Berlinale Talents

1/21/2015 3:00:00 PM

Cracking open and reconfiguring notions of spatiality will be high on the agenda for this year’s edition of Berlinale Talents. Under the focus “2015: A Space Discovery”, the summit will host a star-studded cast of professionals to convene from February 7 to 12 at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatres in Berlin to discuss and work with the 300 invited Talents and public audiences.

To kick it all off, president of the International Jury Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) and fellow jurors get the topic rolling with an in-depth discussion on how they have sculpted space in their own films. The panel “Road, Movie: Films in Motion” brings German director Sebastian Schipper from the Competition programme (Victoria) together with Walter Salles (On the Road). Both will keep track of their protagonists’ cinematic journeys through space and time. Bong Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer) and producer Lorna Tee (Postcards from the Zoo) talk about movies crossing the border from their local birthplaces to international audiences. Legendary German auteur Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas), this year's Berlinale Homage subject, takes the stage in a joint event with the Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen to shed light on his career which has spanned a multitude of genres, formats and continents. Director Ursula Meier (Sister), who presents a short film at this year’s Generation programme, grants insight into her relationships on set with actors of all ages.

In cooperation with Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German director Andreas Dresen, together with his longtime screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase and best-selling book author Clemens Meyer, explores the short period 25 years ago when space in East Germany seemed unlimited and that is the setting for his Competition film As We Were Dreaming. Oscar®, Golden Globe and Grammy-winning composer Howard Shore (Maps To The Stars, The Lord of the Rings) will be on hand in Berlin to elaborate how a film's score and sound create spaces in which stories unfold.

Movie theaters from Beirut to Cairo, spaces for exhibiting films and bustling hubs of alternative culture, are in the limelight during the panel “Crossroads to Culture - Cinema(s) in the Arab World”. Also with focus on the Arab countries, Berlinale Talents will host the award ceremony for the “Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation”. A truly intercontinental panel in cooperation with Berlinale NATIVe and the Federal Foreign Office delves into the cultural spaces of Africa, Latin America and India, in search of the roots of local storytelling traditions.

A discussion between director Joanna Hogg (Exhibition) and architect Matthias Sauerbruch explores how a house can become an actual character in a film and dictate human relations. Film choreographer Francesca Jaynes and puppeteer Mikey Brett (War Horse), both having worked with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, will tackle how actors create movement in spaces beyond limits.

Several panels will focus on the power of film and filmmakers to influence and inspire social and political changes. Academy Award nominee Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) joins Berlinale Talents for an interactive webcam session on her role as a documentarist, while Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing) and Marcel Ophüls (The Memory of Justice) discuss the chosen ways of their films to look back into history and preserve cinematic spaces of remembrance. Together with Andy Bichlbaum and Mika Bonanno, better known as the activist duo The Yes Men, director Laura Nix (The Yes Men are Revolting) will discuss how guerrilla filmmaking and the weapons of humour can help hacking public and private spheres.

In partnership with Canon, Berlinale Talents offers an array of activities. Acclaimed DoP Peter Zeitlinger (Queen Of The Desert) will give a masterclass on his multiple collaborations with directors Werner Herzog and Ulrich Seidl. A two-day lightening and grading workshop with DoP Franz Lustig (How I Live) will focus on creating and defining cinematic space with the power of light. DoP Stefan Ciupek (127 Hours) and colourist Dirk Meier (Antichrist) will present their “Survival Guide to Digital Workflows”, discussing substantial details of working with the latest technologies.

More information at:

Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, in cooperation with Creative Europe MEDIA, a programme of the European Union, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Canon.


Week-Long Theatrical Run for Mati Diop’s 'Thousand Suns' & Uncle Djbril Diop Mambéty’s 'Touki Bouki'

Tambay A. Obenson

1/20/2015 10:08:00 AM

In what will be a special week-long theatrical run at MoMA in NYC - for which the filmmaker, Mati Diop, will be present - two of her films ("Atlantiques" (2009) and "A Thousand Suns" (2013)) will be paired, along with the seminal 1972 film, "Touki Bouki," made by her uncle, the late Senegalese auteur, Djibril Diop Mambety. 

The week-long (January 20–27, 2015) run is a collaboration between MoMA and UniFrance Films, whose new initiative, Young French Cinema, promotes emerging French filmmakers in North America in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

"Touki Bouki" will also be shown 3 times over the course of the week-long theatrical run, in a new digital restoration by the World Cinema Foundation.

Meanwhile, Mati Diop's "Mille soleils" ("A Thousand Suns"), explores the legacy of "Touki Bouki," as she journeys in search of her origins through the footprints left by the film her late uncle made, and along the way gets to know "Touki Bouki's" 2 main actors, 35 years later.

Based on his own story and script, Djibril Diop Mambéty reportedly made "Touki Bouki" with a $30,000 budget. Often compared to films of the French New Wave, Mambety puts his stamp on a film that incorporates stylistic flourishes that were considered uncharacteristic of most African films at the time. The film both highlights and struggles with the hybridization of Senegal.

There's an insolence that’s expressed in it, we could say, a freedom from formality, as well as a great sense of humor.

As his niece Mati Diop has insisted, it’s also the film where her uncle reveals himself the most.

Her exploration of "Touki Bouki" is an interesting, worthwhile watch. I don't believe a documentary has ever been made that celebrates the film, and considers its legacy, given its significance in African cinema history.

It's a film (and I could name several others) that really deserves its proper restoration and re-release in HD, preserving, but also reintroducing it to new generations, and those who are just not aware of it.

Mati Diop studied at Le Fresnoy (National Studio of Contemporary Arts) and Le Pavillon (an art residency of the Palais de Tokyo). Her films have screened worldwide to acclaim.

If you'll be in NYC this week, from January 20–27, 2015, add this week-long run to your calendar.

Check out the list of screening days and times for each film here.



Park Circus

1/15/2015 12:00:00 PM

Spectacular new 4K restoration reissued in the UK, 27 February.

Newly restored in 4K by The Film Foundation and BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL, The Tales of Hoffmann returns to cinemas on 27 February, opening at BFI Southbank and selected sites nationwide. Rendering Jacques Offenbach's fantastical opera in vivid Technicolor, The Tales of Hoffmann represents the culmination of Powell and Pressburger's experimentation with the outer boundaries of an art form.

Told through sequences which combine dance, opera and film, The Tales of Hoffmann continues an aesthetic adventure that began three years previously with the release of The Red Shoes. Moira Shearer features prominently once again, playing various roles in this story of a Romantic poet's fraught quests for love and lust - and the depths of man's folly in pursuit of both.

The prologue to the tales takes place in the theatre of Nürnberg, where German Romanticist E.T.A. Hoffmann and his rival Councillor Lindorf both hope to meet Stella, the prima ballerina performing The Enchanted Butterfly. When Lindorf intercepts a token from Stella intended for Hoffmann, the poet retires to a nearby tavern, orders a drink and recounts three stories of romantic misadventure to the rowdy student clientele.

Moving from the fashionable boutiques of Paris to bacchanalian orgies in a nightmarish Venice, and from the naiveté of youth to the weight of experience, Hoffmann's stories combine to form three facets of their narrator's evolving struggle with true love.

The Tales of Hoffmann returns to cinemas on 27 February, opening at BFI Southbank and selected sites nationwide. The Tales of Hoffmann has been restored by The Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL. Restoration funding was provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Franco-American Cultural Fund, The Film Foundation, and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation.


American Cinema Restored: A Tribute to Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation

Austrian Filmmuseum

12/4/2014 12:00:00 AM

December 4, 2014 to January 8, 2015 

The Film Museum completes its own anniversary year with a smooth transition to another: From December 2014 to January 2015, we celebrate the work of The Film Foundation on the eve of its 25th birthday. Founded in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, the Film Museum's honorary president, with the goal of preserving American Cinema in all its diversity, The Film Foundation has since effected the restoration and preservation of about 1000 films in cooperation with the most important film archives in the United States – no other organization outside the archival world has done as much to save and protect film history. 

From this vast pool of preserved films, the retrospective presents 48 works in gloriously restored film prints, focusing on a period (1928 to 1963) known as the classical era of American cinema – and extending an invitation to examine and perhaps revise this notion of the „classical“. Canonized achievements like Frank Capra's It Happened One Night, Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt or Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter are combined with overlooked films to sketch an alternative history of Hollywood: from the beginnings of sound to the collapse of the studio system; from comedies to westerns, from musicals to melodramas, from crime to war films. Yet in accordance with the mission of The Film Foundation, the scope of the series also extends beyond the boundaries of the dream factory and the standards of narrative filmmaking with a selection of shorts and documentaries expanding the potential pathways through America and its cinema. 

It is not only in the lesser known areas of cinema – from the early color experiment Wonderland of California or the astonishing world war document The Fighting Lady to unknown masters of the avant-garde – that The Film Foundation has done wonders for the visibility of film on film. It has also shed new light on classic titles such as Love Affair or legendary “B” pictures like The Big Combo by making them accessible again in their original shape and form, after they had languished for decades in the public domain netherworld of bad 16mm prints. Today, even prestige productions like Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse or All About Eve by Joseph L. Mankiewicz are rarely shown the way they were intended to be seen, as genuine film experiences. Now, in many cases, a digital facsimile is projected instead of the restored prints. 

„American Cinema Restored“ highlights neglected masterpieces like Michael Curtiz’ The Breaking Point starring John Garfield (a superior 1950 adaptation of the Hemingway novel To Have and To Have Not) or the œuvres of such mavericks as Ida Lupino (The Bigamist). The renowned Viennese writer and stage director Berthold Viertel can be discovered as an American filmmaker with The Wiser Sex, as part of a strand in the retrospective emphasizing the contributions of Central European émigrés to the cinema of the United States. Via Josef von Sternberg, Max Ophüls and Andre de Toth (or Peter Lorre’s star turn in The Chase), this line can be traced directly to the culture of film noir – a „new wave“ that gave exemplary expression to the ruffled psyche of a nation in the 1940s (and, subsequently, the McCarthy years), before descending into complete madness in Sam Fuller's furious thriller Shock Corridor at the beginning of the 1960s. By then, a „post-classical“ era had begun, and new kinds of independent cinema had started to appear. In 1953, a boldly neorealist film such as The Little Fugitive was still an exception, but during the transition into the next decade, works like John Cassavetes' Shadows or Shirley Clarke's The Connection heralded a decisive departure towards independence. 

Somewhere between these vastly different forms of individual expression and Hollywood's frequently evoked „genius of the system“ lies a gateway into one of the most fecund periods in film history – and to the tapestry that is American Cinema Restored. 

This retrospective was made possible by The Film Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, and the film archives who oversaw the 48 restorations: UCLA Film & Television Archive, Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, Library of Congress, Academy Film Archive, and Anthology Film Archives.

Margaret Bodde, executive director of the Film Foundation, and Kent Jones, director of the New York Film Festival, will be our guests for the opening days, while Martin Scorsese will provide audiences with a special video introduction to the series.



News Archive