Eve Duranceau, G.A. Roy, Maxim Gaudette in Hygiène sociale (Social Hygiene)
Eve Duranceau, G.A. Roy, Maxim Gaudette in Hygiène sociale (Social Hygiene)

Berlin International Film Festival 2021 revealed the films selected for Encounters, Panorama and Perspektive Deutsches Kino programs. In the 2021 Perspektive Deutsches Kino, three documentary and three fiction films take us on journeys to places in Denmark, Nigeria, Canada, the USA, Georgia, Hong Kong and Germany – from the Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg, to Berlin and Brandenburg, to the Baltic Sea.

The Panorama of the 71st Berlinale presents 19 films, including 16 World premieres and six debut films. Strong new German films by Anne Zohra Berrached, Monika Treut, Henrika Kull and Ronny Trocker as well as diverse international filmmaking from 19 countries in 13 languages by Damien Odoul, Tony Stone, Prano Bailey-Jones and producer Roberto Minervini.

The competitive section Encounters was introduced in 2020 to support new voices in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms in the official selection. This year’s line-up comprises 12 titles from 16 countries, among which seven are debut films.

The Films of Perspektive Deutsches Kino

Instructions for Survival
by Yana Ugrekhelidze
*World premiere / documentary form / debut film

Jesus Egon Christus (Jesus Egon Christ)
by David Vajda, Saša Vajda
with Paul Arámbula, Sascha Alexander Geršak, Roxanna Stewens, Benjamin Stein, Zora Schemm, Angelo Martone
*World premiere

In Bewegung bleiben (Keep Moving)
by Salar Ghazi
*World premiere / documentary form / debut film

Die Saat (The Seed)
by Mia Maariel Meyer
with Hanno Koffler, Dora Zygouri, Robert Stadlober, Anna Blomeier, Andreas Döhler, Lilith Julie Johna
*World premiere

When a farm goes aflame
by Jide Tom Akinleminu
*World premiere / documentary form

Wood and Water
Germany / France
by Jonas Bak
with Anke Bak, Ricky Yeung, Alexandra Batten, Patrick Lo, Theresa Bak
*World premiere / debut film

The Panorama Films

United Kingdom
by Prano Bailey-Bond
with Niamh Algar, Michael Smiley, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta
Debut film

Viewing a horror movie awakens film censor Enid’s trauma about the disappearance of her sister. She decides to track down the film and its director and begins a quest in which the boundaries between fiction and reality begin to blur.

Death of a Virgin, and the Sin of Not Living
by George Peter Barbari
with Etienne Assal, Adnan Khabbaz, Jean Paul Frangieh, Elias Saad, Feyrouz Abi Hassan, Souraya Baghdadi
*World premiere / Debut film

A group of friends pool their money to pay for their first sex. Their journey to see a sex worker is accompanied by boastful teenage conversations, but also sensitive inner monologues. A painful collision between poetry and social reality.

Dirty Feathers
USA / Mexico
by Carlos Alfonso Corral
*World premiere / Debut film / Panorama Dokumente

On the streets of border towns El Paso and Ciudad Juárez we meet people living without a home. In intimate, unbiased black-and-white images, the film captures their everyday lives on the streets, as well as their hopes and their faith.

by Monika Treut
*World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

20 years after Gendernauts, Monika Treut seeks out the pioneers of the transgender movement back then to find out how their lives and their activism have evolved, how they have grown into their identities and how their energy continues to have an impact today.

Glück (Bliss)
by Henrika Kull
with Katharina Behrens, Adam Hoya, Nele Kayenberg, Jean-Luc Bubert
*World premiere

Two sex workers meet in a Berlin brothel. In a place where the female body is a commodity, they experience moments of happiness. A feisty love story about attraction, fears and self-determination.

Kelti (Celts)
by Milica Tomović
with Dubravka Kovjanić, Stefan Trifunović, Katarina Dimić, Anja Đorđević
*World premiere / Debut film

Belgrade in 1993. The pent-up tension of uncertain times is released at a children’s birthday party. While the kids celebrate in the living room dressed up as Ninja Turtles, the adults discuss, flirt, smoke and drink in the kitchen.

Der menschliche Faktor (Human Factors)
Germany / Italy / Denmark
by Ronny Trocker
with Mark Waschke, Sabine Timoteo, Jule Hermann, Wanja Valentin Kube

Jan accepts an assignment for a political campaign without consulting Nina, who is both his wife and partner in their agency. Their family holiday is overshadowed by a mysterious break-in. A psychological portrait of a family, told from different perspectives.

Miguel’s War
Lebanon / Germany / Spain
by Eliane Raheb
*World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

A portrait of a gay man who confronts the ghosts of his past. After fleeing war and repression 37 years ago, Miguel returns to Lebanon where he traces hidden longings, unrequited love and tormenting feelings of guilt.

Mishehu Yohav Mishehu (All Eyes Off Me)
by Hadas Ben Aroya
with Elisheva Weil, Yoav Hait, Leib Lev Levin, Hadar Katz
*World premiere

Danny is pregnant by Max who is busy trying out Avishag’s sexual fantasies with her. She wants him to hit her when they have sex. Avishag takes her bruises to Dror, whose dog she sits. A generational portrait that asks: how liberated are we really?

Le monde après nous (The World After Us)
by Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas
with Aurélien Gabrielli, Louise Chevillotte, Saadia Bentaïeb, Jacques Nolot
*World premiere / Debut film

When penniless young writer Labidi meets Elisa he knows she’s the one for him. But Paris is expensive. A captivating film that combines the classic themes of French New Wave cinema with questions about roots, familiarity and distance.

Night Raiders
Canada / New Zealand
by Danis Goulet
with Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Brooklyn Letexier-Hart, Alex Tarrant, Amanda Plummer
*World premiere / Debut film

In a dystopian future, children are considered property of the military regime which trains them to fight in a state boarding school. A Cree woman tries to get her daughter back. A parable about the situation of the First Nations, seen from a female perspective.

North By Current
by Angelo Madsen Minax
*World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

The unexplained death of his niece leads the director back to his family. His investigation of injustice and the arbitrariness of officialdom turns into cathartic family therapy. A personal essay about motherhood, grieving and transgender masculinity.

Okul Tıraşı (Brother’s Keeper)
Turkey / Romania
by Ferit Karahan
with Samet Yıldız, Ekin Koç, Mahir İpek, Melih Selçuk, Cansu Fırıncı, Nurullah Alaca
*World premiere

A finely spun drama set in the microcosm of an authoritarian boarding school in the Anatolian mountains. One winter’s day reveals the failure of this powerful educational institution to which twelve-year-old Yusuf and his friend are helplessly exposed.

Egypt / Tunisia / Germany
by Ayten Amin
with Bassant Ahmed, Basmala Elghaiesh, Hussein Ghanem
*World premiere

Egyptian Souad, 19, has several identities: one on social media, others as a diligent student and an obedient daughter. When Souad’s ideas of a self-determined life are shattered, her younger sister sets out to look for answers.

Ted K
by Tony Stone
with Sharlto Copley
*World premiere

Ted K takes a radical approach to addressing Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s way of thinking. Using intense images and texts from Kaczynski’s pamphlets, the result is no conventional biopic but a meditative composition – and an emotional exploration of violence.

Théo et les métamorphoses (Theo and the Metamorphosis)
by Damien Odoul
with Théo Kermel, Pierre Meunier, Élia Sulem, Louise Morin, Ayumi Roux
*World premiere

Théo, a 27-year-old with Down’s syndrome, lives in seclusion in the forest with his father. Every day he trains his body to become a samurai. One day his father goes away and Théo is alone with his world of thoughts. He decides to start a new life.

A Última Floresta (The Last Forest)
by Luiz Bolognesi
*World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

In powerful images, alternating between documentary observation and staged sequences, and dense soundscapes, Luiz Bolognesi documents the Indigenous community of the Yanomami and depicts their threatened natural environment in the Amazon rainforest.

Die Welt wird eine andere sein (Copilot)
Germany / France
by Anne Zohra Berrached
with Canan Kir, Roger Azar, Jana Julia Roth, Ceci Chuh, Nicolas Chaoui, Özay Fecht
*World premiere

Asli marries Saeed in secret, even though her mother has something against Arabs and Saeed’s moods change like the weather. Then he disappears. The film tells the story of how Saeed changes Asli’s life – before the entire world is shaken.

Yuko No Tenbin (A Balance)
by Yujiro Harumoto
with Kumi Takiuchi, Ken Mitsuishi, Masahiro Umeda, Yuumi Kawai

In her new documentary, Yuko wants to tell the true story behind the scandal of a relationship between a female student and her teacher. When she learns about her own father’s affair with one of his students, she has to rethink her principles.

The Encounters films:

As I Want
Egypt / France / Norway / Palestine
by Samaher Alqadi
*World premiere / Documentary form / Debut film

Switzerland / France / Argentina
by Andreas Fontana
with Fabrizio Rongione, Stéphanie Cléau
*World premiere / Debut film

The Beta Test
USA / United Kingdom
by Jim Cummings, PJ McCabe
with Jim Cummings, Virginia Newcomb, PJ McCabe
*World premiere

Blutsauger (Bloodsuckers)
by Julian Radlmaier
with Alexandre Koberidze, Lilith Stangenberg, Alexander Herbst, Corinna Harfouch
*World premiere

Hygiène sociale (Social Hygiene)
by Denis Côté
with Maxim Gaudette, Larissa Corriveau, Eleonore Loiselle
*World premiere

Das Mädchen und die Spinne (The Girl and the Spider)
by Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher
with Henriette Confurius, Liliane Amuat, Ursina Lardi
*World premiere

Mantagheye payani (District Terminal)
Iran / Germany
by Bardia Yadegari, Ehsan Mirhosseini
with Bardia Yadegari, Farideh Azadi, Ali Hemmati
*World premiere / Debut film

Moon, 66 Questions
Greece / France
by Jacqueline Lentzou
with Sofia Kokkali, Lazaros Georgakopoulos
*World premiere / Debut film

Nous (We)
by Alice Diop
with Ismael Soumaïla Sissoko, N’deye Sighane Diop, Pierre Bergounioux
*World premiere / Documentary form

Rock Bottom Riser
by Fern Silva
*World premiere / Experimental film / Debut film

The Scary of Sixty-First
by Dasha Nekrasova
with Betsey Brown, Madeline Quinn, Dasha Nekrasova
*World premiere / Debut film

Vị (Taste)
Vietnam / Singapore / France / Thailand / Germany /Taiwan
by Lê Bảo
with Olegunleko Ezekiel Gbenga, Thi Minh Nga Khuong, Thi Dung Le
*World premiere / Debut film

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