By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire August 1, 2011 at 6:46AM
Hannes Brühwiler, director and programmer of the Unknown Pleasures film festival in Berlin, has appointed Andrew Grant to the role of co-programmer. Grant is a film critic, distributor and producer is the president of Benten Films, a distribution company specializing in independent cinema.
Brühwiler commented, “Andrew’s connection to the American independent film scene is beneficial for the festival, and his awareness of films well below the radar will allow us to program titles we otherwise might have missed.” Unknown Pleasures was launched in 2008 and programs between 15 and 20 titles each year and will take place Jan 1 to 15, 2012.
Full press release follows:
[Berlin – 1 August 2011] – Hannes Brühwiler, director and programmer of the Unknown Pleasures film festival is pleased to announce that Andrew Grant has been appointed co-programmer, beginning with the 2012 edition of the festival.
Grant, a film critic, distributor and producer is the president of Benten Films, a distribution company specializing in independent cinema. Having relocated to Berlin in 2010, he is currently working on expanding the company into Europe while at the same time gearing up to produce the cross-media documentary CAUSE OF DEATH: UNKNOWN with Norwegian filmmaker Anniken Hoel.
Launched in 2008, Unknown Pleasures has programmed several Benten titles over the past years, including, Aaron Katz’s DANCE PARTY USA, QUIET CITY, and Azazel Jacobs’ THE GOOD TIMES KID. Brühwiler, who up until now was solely responsible for the festival’s programming, said that “Andrew’s connection to the American independent film scene is beneficial for the festival, and his awareness of films well below the radar will allow us to program titles we otherwise might have missed.”
The Unknown Pleasures festival, held in January, strives to be a thorough survey of the past year in North American independent cinema. Films programmed range from microbudget productions (Alejandro Adams’ CANARY, Kentucker Audley’s OPEN FIVE) to larger indie works from established directors (Francis Ford Coppola’s TETRO, Steven Soderbergh’s AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE). Held at the legendary Babylon theater, one of Berlin’s oldest and most iconic cinemas, the festival programs between 15-20 titles each year.
Grant, who currently programs Berlin film events with colleague Pamela Cohn under the banner Kino Satellite, feels that the role is a natural extension of his work with Benten. “There’s a genuine interest in American indie cinema here in Berlin, and even the Berlinale has begun
to take notice in recent years, programming films by Lance Hammer, Joe Swanberg, Matthew Porterfield, and Andrew Bujalski. I’m thrilled to be part of the festival, and based on the titles we’ve seen thus far, I expect that the 2012 lineup will be the strongest yet.”
Unknown Pleasures will take place from Jan 1 to 15, 2012, and is sponsored in part by the US Embassy and Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus.