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Berlin Buzz 3

Written by: FFT Webmaster | February 17th, 2011


On Sunday, the Berlinale was host to three back-to-back 3D films that demonstrated that the technology is not only good for computer animation and big budget sci-fi. In TALES OF THE NIGHT, French animator Michel Ocelot provides a shadow-puppet retelling of famous fairy tales, much in the manner of the films of famed 1930s storyteller Lotte Reininger. The film mixes classic silhouette animation with strong colorful backgrounds to amazing effect. In PINA, German director Wim Wender’s loving tribute to his friend avant-garde choreographer Pina Bausch, the director positions his camera in enticing ways to capture the kineticism and off-kilter  style of Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal. The film was a sensuous affair that should appeal beyond the strictly dance crowd. Fellow German director takes his audiences deep into the heart of caves in southern France that feature wall drawings done over 30,000 years ago. Working on several restricted space, the intimate lighting and camerawork puts us up close and personal with some extraordinary works that could easily hang in a museum but have been sealed in this extraordinary time capsule until discovered 20 years ago. In all the above, the 3D technique brought a visceral appreciation of both the imagery, the kineticism and the layering of cinema……fab.


The Material Girl made a brief trip to Berlin to push her latest directorial project W.E., which offers a behind-the-scenes glance at the “scandal of the century”, the love affair between the English King Edward and the American divorcee Wallis Simpson that forced his abdication, and a contemporary relationship. The story is included in this year’s THE KING’S SPEECH, but Madonna plans on putting the disgraced royal and his consort on full display. Madonna, who is no stranger to scandals herself, gave a 35 minute presentation to selected buyers that was the hot ticket of the Festival. The film is being sold internationally by IM Global.


The Berlinale Talent Campus, the initiative that brings together fledgling filmmakers, screenwriters and actors with established film professionals, is going overseas with a deal announced with the Tokyo International Film Festival. The Campus already does events in such cities as Sarajevo, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Durban, Cape Town, Kiev and New Delhi.


The Pusan International Film Fetival and the Mumbai International Film Festival have announced here in Berlin the signature of MoU, linking the Korean and Indian film industries and supporting each other’s festivals. Pusan director Lee Yong-kwan and Mumbai’s Sirinvasan Narayanan were in Berlin for the offical signing at the Korean Film Night reception. The Festivals will share programming and VIP guests, as well as various industry initiatives and co-production possibilities.


UK sales agents and British film projects had a sigh of relief here in Berlin when the announcement came through that Film London and the British Film Institute have pacted to continue supportig the London UK Film Focus (LUFF). LUFF invites international buyers to London in June to sample the best in new UK productions for four days of schmoozing, screenings, parties and deal making. There were concerns with all the institutional shakeups and economic cutbacks in the UK if the seven year old initiative would be funded again. Apparently it is on again for June 2011 but its long term survival is still an open question.


With all the dramatic news coming out of Egypt these days, it is no wonder that an Egyptian film project would be creating buzz here in Berlin. The film 678, about sexual harassment in contemporary Egyptian society, had its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival and was a high profile title at last week’s Rotterdam Film Festival. It is screening here in the European Film Market by sales agent Fortissimo Films. The film marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Mohamed Diab.


The FFT Webmaster account displays articles from old versions of Film Festival Today. The original author byline might be missing! If you are the author of this article please send us an email. Some of our contributors that might be missing bylines are: Brad Balfour, Laura Blum, Sandy Mandelberger among others.

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