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The 70th Berlinale International Film Festival will be held from February 20 to March 1, 2020.
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters bring you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives. WATCH OUR VIDEO COVERAGE TRAILERS INTERVIEWS AND AMBIANCE   PHOTOS

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IRANIAN FILM TAKES LEAD IN CRITICS POLL

Trade magazine Screen International has been conducting a poll among leading international critics to predict the film that will win the Golden Bear award, the Berlinale's top prize. Each day in the trade's dailies, seven internationally respected critics are polled to get their response and to (possibly) handicap the winner, which will be announced on Sunday. The critics include Scott Foundas (Film Comment, USA), Derek Malcolm (London Evening Standard, UK), Nick James (Sight And Sound, UK), Tim Robey (The Daily Telegraph, UK), Bo Green Jensen (Weekendavisen Berlingske, Denmark) and Jan Schulz-Ojala (Der Tagesspiegel, Germany). So far only two films have received a four star average rating, the highest allowable. The Iranian film NADER AND SIMIN, a study of contemporary Iranian society with a hint of Hitchcock suspense by director Asghar Farhadi, is the current frontrunner. Right behind is THE TURIN HORSE, an existential drama by Hungarian director Bela Tarr. Several films in the competition section are yet to screen, but the buzz is that the Iranian film seems to be the leader of the packet (as of Wednesday evening anyway).

THE SUNDANCE/BERLIN CONNECTION

With Berlin hosting the first official film market of the calendar year, and falling less than two weeks after a slew of world premieres at the Sundance Film Festival, the two events are becoming a kind of one-two punch for seller and buyers. Several Sundance titles (many of which are also screening here either in the Festival or the European Film Market) have logged sales to the US and other territories, with the announcements coming here in Berlin. US distributor Magnolia Pictures has picked up North American rights to HAPPY, HAPPY, the Norwegian film that won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Music Box Films, the company that distributed all three of the Stieg Larsson "girl with the dragon tattoo" films in North America, has acquired US rights to the documentary BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD. Sundance Selects, a co-venture between the Sundance Institute and IFC Films, has picked up US rights to the historical documentary THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE, which also is screening here in the Panorama section. Sony Pictures Classics has acquired multi-territory rights to HIGHER GROUND, the directorial debut of actress Vera Farmiga.

SINGAPORE MOVES AGGRESSIVELY INTO CO-PRODUCTIONS

The Media Development Authority of Singapore has announced here in Berlin that its actively soliciting submissions for projects in which it can co-invest with its International Film Fund. The organization is looking to invest up to $4 million in films that involved at least one Singapore partner or can be shot on location in the island nation. Completed films will have the opportunity to premiere at Screen Singapore, a new film and industry event that will run in early June.

COOKING UP A STORM

It is well known that Berlinale Festival Director Dieter Kosslick is a picky gourmand. That may explain the inclusion in the Festival of a section devoted to film that celebrate food. Culinary Cinema is screening 12 films in the section, which not only lauds great cooking technique but also comments on the ways that food is grown, processed and delivered to market. In a nice twist, renowned chefs will cook meals inspired by the films in the Gropius Mirror restaurant directly after the screenings. Titles include THE RECIPE (Anna Lee), THE WAYS OF WINE (Nicolas Carreras), TOAST (SJ Clarkson), EVEN THE RAIN (Icair Bollain) and JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (David Gelb). Talk about dinner and a movie......

EUROPEAN FILM MARKET STARTS TO WIND DOWN

Although the official close of the European Film Market, the industry trade show event parallel to the Berlinale, is on Friday, companies at the Martin Gropius Bau and the Marriot Hotel, the two key venues for sellers and country film commissions, are now packing up after an active Berlin. The market attendees topped 6000 professionals, which is up nicely from the past two years. While deals will continue to be made in the weeks to come, buzz around the Market was that business has picked up from the disasterous last two years but is nowhere near the levels it was before 2008. Most professionals agree that the specialty sector is still a challenge but new initiatives and markets, including online and video on demand platforms show promise (if not much hard cash at the moment). So, now it's on to Cannes.....

Sandy Mandelberger, Berlinale Dailies Editor

 

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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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