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Perspektive Deutsches Kino: Young German Filmmakers Seek Challenges

With six films invited to the Festival, the first half of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino programme for 2011 has been decided before the holidays. On February 20, Berlinale Kinotag (the Berlinale’s cinema day for the public), it is a tradition to announce the winners of the Max Ophüls Award feature film competition for 2011. And this year for the first time, the winner of the First Steps Award for 2010 in the category documentary film (Ein Sommer voller Türen, directed by: Stefan Ludwig) will be presented. Hence three events that are committed to the next generation of German filmmakers will come together: First Steps, the Max Ophüls Award, and the Berlinale’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino section.

“Since German documentaries are held in high regard everywhere by the public and critics in movie theatres and at international festivals, we would like to show our appreciation by giving them a permanent place in the programme of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino,” comments section director Linda Söffker. “The films chosen for the programme so far demonstrate how young German filmmakers seek challenges. Both in content and form, they display the courage to explore the topical and volatile issues of our times.”

Director Dirk Lütter, who was first educated as a cameraman and then studied directing at the KHM (Cologne) until 2006, reveals in Die Ausbildung (The Education, produced by unafilm, Cologne) the structures that emerge in a company and how they interfere in our private lives. Trainee Jan (Joseph Bundschuh) is confronted with opportunities that are ultimately nothing of the kind, and in trying to do what is right makes all the wrong decisions.

Like Dirk Lütter, directors Annekatrin Hendel and Ziska Riemann both explore worlds they know well in their films. Yet when it comes to the actual art of filmmaking, they open themselves up to new and unknown regions.
With her IT WORKS! Medien company, Annekatrin Hendel has successfully produced films for a number of years now. At the Berlinale she will present her first full-length documentary Vaterlandsverräter. In it she tells the story of 75-year-old writer Paul Gratzik, a Stasi informant from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern who later quits. This character could not be more contradictory: one hates him while still feeling quite touched.

In Lollipop Monster, artist Ziska Riemann has transformed her comic-strip illustrations into a colourful teenage pop drama with many typical features of the genre. Emotional, shrill and zany, the visuals in the film use her drawing style to give the story, revolving around the two girls Ariane (Jella Haase) and Oona (Sarah Horváth), the right look. Ziska Riemann wrote the screenplay with her old school friend Luci van Org (♫ Weil ich ein Mädchen bin), who has already demonstrated with her music that she is an expert in adolescent antics.

In the selected medium-length works from German film schools, the protagonists all strive for freedom while longing for a place to call home. To mark the bicentennial of Latin American Independence, director Josephine Frydetzki (HFF Konrad Wolf, Potsdam Babelsberg) made Dígame – Sag mir (Dígame – Tell me) in Buenos Aires. Embodying the ideals of freedom prevalent in Argentina, it portrays this Independence Day in the life of Esteban (Rafael Spregelburd).

The young Bosnian Amir (Arnel Taci) in Eisblumen (Ice Flowers, dir.: Susan Gordanshekan, HFF Munich) has no permit to stay in Germany and so works illegally as a caregiver for Frau Osterloh (Renate Grosser), who is afflicted with dementia. His whole family is in Bosnia, and so he feels isolated and aches to talk to his mother.
In weisst du eigentlich dass ganz viele blumen blühen im park (you know the park is filled with flowers) by Lothar Herzog (dffb), Lena (Odine Johne) wanted nothing more than to live with her boyfriend Mario (Christian Blümel). So she moved to his place in Brandenburg, a small eastern German town. But now she is almost always alone because Mario is off working in Berlin. She starts wishing for something else...

So far the following films have been selected:

Dígame - Sag mir (Dígame – Tell me) byJosephine Frydetzki
Die Ausbildung (The Education) by Dirk Lütter
Eisblumen (Ice Flowers) by Susan Gordanshekan
Lollipop Monster by Ziska Riemann
Vaterlandsverräter by Annekatrin Hendel (documentary film)
weisst du eigentlich dass ganz viele blumen blühen im park
(you know the park is filled with flowers) by Lothar Herzog

The selection for the programme of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino will be completed in mid January.

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