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Berlin Announces Best First Feature Contestants, Including Two Sundance Films

Berlin Announces Best First Feature Contestants, Including Two Sundance Films

Berlinale has announced the candidates for its Best First Feature prize. Among those in contention this year are “My Brother the Devil” and “Young & Wild,” two films that are playing at Sundance right now. (Should either of them take home any kind of award at Park City, they will be deemed ineligible in Berlin.)

The winner of the award will receive 50,000 euros courtesy of a grant by GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrecht), a film and TV rights group. The three-person First Feature jury in charge of selecting the winner includes actor Matthew Modine.

One of the 27 participants will be announced as the recipient at the festival’s closing award ceremony. The 62nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place February 9-19.

See the full release below for details:

Jury for the Best First Feature

The Berlinale has been even more committed to supporting the next generation of film makers since 2006, when it introduced the Best First Feature Award. The award is endowed with 50,000 Euros, donated by the GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrecht), a society dedicated to safeguarding film and television rights. The prize money is to be split between the producer and the director of the winning film. Additionally, the director will be awarded with a high-quality viewfinder as both a useful instrument and memorable trophy.

Debut feature films from the sections CompetitionPanoramaForum, Generation and for the first time also debut films from the Perspektive Deutsches Kino will compete for the award in 2012. The winners will be announced at the official award ceremony in the Berlinale Palast on February 19.

A three-person jury will decide on the Best First Feature:

Moritz Rinke (Germany)

The dramatist and novelist received the 1997 PEN Club Literature Award for his second play “The Man Who Never Yet Saw Woman’s Nakedness”. His new adaptation of “Die Nibelungen” became one of the most successful German theatre productions. In 2008 Franziska Stünkel filmed his award-winning work “The Vineta Republic”, and in 2010 his first novel “Der Mann, der durch das Jahrhundert fiel” became a bestseller.

Hania Mroué (Lebanon)

Hania Mroué is founder and director of the Metropolis Art Cinema, the first art-house cinema in Lebanon opened in 2006. Since 2001 she is the Managing Director of the Arab film festival “Cinema Days of Beirut”. For the release of Arab and international auteur films she started the MC Distribution company. At the Doha Film Institute she is in charge as Chief Arab programmer for the Doha Tribeca Film festival and DFI’s year round initiatives.

Matthew Modine (USA)

The performances of the award-winning American actor include Stanley Kubrick’sFull Metal Jacket, Robert Altman’s Shortcuts and Alan Parker’s Birdy. Matthew Modine made his screenplay/directorial feature debut with If…Dog…Rabbit.Jesus Was a Commie, his award winning short film, is currently playing at festivals around the globe. His recent roles include Girl in ProgressFamily Weekend and The Dark Knight Rises.

The following 27 films have qualified for the Best First Feature Award:

Panorama (6)

Cherry by Stephen Elliot, USA

Chocó (Choco) by Jhonny Hendrix HinestrozaColumbia

HIGHWAY by Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal/USA

Kuma by Umut Dag, Austria

My Brother the Devil** by Sally El Hosaini, Great Britain

Sharqiya by Ami Livne, Israel/France/Germany

Forum (8)

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank) by Marlon N. Rivera, the Philippines

Francine by Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, USA/Canada

Hemel by Sacha Polak, Netherlands/Spain

Kashi (Choked) by Joong-Hyun Kim, Republic of Korea

Koi ni itaru yamai (The End of Puberty) by Kimura Shoko, Japan

Příliš mladá noc (A Night Too Young) by Olmo Omerzu, Czech Republic/Slovenia

Salsipuedes by Mariano Luque, Argentina

Tepenin Ardı (Beyond the Hill) by Emin Alper Turkey/Greece

Generation (10)


ARCADIA by Olivia Silver, USA

Kauwboy by Boudewijn Koole, Netherlands

Kikoeteru, furi wo sita dake (Just Pretended to Hear) by Kaori Imaizumi, Japan

Pacha by Héctor Ferreiro, Bolivia/Mexico


Comes A Bright Day by Simon Aboud, Great Britain

Electrick Children by Rebecca Thomas, USA

Joven & Alocada (Young & Wild)** by Marialy Rivas, Chile

Nosilatiaj. La Belleza (Beauty) by Daniela Seggiaro, Argentina

Un Mundo Secreto (A Secret World) by Gabriel Mariño, Mexico

Una Noche by Lucy Mulloy, USA/Cuba/Great Britain

Perspektive Deutsches Kino (3)


Gegen Morgen (Before Tomorrow) by Joachim Schoenfeld, Germany

Westerland by Tim Staffel, Germany

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