Berlinale 60, second report

Berlin, Germany – After this weekend’s Berlinale premiere of Martin Scorsese’s latest work, SHUTTER ISLAND starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the city of Berlin has officially turned into Leo-Land.
Leonardo DiCaprio came to town and it seemed as if he was everywhere: in museums, restaurants, department stores–he was also present as the photo-of-the-day, brimming on every LCD monitor in each subway car.

However, what I actually want to talk about is marvelous the female directors and their works screening at the Berlinale this year. In light of Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award nomination for best feature as well as best director with her powerful picture THE HURT LOCKER (2008), plus a real chance of her winning either or even both awards as the first female winner, I wanted to introduce the competition entries by female filmmakers from around the world at this year’s Berlinale.

Twenty films will compete in this year’s 60th Berlinale for the Golden and Silver Bears, seventeen of those are by male directors and only three by female ones. The first of the three is from 2006 Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic for her first feature GRBAVICA. This year, the Bosnian filmmaker will present NA PUTU (ON THE PATH). The second female director is Danish filmmaker Pernille Fischer Christensen who, like Zbanic, returns to Berlin after winning the Silver Bear in 2006 for her debut feature EN SOAP. Her latest work is titled A FAMILY and will screen the end of the week. And the third woman director is Argentine Natalia Smirnoff, who brings her first feature ROMPECABEZAS (PUZZLE), an Argentine-French co-production, to Berlin. If last year’s Gold Bear winner–Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa’s drama LA TETA ASUSTADA (THE MILK OF SORROW)–is any indicator, I am very much looking forward to catching these three films. The festival also includes other noteworthy productions by females such as German filmmaking-duo Anne Linsel and Rainer Hoffmann’s documentary TANZTRAEUME (DANCING DREAMS), American Laura Poitras’ Sundance winner THE OATH, and Israeli Anat Yuta Zuria ‘s SORERET (BLACK BUS); All to be included in the next report!


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Tanja Meding

Tanja Meding :Since moving to New York from Germany in 2003, Tanja Meding has worked as a producer for Maysles Films and other independent production companies. Amongst others, she produced SALLY GROSS-THE PLEASURE OF STILLNESS by Albert Maysles and Kristen Nutile which aired on WNET/Thirteen and Channel 25 and is now available on DVD from Since 2007, Tanja has been producing short films by Rosane Chamecki, Andrea Lerner and Phil Harder: JACKIE & JUDY premiered at DANCE ON CAMERA at LINCOLN CENTER was awarded with a PEARL at the POOL 2010 Festival in Berlin. Upcoming this September is a video installation of two new shorts: BOXING and THE COLLECTION at NY's newly opened New York Live Arts building in Chelsea. In addition, Tanja is the co-producer of Gabriella Bier's LOVE DURING WARTIME, a documentary about an Israeli dancer and her Palestinian husband. The film had its US premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and is distributed in the US through 7th Art Releasing. Furthermore, she is the US co-producer of Pascale Obolo's documentary CALYPSO ROSE, LIONESS OF THE JUNGLE. Currently in development with Claudia Brazzale is RETRACING STEPS, a portrait documentary about a group of international dancers and choreographers and their lives 20 years after they first met in NYC.

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