French and Asian cinema make a return to Berlin Festival

French and Asian cinema are back at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and are making quite a presence. There are four French and four Asian films selected for the festival’s official competition lineup.

Francois Ozon’s “Angel,” about the troubles of a young author in early 20th century England, will be the closing film of the 57th Berlinale. “Angel” is a great ending for the festival which starts Feb. 8 with the world premiere of “La vie en Rose,” from another French director, Olivier Dahan.

There will also be two other French films holding their world premieres in Berlin: Andre Techine’s “The Witness” and Jacques Rivette’s “Don’t Touch The Axe”.

Asian cinema was also lacking a presence at last years festival and is making a return to Berlin as well. There are two Chinese productions —Wang Quan’an drama “Tuya’s Marriage” and Li Yu’s urban portrait “Lost In Beijing”— and two from Korea —Zhang Lu’s “Desert Dream” and “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK,” the new awaited drama from Park Chan-wook.

The lineup at the Berlinale this year covers a wide range of genres. Audiences can see independent productions, like Ryan Eslinger’s “When a Man Falls in the Forest,” or grander films, such as Zack Snyder’s epic “300.” The latter is an adaptation of the Frank Miller comic book about the battle of Thermopylae between 300 Spartans and the massive Persian army, numbering in the millions.

Argentine director Ariel Rotter, last seen in Berlin with 2001’s “Solo por hoy,” returns with “El otro”. Also, Brazilian filmmaker Cao Hamburger made the cut with his feature film debut “The Year My Parents Went On Holiday.” The film takes a look at a boy in 1970s Brazil whose parents are taken away by the country’s military dictatorship.

Another noteworthy mention that was selected for the competition this year is “Beaufort,” by Israeli director Joseph Cedar (“Campfire”). The film is about the last military unit to be stationed in southern Lebanon before Israeli troops were withdrawn from the country.

Nineteen of the twenty-six films that are featured in this years lineup are world premieres.

The full competition lineup for the 57th annual Berlin International Film Festival follows:

“300” by Zack Snyder, U.S. (World Premiere, Out of Competition)

“Angel” by Francois Ozon, France/Belgium/U.K. (World Premiere)/Closing Film

“Beaufort” by Joseph Cedar, Israel (World Premiere)

“Bordertown” by Gregory Nava, U.S. (World Premiere)

“Desert Dream” (Hyazgar) by Zhang Lu, Republic of Korea/France (World Premiere)

“Don’t Touch The Axe” (Ne touchez pas la hache) by Jacques Rivette, France/Italy (World Premiere)

“Goodbye Bafana” by Bille August, Germany/France/Belgium/U.K./Italy (World Premiere)

“Hallam Foe” by David Mackenzie, U.K. (World Premiere)

“I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK” (Sai bo gu ji man gwen chan a) by Park Chan-wook, Republic of Korea (International Premiere)

“In Memory of Myself” (In memoria di me) by Saverio Costanzo, Italy (World Premiere)

“Irina Palm” by Sam Garbarski, Belgium/Germany/Luxembourg/U.K./France (World Premiere)

“I Served The King Of England” (Obsluhoval jsem anglickeho krale) by Jiri Menzel, Czech Republic / Slovakia (International Premiere)

“La Vie en Rose” by Olivier Dahan, France/U.K./Czech Republic (World Premiere)/Opening Film

“Letters From Iwo Jima” by Clint Eastwood, U.S. (European Premiere, Out of Competition)

“Lost In Beijing” (Ping guo) by Li Yu, China (World Premiere)

“Notes On A Scandal” by Richard Eyre, U.K. (International Premiere, Out of Competition)

“The Counterfeiters” (Die Faelscher) by Stefan Ruzowitzky, Germany/Austria (World Premiere)

“The Good German” by Stephen Soderbergh, U.S. (International Premiere)

“The Good Shepherd” by Robert de Niro, U.S. (International Premiere)

“The Other” (El otro) by Ariel Rotter, Argentina/France/Germany (World Premiere)

“The Walker” by Paul Schrader, U.S./U.K. (World Premiere, Out of Competition)

“The Witnesses” (Les Temoins) by Andre Techine, France (World Premiere)

“The Year My Parents Went On Vacation” (O ano em que meus pais sairam de ferias) by Cao Hamburger, Brazil / Argentina (International Premiere)

“Tuya’s Marriage” (Tu ya de hun shi) by Wang Quan’an, China (World Premiere)

“When A Man Falls In The Forest” by Ryan Eslinger, Canada/U.S. (World Premiere)

“Yella” by Christian Petzold, Germany (World Premiere)


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Luz Aguado

Luz Aguado was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles. She is the oldest of four siblings. Prior to attending The Art Institute, Luz was a student at the University of California Riverside where she studied biology and aspired to become a medical doctor. Now she studies Media Arts and Animation at The Art Institute of Los Angeles and hopes of one day having the opportunity to work for Disney Animation Studios. Three dimensional animation and the innovative techniques that have given animation a more realistic appearance is something that she wishes to focus on while at The Art Institute.

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