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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole in Against the Ice by Peter Flint
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole in Against the Ice by Peter Flinth © Lilja Jonsdottir / Netflix

Berlin International Film Festival confirmed the first films for the 2022 edition of the festival, including seven films for Berlinale Special, thirteen titles for Panorama, ten feature-length films and seven short films for Generation, and ten titles for the Forum.

“The pandemic has created distances – not only between people but also the way we see the world. Amongst the 2022 selection are films shot during the pandemic, reflecting on how it feels to be disconnected from others. It is with this first batch of films that we want to highlight the power of cinema as a tool that connects people, places and times ahead,” says the Artistic Director of the Berlinale, Carlo Chatrian.

Whether through the ice of Greenland or among sex workers fighting for their rights in a small city in India or into the dark past of Germany, in the mind of a unique self-made woman, or even in the fantastic world hidden in the branches under an old, grand oak tree, the films selected in Berlinale Special pay tribute to exceptional human beings and to the harsh, yet always surprising world we are living in. They do so through the talented and incredible actors: famous, rising or yet to be discovered who carry the stories and will enchant the audience with their presence.

So far, seven female directors have their films featured in the 2022 Panorama program. These include the feminist trailblazer of independent US cinema Nina Menkes with Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, up-and-coming German director Annika Pinske with her debut feature Alle reden übers Wetter (Talking About the Weather) and Maryna Er Gorbach with her Ukrainian war drama Klondike.

The documentaries in the selection portray engaging and combative pioneers and activists. In Nelly & Nadine by Magnus Gertten and Nel mio nome (Into My Name) by Nicolò Bassetti, the audience can set off in search of historical and contemporary queer life stories. In his frank self-portrait Nous, étudiants ! (We, Students!), Central African director Rafiki Fariala takes a look at everyday student life among his closest circle of friends and finds lives characterised by conflict, solidarity and reflection.

Independent US fiction is already out in force with two highly contrasting works: Taurus by Tim Sutton with Colson Baker and A Love Song by Max Walker-Silverman with Dale Dickey.

The eight feature-length films and seven short films that have been selected for the Generation program thus far stand out for the unconventionality and willpower of their protagonists.

In An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl), the silent title heroine counteracts the emotionally cold world around her with her subtle, poetic gift of observation. The New York artist Beba alias Rebeca Huntt is going the opposite way. In her audiovisual firework, the self-confident director positions herself in a world infused by racism. Humour, imagination and quick-wittedness are some of the weapons that the filmmakers place into the hands of their heroes to assert themselves: In Millie Lies Low, it’s the New Zealand gallows humour. In Tytöt tytöt tytöt (Girl Picture), it is boldness and the enduring friendship of three outsiders.

Relationships in times of distancing and change have not become easier, especially when you are coming of age at the same time. The freedom to love differently and the difficulty of not getting lost in the chaos of emotions are themes which have obviously inspired many of this year’s filmmakers. In Sublime, Manu helps his band’s rock music to express his emotional roller coaster ride towards his best friend. In Una aprendiz invisible (An Invisible Apprentice), a young roller-skater lacks words in a world in which adults prefer to be silent with their children. In the gentle and clever documentary Kind Hearts, the directing duo Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes gives great insight into the inner life of a young couple which respectfully deals with the changed feelings for one another.

The world stands still, but the earth keeps turning. In Allons enfants (Rookies), students from a Parisian dance academy dance everything away that keeps them down and prevents them from flying. In search of their own expression and their own rhythm, they rebel against the law of gravity and infect everyone with their insuppressible energy.

Berlinale Special Gala

Against the Ice
Iceland / USA / Denmark
by Peter Flinth
with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Heida Reed, Charles Dance
World premiere

À propos de Joan (About Joan)
France / Germany / Ireland
by Laurent Larivière
with Isabelle Huppert, Lars Eidinger, Swann Arlaud
World premiere

Gangubai Kathiawadi
India
by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
with Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn
World premiere

Der Passfälscher (The Forger)
Germany / Luxembourg
by Maggie Peren
with Louis Hofmann, Jonathan Berlin, Luna Wedler
World premiere

Berlinale Special

Le chêne (Heart of Oak)
France
by Laurent Charbonnier, Michel Seydoux
International premiere / documentary form

1341 Framim Mehamatzlema Shel Micha Bar-Am (1341 Frames of Love and War)
Israel / United Kingdom / USA
by Ran Tal
World premiere / documentary form

Nothing Lasts Forever
USA
by Jason Kohn
World premiere / documentary form

Panorama

Alle reden übers Wetter (Talking About the Weather)
Germany
by Annika Pinske
with Anne Schäfer, Anne-Kathrin Gummich, Judith Hofmann, Marcel Kohler, Max Riemelt
World premiere / Debut film

Clara, 39, is taking a PhD in philosophy in Berlin. When she visits provincial Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for her mother’s birthday party, she realises how far she has moved away from her roots in her search for a self-determined life.

The Apartment with Two Women
Republic of Korea
by Kim Se-in
with Im Jee-ho, Yang Mal-bok
International premiere / Debut film

A family argument escalates and Su-kyung hits her daughter Yi-jung with her car. Just an accident, she claims. Malicious intent, contradicts her daughter. Her rebellion marks the beginning of an arduous process for both women to cut the cord.

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power
USA
by Nina Menkes
with Julie Dash, Charlyne Yi, Joey Soloway, Rosanna Arquette, Eliza Hittman
International premiere / Panorama Dokumente

Using examples from over 120 years of film history, Nina Menkes explores the male gaze in cinema: to what extent is the objectification and sexualisation of the female body ingrained in film language? And what impact does this have on society?

Calcinculo (Swing Ride)
Italy / Switzerland
by Chiara Bellosi
with Gaia Di Pietro, Andrea Carpenzano
World premiere

When a fairground sets up outside her window, 15-year-old Benedetta meets Amanda who defies gender norms – and not just that. Fascinated, the two grow closer. A coming-of-age film about an unusual friendship and the experience of empowerment.

Dreaming Walls
Belgium / France / USA / Netherlands / Sweden
by Amélie van Elmbt, Maya Duverdier
World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

The end of an eight-year upmarket renovation of the legendary Chelsea Hotel is partly longed for and partly dreaded by the artists who still live there. The film grants us access to their apartments and interweaves the past with the present.

Klondike
Ukraine / Turkey
by Maryna Er Gorbach
with Oxana Cherkashyna, Sergiy Shadrin, Oleg Scherbina

It is July 2014. There is a wall missing in Irka and Tolik’s house – a casualty of the hostilities on the Russian-Ukrainian border. But even when the MH17 passenger jet is shot down nearby, pregnant Irka still wants to stay put in her home.

A Love Song
USA
by Max Walker-Silverman
with Dale Dickey, Wes Studi
International premiere / debut film

Faye is camping by a lake in the vast expanse of the American mountains in order to meet her childhood sweetheart Lito after decades apart. A musical and visually stunning film about remembering and the love for that which no longer exists.

Myanmar Diaries
Netherlands / Myanmar / Norway
by The Myanmar Film Collective
World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

How does it feel to be forgotten by the world? After the military coup in February 2021, these film diaries of young opposition activists in Myanmar use the cinema screen to communicate with the world in a different way than allowed TV news.

Nel mio nome (Into My Name)
Italy
by Nicolò Bassetti
World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

Nic, Leo, Andrea and Raff determine their own gender identities. Each of their gender biographies is different, but the societal barriers to their social, physical and legal changes are the same. Together they are strong.

Nelly & Nadine
Sweden
by Magnus Gertten
World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

Nelly and Nadine meet in Ravensbrück concentration camp. They spend the rest of their lives together. Decades later, Nelly’s granddaughter goes in search of clues. A poignant film about a love story and the need for individual and collective remembrance.

Nous, étudiants ! (We, Students!)
Central African Republic / France / Democratic Republic of the Congo / Saudi Arabia
by Rafiki Fariala
World premiere / debut film / Panorama Dokumente

The filmmaker turns the camera on himself and his friends, capturing their everyday life as students of Bangui University. At once clear-eyed and poetic, they share their thoughts about their future in the Central African Republic.

Ta farda (Until Tomorrow)
Iran / France / Qatar
by Ali Asgari
with Sadaf Asgari, Ghazal Shojaei, Babak Karimi, Amirreza Ranjbaran, Nahal Dashti, Mohammad Heidari
World premiere

Student Fereshteh has to hide her illegitimate baby for one night from her parents who turn up for a surprise visit. Her friend Atefeh helps her. They embark on an odyssey through Tehran during which they must carefully weigh up who their allies are.

Taurus
USA
by Tim Sutton
with Colson Baker, Megan Fox, Maddie Hasson, Scoot McNairy, Ruby Rose, Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr., Lil Tjay
World premiere

Generation 2022

Generation – Long Films

Allons enfants (Rookies)
France
by Thierry Demaizière, Alban Teurlai
World premiere / documentary form

HipHop as a language and an outlet for young people: The film follows the youngest class members of a dance academy on their way to becoming professional dancers. Many of the students come from the socially deprived areas of Paris. Accompanied by a pulsating, dancing camera that pulls the audience right into the action, the film negotiates themes such as origins, pains, dreams and hopes.

Beba
USA / Mexico
by Rebeca Huntt
with Rebeca Huntt
European premiere / debut film / documentary form

The moving testimony of a New York artist with Afro- and Latin American roots: With her poetic-autobiographical film, Rebeca Huntt, aka “Beba”, sets out to defy the world with the proud, angry assertion, “This is my story. I am the lense”. A strong voice for exploring one’s origins – and the artistic statement of a great talent.

An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl)
Ireland
by Colm Bairéad
with Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett
World premiere

Ireland 1981. Nine-year-old Cáit counters the adversities of a life in poverty on the countryside with a quiet retreat into her own world: She is a sensitive observer of the beauty of the small things around her. When she is sent from her overwhelmed, often emotionally cold extended family to an older, childless couple during the holidays, she experiences deep affection, perhaps for the first time ever.

Comedy Queen
Sweden
by Sanna Lenken
with Sigrid Johnson, Ellen Taure, Oscar Töringe
International premiere

The Swedish director Sanna Lenken (Crystal Bear for Min lilla syster, Generation 2015) once again proves her talent for approaching difficult subjects with a light touch. At the centre of her new work is 13-year-old Sascha, who after her mother’s death and father’s ensuing depression decides to look on the bright side of life and become a stand-up comedian.

Kind Hearts
Belgium
by Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes
World premiere / documentary form

With the end of school, an exciting time of open horizons begins. The film accompanies a young couple through this phase of life characterised by great upheavals and new freedoms. The conversations in their search for the truth behind their changing feelings for each another are self-critical, gentle and absolute – the film’s soundtrack is volatile and spherically beautiful.

Knor (Oink)
Netherlands
by Mascha Halberstad
with Hiba Ghafry, Matsen Montsma, Kees Prins
World premiere / debut film / animation

A dream comes true for Babs: her own pet! Not a dog, but an amusing piglet. And yet, this gift of her grandfather, a fallen sausage king, comes with ulterior motives. A fast-paced stop-trick animated feature staged with great ingenuity and attention to detail, narrated in a hilarious and emotionally complex manner.

Millie Lies Low
New Zealand
by Michelle Savill
with Ana Scotney, Jillian Nguyen
International premiere / debut film

Everyone bode her a rousing farewell on her way to New York – and yet, she remained in Wellington! With fantasy, charm and typical New Zealand humour, Millie finds it necessary to produce fake pictures of her supposedly wild life overseas and posts them for her friends on the World Wide Web. As a secret shadow to her own life, she learns a lot that she would rather not have known.

My Father’s Truck
USA / Vietnam
by Mauricio Osaki
with Trung Anh, Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Kiều Trinh Nguyễn
World premiere / debut film

When Nhi’s grandmother becomes seriously ill, she has to accompany her father, whom she hardly knows, during his work as a truck driver. In his debut feature, Mauricio Osaki condenses motifs from his short film of the same name into a sensitive observation of a difficult father-daughter relationship. Thereby, he dispatches the two of them in a road movie across Vietnam, following them as they seek reconciliation and a common future.

Sublime
Argentina
by Mariano Biasin
with Martín Miller, Teo Inama Chiabrando, Azul Mazzeo
World premiere / debut film

With a great deal of tenderness, subtlety and intimate images, Mariano Biasin (Crystal Bear for El inicio de Fabrizio, Generation 2016) focusses in his feature film debut on the turbulent emotions of a 16-year-old musician who falls in love with his best friend, Filipe. The music and the songwriting become the language of the protagonist – and the film.

Tytöt tytöt tytöt (Girl Picture)
Finland
by Alli Haapasalo
with Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino
European premiere

With her idiosyncratic humour, Rönkkö gets just about everyone into bed. Emotionally, however, things remain stagnant. Her friend Mimmi, who also likes to go for it, has discovered love, against all expectations. She has fallen for the much too beautiful ice skater Emma. A brilliant film about the wonderful friendship of three exciting characters who set out to redefine relationship and gender.

Generation – Short Films

Una aprendiz invisible (An Invisible Apprentice)
Argentina
by Emilia Herbst
with Moe Kaplan Arias, Cecilia Rainero, Agustín Mendilaharzu
World premiere

At home, the adults are silent when it comes to the more complicated things of life and Inés, a young roller-skater also has no words when it comes to expressing her feelings. The looming first performance fills her with pride, but also with uncertainty. This film is a small piece of true cinema, lifelike and told with beautiful pictures from the perspective of the girl.

Au revoir Jérôme ! (Goodbye Jerome!)
France
by Adam Sillard, Gabrielle Selnet, Chloé Farr
with William Lebghil, Alma Jodorowsky
European premiere / animation

A man enters heaven in the hope of embracing his wife again. However, in the strange-surreal-seeming paradise everything is confusingly different than expected. A visually stunning animation unfolds – navigating the psychedelic trip, with subtle melancholy and explosive fantasy.

Blaues Rauschen (Blue Noise)
Germany
by Simon Maria Kubiena
with Marvin Nando Nenning, Rainer Sellien, Lou von Gündell
World premiere

A closely observant film about bodies and touching, proximity and distance and the power of attraction. The aloof Alex works in a training workshop for craftsman where he avoids the attempts of his girlfriend to get close to him physically. At the same time, he’s not at all certain about how to deal with other forces of attraction confronting him . In the small space, between working bodies, behavioural patterns are deciphered and the underlying injuries exposed.

Gavazn (Deer)
Iran
by Hadi Babaeifar
with Ehsan Bakhshizadeh, Khodadad Bakhshizadeh, Arsalan Bakhshizadeh
International premiere

In quiet, poetic images of snow-covered, rural Iran, the film tells of a little boy who has to watch helplessly while his sick brother struggles to remain alive. When his parents take him away to relatives, Ehsan sets off for home again through the snowy night, to defend his brother against the angel of death.

Ich habe keine Angst! (I’m Not Afraid!)
Germany / Norway
by Marita Mayer
with Frede Mayer-Gulliksen, Katharina Welzl, Justus Raphael Velte
World premiere / animation

Whenever Vanja searches for her older sister, who is hiding from her, everything scares her: the giant snake that lurks for her in the dark courtyard and the cellar with its strange noises. This artful animation film tells of the power of the imagination, which turns shadows into monsters, but which can also give one the ability to become a true tiger which is afraid of nothing.

Nada para ver aqui (Nothing to See Here)
Portugal / Belgium / Hungary
by Nicolas Bouchez
World premiere / documentary form

Abandoned neighbourhoods, a ghostly voice on the intercom, an impending eclipse and, above all, the contrails of the passing planes in the sky. In the everyday, (all too) human panorama of everyday life in present day Portugal, the artfully arranged sequences are captured in the magical reduction, and minor disturbances are always included.

Vlekkeloos (Spotless)
Netherlands
by Emma Branderhorst
with Alicia Prinsen, Astrid van Eck, Wendy Ruijfrok
International premiere

Her mother is financially in dire straits and Ruby doesn’t want to bother her with buying tampons. Ruby’s desperate attempts to get through her period without tampons brings her to hell’s kitchen. A courageous, true-to-life film about poverty among us and its very concrete consequences.

Forum 2022

Afterwater
Germany / Spain / Republic of Korea (South Korea) / Serbia
by Dane Komljen
with Jonasz Hapka, Signe Westberg, Boban Kaludjer
World premiere

Akyn (Poet)
Kazakhstan
by Darezhan Omirbayev
with Yerdos Kanayev, Serik Salkinbayev, Klara Kabylgazina
European premiere

La edad media (The Middle Ages)
Argentina
by Alejo Moguillansky, Luciana Acuña
with Cleo Moguillansky, Luciana Acuña, Alejo Moguillansky
World premiere

Europe
Germany / France
by Philip Scheffner
with Rhim Ibrir, Thierry Cantin, Didier Cuillierier
World premiere

Une Fleur à la bouche (A Flower in the Mouth)
France / Germany / Republic of Korea (South Korea)
by Éric Baudelaire
with Oxmo Puccino, Dali Benssalah
World premiere

Miền ký ức (Memoryland)
Vietnam / Germany
by Kim Quy Bui
with Mong Giao Vu, Thi Thu Trang Nguyen, Van Thai Nguyen
European premiere

Mis dos voces (My Two Voices)
Canada
by Lina Rodriguez
with Ana Garay Kostic, Marinela Piedrahita, Claudia Montoya
World premiere / documentary form

Nuclear Family
USA / Singapore
by Erin Wilkerson, Travis Wilkerson
with Travis Wilkerson, Erin Wilkerson, Matilda Wilkerson
European premiere / documentary form

Super Natural
Portugal
by Jorge Jácome
with Alexis Fernandes, Bárbara Matos, Celestine Ngantonga Ndzana
World premiere

The United States of America
USA
by James Benning
World premiere

Forum Expanded

O Dente do Dragão (Dragon Tooth)
Brazil
by Rafael Castanheira Parrode
World premiere

Home When You Return
USA
by Carl Elsaesser
International premiere

Jail Bird in a Peacock Chair
Germany / USA
by James Gregory Atkinson
International premiere

Sol in the Dark
France
by Mawena Yehouessi
World premiere

vs
Austria
by Lydia Nsiah
World premiere

Installations

All of Your Stars are But Dust on My Shoes
Lebanon
by Haig Aivazian

Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema
United Kingdom / Belgium / Spain
by Grace Ndiritu

Jole Dobe Na (Those Who Do Not Drown)
India / USA / Japan / Sweden
by Naeem Mohaiemen

Medicine and Magic
Canada
by Thirza Cuthand
International premiere

Onder het witte masker: de film die Haesaerts had kunnen maken (Under the White Mask: The Film That Haesaerts Could Have Made)
Belgium
by Matthias De Groof

Se Hace Camino al Andar (The Path is Made by Walking)
Brazil
by Paula Gaitán
International premiere

The Song of the Shirt
Germany
by Kerstin Schroedinger
World premiere

Voices and Shells
Germany
by Maya Schweizer

The Wake
Haiti / France / United Kingdom
by The Living and the Dead Ensemble

The Zama Zama Project
USA / South Africa / Canada
by Rosalind Morris
World premiere

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