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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Panorama: Distinctive Voices In World Cinema

The Panorama section is the non-competitive sidebar of the Berlinale that has a reputation among Festival veterans as the most ambitious and exploratory program in the Festival. The section has introduced many of world cinema’s most illustrious talents. Showcasing more than 50 films, most making their international premieres, the Panorama opened on Friday with Canadian director Bruce McDonald’s THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS, a visually inventive exploration of a fifteen-year-old girl’s fragmented emotional world. “We don’t really look for programming trends beforehand, but certain themes do emerge after we have begun to put our program together”, Panorama head Wieland Speck explained.

Among the themes Speck identified as being particularly strong this year: young people’s search for identity (14 films from nearly every continent that reflect cultural and social change as they are viewed from the perspective of young people); and state paranoia (including Paul Oremland’s debut film SURVEILLANCE; STRANGE CULTURE, an impressionistic study of American paranoia by American film essayist Lynn Hershman Leeson, starring Tilda Swinton, Peter Coyote and Thomas Jay Ryan; and Hal Hartley’s espionage thriller-cum-black comedy FAY GRIM, starring Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum). For a video interview with director Hal Hartley at the Sundance Film Festival, log on to: Hal Hartley Interview.

“Another unexpected theme was the continuing trend of actors who try their hands at directing”, Speck added. Among the anticipated directorial turns from celebrated acting talent: Canadian actress Sarah Polley’s debut feature, AWAY FROM HER, the moving story of the effects of Alzeheimer’s disease on a loving marriage, offers a peak performance from Oscar winner Julie Christie; INTERVIEW, the third directorial effort by American indie icon Steve Buscemi, who adapted the two-character drama originally brought to the screen by slain Dutch director Theo Van Gogh and SUMMER RAIN, an adaptation of a prize-winning novel of restless youth in small town Spain that is actor-turned-director Antonio Banderas’ debut.

More stories on the Panorama section films, the Teddy Awards (given to the best gay and lesbian films in the Festival) and an interview with Panorama head Wieland Speck will be offered here in the coming days.

Sandy Mandelberger
Berlin Online Dailies Editor

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Chatelin Bruno
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