und Medienstiftung NRW main partner of the Berlinale Series Market & Conference for the seventh year
- 71st Berlin International Film Festival: Online Industry Event from March 1-5, 2021, Summer Special June 9-20, 2021
The 71st Berlin International Film Festival has announced its films for the Industry Event from March 1-5, 2021. It has just been revealed that the Filmstiftung-backed feature film "Je suis Karl" by Christian Schwochow has been invited to screen in the Berlinale Special Gala programme. Five other Filmstiftung-supported productions had already been announced in the past few days: the vampire comedy "Bloodsuckers – A Marxist Vampire Comedy" by Julian Radlmaier will run in the Encounters programme, the drama "Copilot" by Anne Zohra Berrached will have its world premiere in the Panorama section. The documentary "Instructions for Survival" by Yana Ugrekhelidze will be shown in Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar, with the documentary "Taming The Garden" by Salomé Jashi screening in the Forum. The Berlinale had already announced on Monday that the adventure film "Mission Ulja Funk" by Barbara Kronenberg will be in the competition of the Generation Kplus section.
This year, the Berlinale will be held in two parts. The industry events and the main film programmes will be presented digitally at the Industry Event between March 1 and 5. There will then be a so-called Summer Special from June 9 to 20 for the public with film screenings in cinemas and at open air venues.
The films supported by the Filmstiftung
Berlinale Special Gala: "Je suis Karl" by Christian Schwochow
The survivor Maxi joins the attractive student Karl after a terrorist attack and becomes part of a European youth movement. This movement plans nothing less than a political takeover. Directed by Christian Schwochow from a screenplay by Thomas Wendrich, the film stars Luna Wedler, Jannis Niewöhner and Milan Peschel in front of Frank Lamm's camera. Other roles were taken by Edin Hasanović, Anna Fialová and Aziz Dyab. "Je suis Karl" is a production of Cologne-based Pandora Film Produktion with the Czech production house Negativ Film in co-production with WDR, DEGETO, RBB and Arte. Theatrical distribution is being handled by Pandora with world sales at Cologne-based The Match Factory. The Film- und Medienstiftung supported the project, which was largely shot in NRW, for its production and distribution with 1.26 million Euros.
Encounters: "Bloodsuckers – A Marxist Vampire Comedy" by Julian Radlmaier
1928: The Russian aristocrat Lyovushka meets Octavia, a young factory owner, at a fashionable Baltic resort whilst on the run from the Soviets. A summer romance is brewing. Too bad that vampires are on the loose in the area and neither Lyovushka nor Octavia are what they claim to be. Julian Radlmaier wrote and directed the vampire comedy which had already earned him the German Screenplay Award in 2019. The lead roles are taken by Alexandre Koberidze, Lilith Stangenberg, Alexander Herbst, Andreas Döhler and Corinna Harfouch. Faktura Film produced with participation from the broadcasters WDR and Arte. Grandfilm will be handling theatrical distribution in Germany, with Arri Media responsible for world sales. The Filmstiftung supported the project, which was also realised in Solingen, Bochum and Erfstadt, with a total of 170,000 Euros for its production and distribution.
Panorama: "Copilot" by Anne Zohra Berrached
When Asli, a bright science student, meets the charismatic Saeed in the mid-90s, it’s love at first sight. The two marry and Asli swears eternal fidelity to Saeed, promising never to reveal his secrets. The two seem to have a rosy future ahead of them. But then Saeed makes a decision that not only shatters Asli’s dreams, but also shakes the entire world to its foundations. Anne Zohra Berrached directed the story of a love between two students Asli and Saeed. "Copilot" was produced by Razor Film in association with zero one film and Haut & Court from Paris, with participation from broadcasters NDR and Arte. The multi-award-winning director wrote the screenplay in collaboration with Stefanie Misrahi. Canan Kir and Roger Azar star in the lead roles. Neue Visionen is the theatrical distributor in Germany, with world sales being handled by Cologne’s The Match Factory. The Filmstiftung allocated 250,000 Euros to the production which was partly shot in NRW.
Perspektive Deutsches Kino: "Instructions for Survival" by Yana Ugrekhelidze
The documentary tells the love story of the couple Alexander and Mari. Alexander is transgender and lives with his wife Mari. But Alexander has to live a life in hiding due to his trans identity and the designation as "female" in his identity card, . He cannot take up a legal job and no one is allowed to know his identity since people like him are threatened with persecution and death in his home country Georgia. In order to escape their hopeless situation, Mari decides to enter into a surrogate pregnancy. With the money, the couple plans to flee to Europe to live at last in freedom. But the pragmatic plan turns out to be treacherous because Sasha and Mari start developing an ever greater emotional relationship with the child in Mari’s belly. Director Yana Ugrekhelidze, who accompanied the couple, has made a documentary about love, the struggle for identity, escape and freedom (production: Cologne’s Fortis Fem Film). The Filmstiftung supported the film with 60,000 Euros. Cologne-based Fortis Fem Film, a former grant-holder of the Mediengruenderzentrum NRW, aims to empower women in the film industry.
Forum: "Taming The Garden" by Salomé Jashi
A poetic ode to the rivalry between man and nature, "Taming the Garden" tells the story of a powerful man who uproots centuries-old trees along the Georgian coast and has them transported by sea to his private garden. Cologne-based Corso Film co-produced the documentary with Mira Film (Switzerland) and Sakdoc (Georgia) with broadcaster Radio Bremen/Arte. The Filmstiftung supported the film with 50,000 Euros. "Taming The Garden" had previously been invited to screen in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 37th Sundance Film Festival.
Generation Kplus competition: "Mission Ulja Funk"
The Bochum-born writer-director Barbara Kronenberg tells the story of 12-year-old Ulja With a stolen hearse and classmate Henk as driver, she sets off across Eastern Europe to observe the impact of a minute asteroid. The international co-production was made as a collaboration between In Good Company, Sama Film (LU), ShipsBoy (PL) with participation from broadcaster MDR. Farbfilm is handling German theatrical distribution, with world sales at Picture Tree International. The screenplay had already been supported by the Filmstiftung as part of the 'The Outstanding Films for Children' initiative and then received nearly 540,000 Euros at the production stage. Romy Lou Janinhoff, Jonas Oeßel, Hildegardt Schroedter, and Luc Feit were among the cast appearing in front of the camera during shooting which also took place in NRW.
Berlinale Series Market & Conference – "Wild Republic" in the German Showcase
The focus will once again be on current series productions and the future of the series market at the digital edition of the Berlinale Series Market & Conference of the European Film Market (EFM) from Tuesday, March 2 to Friday, March 5. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW will be the event’s co-initiator and official main partner for the seventh year running. The new EFM director Dennis Ruh and the Filmstiftung’s CEO Petra Müller will open the one-day online conference on Wednesday, March 3. The German Showcase will include a presentation of the Filmstiftung-backed eight-part adventure series "Wild Republic" (Lailaps Pictures / X Filme Creative Pool, Magenta TV / WDR / SWR / Arte / One, Beta Film). International series will be having their world premieres in the Berlinale Series programme.
European Film Market and FOCUS Germany
The European Film Market is one of the world’s most important markets for the international trade in film rights and audiovisual content. The Film- und Medienstiftung will also have a presence as part of FOCUS GERMANY at this year’s digital market together with German Films.
You can find all the information about the Filmstiftung NRW’s presence at the Berlinale and the films supported by visiting www.filmstiftung.de/nrw-berlinale-2021/