Minami, Johnny Depp in Minamata by Andrew Levitas
Minami, Johnny Depp in Minamata by Andrew Levitas

The Berlinale Short Film Competition of the 2020 Berlin Film Festival celebrates the artistic freedom of the short form with a wide range of topics and narrative styles showcasing 24 films from 18 countries.

The Berlinale Special is the most multifaceted section of the festival, with the 2020 lineup shining a spotlight on filmmakers like Agnieszka Holland and Jóhann Jóhannsson, actors like Johnny Depp and contemporary protagonists like Hillary Clinton.

“Dare to be seen, own your story, give sex a chance and stay true to your unique, unapologetic style.” Berlinale Series presents eight premieres from three continents by Marvin Kren, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Warwick Thornton and Wayne Blair, François Létourneau and Jean-François Rivard, Amalie Næsby Fick, Cate Blanchett, Jason Segel and Damien Chazelle, among others.

“Berlinale Series Market & Conference” (previously “Drama Series Days”) will be offering its accredited professionals a selection of Market Screenings and a top-class conference program for the sixth time from February 24 – 26 in the Zoo Palast. Numerous networking events and receptions will take place in the Berlinale Series Lounge. In cooperation with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the conference will open with the topic “The Streaming Revolution”.

On February 25 and 26, the Berlinale Co-Production Market will invite producers, programming directors, distributors and series financers to the exclusive pitch event “Co-Pro Series” for the sixth time. Ten different series projects from around the world are looking for partners and are hoping to find their match at the “Co-Pro Series” event.

Berlinale Shorts 2020

2008, Blake Williams, Canada, 12’ (IP)
À l’entrée de la nuit, Anton Bialas, France, 19’ (WP)
Aletsch Negative, Laurence Bonvin, Switzerland, 12’ (IP)
Atkūrimas, Laurynas Bareisa, Lithuania, 13’ (WP)
Cause of Death, Jyoti Mistry, South Africa / Austria, 19’ (WP)
Celle qui porte la pluie, Marianne Métivier, Canada, 17’ (IP)
A Demonstration, Sasha Litvintseva, Beny Wagner, Germany / Netherlands / United Kingdom, 25’ (WP)
Écume, Omar Elhamy, Canada, 28’ (WP)
Filipiñana, Rafael Manuel, Philippines / United Kingdom, 24’ (WP)
Genius Loci, Adrien Mérigeau, France, 16’ (IP)
Girl and Body, Charlotte Mars, Australia, 19’ (IP)
Gumnaam Din, Ekta Mittal, India, 29’ (IP)
HaMa’azin, Omer Sterenberg, Israel, 11’ (IP)
How to Disappear, Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf, Austria, 21’ (WP)
Huntsville Station, Chris Filippone, Jamie Meltzer, USA, 14’ (WP)
Inflorescence, Nicolaas Schmidt, Germany, 8’ (WP)
It Wasn’t the Right Mountain, Mohammad, Mili Pecherer, France, 29’ (WP)
My Galactic Twin Galaction, Sasha Svirsky, Russian Federation, 7’ (WP)
Playback. Ensayo de una despedida, Agustina Comedi, Argentina, 14’ (IP)
So We Live, Rand Abou Fakher, Belgium, 16’ (WP)
Stump the Guesser, Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, Canada, 19’ (WP)
T, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, USA, 14’ (IP)
Union County, Adam Meeks, USA, 14’ (WP)
Veitstanz/Feixtanz, Gabriele Stötzer, GDR, 25’, 1988 (out of competition)

Berlinale Special Gala Screening at Berlinale Palast

Charlatan
Czech Republic / Ireland / Poland / Slovakia
by Agnieszka Holland
with Ivan Trojan, Josef Trojan, Juraj Loj, Jaroslava Pokorná
World Premiere

Berlinale Special Gala Screening at Friedrichstadt-Palast

Minamata
United Kingdom
by Andrew Levitas
with Johnny Depp, Hiroyuki Sanada, Minami, Bill Nighy
World premiere

Berlinale Special at Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Hillary
USA
by Nanette Burstein
International premiere / Documentary series

Last and First Men
Iceland
by Jóhann Jóhannsson
Narrated by Tilda Swinton
World premiere / Documentary form

Yi Zhi You Dao Hai Shui Bian Lan (Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue)
People’s Republic of China
by Jia Zhang-ke
World premiere / Documentary form

Berlinale Series 2020

C’est Comme Ça Que Je T’aime (Happily Married)
Canada
Creator: François Létourneau
Showrunner: Joanne Forgues
Director: Jean-François Rivard
with François Létourneau, Patrice Robitaille, Marylin Castonguay, Karine Gonthier-Hydman, Sophie Desmarais
Broadcaster: Radio-Canada Télé, Tou.Tv Extra
World premiere
Episodes 1 and 2 of 10, in total 86’

Huguette and Gaétan, Serge and Micheline send their kids off for three weeks of camp. Alone with their partners, things quickly turn uncomfortable and the facades get huge cracks. Who slept with whom, who is on whose conscience? Marriage, Suburbia, hell in Quebec 1974.

Dispatches from Elsewhere
USA
Creator: Jason Segel
Directors: Jason Segel (Ep. 1), Wendey Stanzler (Ep. 2)
with Jason Segel, Eve Lindley, Sally Field, André Benjamin, Richard E. Grant
Broadcaster: AMC
World premiere
Episodes 1 and 2 of 10, in total 120’

An enigmatic institute promises the chosen few an escape from everyday life into a world full of beauty and magic. But is this a game, an alternative reality or a conspiracy? And what are Peter, Simone, Janice and Fredwynne risking?

The Eddy
France
Creator: Jack Thorne
Directors: Damien Chazelle (Ep. 1-2), Houda Benyamina (Ep. 3-4), Laila Marrakchi (Ep. 5-6), Alan Poul (Ep. 7-8)
with André Holland, Joanna Kulig, Amandla Stenberg, Tahar Rahim, Leila Bekhti, Adil Dehbi, Benjamin Biolay
Broadcaster: Netflix
World premiere
Episodes 1 and 2 of 8, in total 136’

Bandleader Elliot is improvising his way through a complex score of problems: his Parisian jazz club ‘The Eddy’ isn’t doing too well. Ruthless debt collectors are breathing down his neck. And then his teenage daughter Julie arrives from New York.

Freud
Austria / Germany / Czech Republic
Director: Marvin Kren
with Robert Finster, Ella Rumpf, Georg Friedrich, Christoph Krutzler, Brigitte Kren, Anja Kling, Philipp Hochmair, Noah Saavedra
Broadcaster: ORF, Netflix
World premiere
Episodes 1-3 of 8, in total 167’

Vienna, 1886: restless, high on cocaine and striving for recognition, young Sigmund Freud embarks on a nerve-wracking, hypnotic trip into the depths of the human soul with a mysterious medium and a traumatised policeman.

Mystery Road 2
Australia
Creator: Ivan Sen
Directors: Warwick Thornton, Wayne Blair
with Aaron Pedersen, Jada Alberts, Sofia Helin, Callan Mulvey
Broadcaster: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
World premiere
Episode 1 and 2 of 6, in total 110’

A headless corpse is found floating by the shore in a remote outback town. As if this weren’t mysterious enough, Detective Swan and his colleague Fran have to contend with protests against the excavation of an Indigenous site. And then another body turns up.

Sex
Denmark
Creator: Clara Mendes
Director: Amalie Næsby Fick
with Asta Kamma August, Jonathan Bergholdt Jørgensen, Nina Terese Rask, Sara Fanta Traore
Broadcaster: TV 2 Denmark
International premiere
Complete short-form series, 6 episodes, in total 77’

At the call centre, Cathrine gives advice on sex and love, but is herself at a loss. After a kiss, she wants more from her colleague Selma. Her boyfriend Simon feels that what’s little is actually plenty. But what if that’s not enough?

Stateless
Australia
Creators: Cate Blanchett, Elise McCredie, Tony Ayres
Directors: Emma Freeman (Ep. 1-3), Jocelyn Moorhouse (Ep. 4-6)
with Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi, Dominic West, Cate Blanchett
Broadcaster: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
World premiere
Episode 1 and 2 of 6, in total 107’

Escape, disappear, start over. Behind barbed wire in the Australian desert, the world comes together in a dramatic way for four very different people. Is home a place? Or a trauma? What if you’re not even in the position to dream about it?

Trigonometry
United Kingdom
Creators: Duncan Macmillan, Effie Woods
Directors: Athina Rachel Tsangari (Ep. 1-5), Stella Corradi (Ep. 6-8)
with Ariane Labed, Thalissa Teixeira, Gary Carr
Broadcasters: BBC2, HBO Max (USA)
World premiere
Episodes 1-5 of 8, in total 220’

London, the present: Gemma is a chef, Kieran a paramedic and Ray, who moves in with the young couple, is at a loss. They fall in love, each with the other and all together. Can this possibly work out? Or might it actually be the best thing that could ever happen to them?

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