Sensational French comeback in the German capital
by Fabien Lemercier
09/02/2012 - French cinema is set to make a sensational comeback at the Berlinale, after a few years of relative drought. In the line-up of the festival’s 62th edition, opening today with Farewell, My Queen [trailer, film focus] by Benoît Jacquot, are no less than 30 feature films produced or coproduced by France.
Of the 18 films in competition, France counts seven candidates (article and news): five majority productions (Comming Home [trailer] by Frédéric Videau, Tey [trailer] by Alain Gomis, Captured by Brillante Mendoza and Sister [trailer, film focus] by Ursula Meier), as well as two minority productions (Just The Wind [trailer, film focus] by Hungarian director Benedek Fliegauf and Tabu [trailer, film focus] by Portuguses director Miguel Gomes). Both Charlotte Gainsbourg and François Ozon will be members of the jury.
In the Panorama, watch out for Atomic Age by Héléna Klotz (news), as well as minority co-productions Death for Sale [trailer, film focus] by Faouzi Bensaïdi, Sharqiya by Israeli director Ami Livne, and Headshot by Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang. In a special session, the section will present Elles [trailer, film focus] by Polish director Malgorzata Szumowka, Indignados [trailer] by Tony Gatlif (article), Franco-German co-production Calm at Sea by Volker Schlöndorff, and the minoritary production Diaz - Don't Clean Up This Blood [trailer, film focus] by Italian director Daniele Vicari, co-produced by Le Pacte. Last but not least is Franco-Qatari documentary The Virgin, The Copts and Me by Namir Abdel Messeeh.
The animation film Zarafa [trailer] by Rémi Besanzon and Jean-Christophe Lie (article) will be screened as part of the Generation programme and I, Anna by Barnaby Southcombe, a minority co-production with Arsam International, will be screened in the section Berlinale Special.
Finally, in the Forum line-up, majority productions Jaurès by Vincent Dieutre, Keep Me Upright by Zoé Chantre, Espoir voyage by Michel K. Zongo, Living/Building by Clémence Ancelin, Golden Slumbers by Davy Chou, and No Man’s Zone by Toshi Fujiwara. As for the minority productions, noteworthy are The Delay by Mexican director Rodrigo Pla, and Bestiaire by Canadian director Denis Côté, whereas the Forum Expanded will screen Autrement la Mollusie by Nicolas Rey and La Rouge et la Noire by Isabelle Prim, while the Culinary Cinema section will show The Chef by Daniel Cohen and the documentary Step Up to the Plate by Paul Lacoste.
At the European Film Market, French international sales agencies will also turn up en masse, with Wild Bunch (article), Memento (news), Elle Driver (interview), Pyramide (article), Films Distribution (news), Wide Management (news), Coproduction Office (news), Les Films du Losange (article), Doc & Film (news), Gaumont (news), TF1 International (article), Pathé International (news), Urban Distribution International (news), and SND (news). Among others, they will be in the company of MK2, StudioCanal, Celluloid Dreams, LePacte, Kinology, EuropaCorp, Alfama Films, BacFilms, Other Angle Pictures, Funny Ballons, Jour2Fête, and Reel Suspects for a trade fair that looks set to be very busy.
(Translated from French)