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Berlin Fest Adds Werner Herzog’s ‘Queen Of The Desert,’ Lea Seydoux’s ‘Diary,’ Jafar Panahi’s ‘Taxi’ & More

Berlin Fest Adds Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert,' Lea Seydoux's 'Diary,' Jafar Panahi's 'Taxi' & More

As if the Berlin International Film Festival wasn’t already awash in promising debuts, organizers today have announced their latest slate of films, and some very anticipated pictures have joined the lineup.

The most notable is Werner Herzog‘s “Queen Of The Desert,” a starry biopic of Gertrude Bell which was shuffled off a fall premiere after post-production delays held up the film’s completion.

Other films of note include: Benoit Jacquot‘s “Diary Of A Chambermaid” starring Lea Seydoux; Bill Condon‘s “Mr. Holmes” with Ian McKellen which we also figured for the fall festival season; and surprisingly “Taxi,” from Jafar Panahi.

Check out the list of new movies in the press releases below. The Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 5th to 15th.


Sebastian Schipper, Werner Herzog, Benoit Jacquot and Further Titles Added to the Selection

Another eight films have been selected for the Competition Programme of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
The productions are from the following countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong/China, Iran, the People’s Republic of China, Poland, the USA, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

By Malgorzata Szumowska (Stranger, Elles, In the Name of)
With Janusz Gajos, Maja Ostaszewska, Justyna Suwala
World premiere

Cha và con và (Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories)
Vietnam / France / Germany / Netherlands
By Di Phan Dang (Bi, Don’t Be Afraid)
With Do Thi Hai Yen, Le Cong Hoang, Truong The Vinh
World premiere

Journal d’une femme de chambre (Diary of a Chambermaid)
France / Belgium
By Benoit Jacquot (Farewell, My Queen; Three Hearts)
With Léa Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Clotilde Mollet, Hervé Pierre, Vincent Lacoste
World premiere

Mr. Holmes
United Kingdom
By Bill Condon (The Fifth Estate)
With Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hattie Morahan
World premiere – Out of competition

Queen of the Desert
By Werner Herzog (Fata Morgana, Fitzcarraldo, Cave of Forgotten Dreams)
With Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis , Robert Pattinson
World premiere

By Jafar Panahi (Closed Curtain, Offside)
With Jafar Panahi
World premiere

By Sebastian Schipper (Gigantic, A Friend of Mine)
With Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, Max Mauff, André M. Hennicke
World premiere

Yi bu zhi yao (Gone with the Bullets)
People’s Republic of China / USA / Hong Kong, China
By Wen Jiang (Let the Bullets Fly)
With Wen Jiang, You Ge, Yun Zhou, Qi Shu, Huang Hung
International premiere

Berlinale Generation 2015:

Hermetic Worlds and Brave Decision-Makers
A further 14 feature films round off the Generation programmes. In total, 65 short and full-length films from 35 countries were selected for the Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus competitions. The cross-section and other special screenings will be announced in the next Generation press release.
Firmly grounded in their respective political and cultural contexts, the selected films paint sensitive portraits of extraordinary characters often living in hermetically sealed worlds. “We experience young people who bear too much weight on their shoulders,” as section head Maryanne Redpath describes one of this year’s recurring themes. “The high degree of self-determination with which these children and adolescents liberate themselves from their predicaments is striking.”

Generation 14plus

14+ – Russian Federation
By Andrey Zaytsev
For Alex, beautiful Vika is out of reach. The block where she lives is enemy territory, where nothing is off limits when it comes to fighting. Amid the high-rise buildings of the suburbs, a story of first love as turbulent as it is moving unfolds.
World premiere

Cloro (Chlorine) – Italy
By Lamberto Sanfelice
Jenny’s dream of attending the synchronised swimming championships recedes into the distance when her dysfunctional family has to move from the warm seaside to the gloomy mountains. Dream-like underwater images of bodies moving rhythmically to music lend this debut feature its special atmosphere.
European premiere

Coming of Age – South Africa / Germany
By Teboho Edkins
Two years in the lives of four teenagers in the isolation of a mountain village in Lesotho. This documentary film accompanies them close-up, between the village school and the arduous task of herding sheep. The teens grow up fast and have to decide whether to follow in the tradition.
World premiere

The Diary of a Teenage Girl – USA
By Marielle Heller
With great curiosity 15-year-old Minnie begins to discover her sexuality. She tries out a lot, including things that she later regrets. Integrated animated sequences, woven together with a cool soundtrack, transport back to the San Francisco of the wild 1970’s. With Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård and Bel Powley.
International premiere

El Gurí (The Kid) – Argentina
By Sergio Mazza
Gonzalo is just ten years old, but he has to take on a lot of responsibility. He doesn’t know whether his mother is coming back. Muted colours and haunting cinematography capture the boy’s uncertain situation in fascinating and compelling fashion.
World premiere

Mina Walking – Canada / Afghanistan
By Yosef Baraki
Mina’s father is a useless junkie, her grandfather is senile and helpless and her mother was killed by the Taliban. Every day the twelve-year-old hits the streets of Kabul and takes care of everything. An impressive debut about a strong young female protagonist in present-day Afghanistan.
World premiere

One & Two – USA
By Andrew Droz Palermo
Lush, green meadows and vast forests. Eva and her brother Zac live in an idyllic setting but in complete isolation. Under their father’s fierce control and their mother’s illness, a mysterious wall encircles the world of the two siblings longing for freedom.
World premiere

Prins (Prince) – Netherlands
Sam de Jong
Tropical synthesizer sounds, a handful of sunflower seeds and a pastel magenta Lamborghini. 17-year-old Ayoub stares at his reflection in the glossy paintjob and considers what he needs in order to win over Laura. She likes the bad guys. The dealer Kalpa just might be able to give Ayoub the purple key to happiness.
World premiere

Wonderful World End – Japan
By Daigo Matsui
As Gothic Lolita, 17-year-old Shiori has lots of fans hooked on her live video blog, including shy Ayumi. This story of a twisted but tender friendship between two girls is also a colourfully shrill trip through the artificial worlds of Japanese teenagers.
International premiere

As announced in the previous press release, the programme also includes:
The Beat Beneath My Feet, Great Britain, by John Williams – IP
Corbo, Canada, by Mathieu Denis – EP
Flocken (Flocking), Sweden, by Beata Gårdeler – WP
Nena (Viel mehr geht nicht), Netherlands / Germany, by Saskia Diesing – IP
Short Skin, Italy, by Duccio Chiarini – IP

Generation Kplus

A-wang (So Be It) – Thailand
By Kongdej Jaturanrasmee
Two different childhoods in a country shaped by Buddhism. Kongdej Jaturanrasmee (Tang Wong, Generation 14plus 2014) shares a documentary take on the complex relationship between contemporary youth and spiritual tradition in Thailand.
European Premiere

Antboy: Den Røde Furies Hævn (Antboy: Revenge of the Red Fury) – Denmark / Germany
By Ask Hasselbalch
Antboy is back. Arrayed against him this time are his powerful arch-rival Flea, the Terror Twins and a new, invisible opponent. But his superpowers turn out to be of no use when it comes to love. An invigorating and witty sequel in the best time-honoured superhero tradition.
International premiere

Jia Zai Shui Cao Feng Mao De Di Fang (River Road) – People’s Republic of China
By Li Ruijun
The relationship between the two young brothers is as edgy as the landscape is dusty and dry. A journey on the backs of two camels through the Gobi Desert in a land scarred by the grave consequences of modern civilization.
European premiere

La casa más grande del mundo (The Greatest House in the World) – Guatemala / Mexico
By Ana V. Bojórquez and Lucía Carreras
Entrusted with a major task, the Mayan girl Rocío grows beyond her own limits. In sublime shots, the camera follows Rocío’s journey through the breath-taking mountain scenery of Guatemala.
World premiere

Nebesnyj Verbljud (Celestial Camel) – Russian Federation
By Yury Feting
The 12-year-old shepherd boy Bair has to find an angry run-away mother camel. On the back of an old motorcycle, he sets out on a magical and dangerous journey through the endless vastness of the Mongolian steppes.
World premiere

As announced in the previous press release, the programme also includes:
Cykelmyggen og Minibillen (Mini and the Mozzies), Denmark, by Jannik Hastrup and Flemming Quist Møller – EP
Dhanak (Rainbow), India, by Nagesh Kukunoor – WP
Dorsvloer vol Confetti (Confetti Harvest), Netherlands / Belgium, by Tallulah Hazekamp Schwab – IP
Golden Kingdom, USA, by Brian Perkins – WP
Kar Korsanları (Snow Pirates), Turkey, by Faruk Hacıhafızoğlu – WP
Min lilla syster (My Skinny Sister), Sweden / Germany, by Sanna Lenken – IP
Paper Planes, Australia, by Robert Connolly – EP
You’re Ugly Too, Ireland, by Mark Noonan – WP

Short films Generation 14plus

#Ya (#Rise), Argentina, by Ygor Gama and Florencia Rovlich – WP
A Confession, Great Britain, by Petros Silvestros (Berlinale Generation 14plus 2014: Mike) – WP
Bloodlines, USA, by Christopher Nataanii Cegielski – EP
Coach, France, by Ben Adler – WP
Driftwood Dustmites, Australia, by Malina Maria Mackiewicz – WP
Gri Bölge (Mother Virgin No More), Turkey, by Derya Durmaz – WP
Leka Färdigt (Play Time), Sweden, by Nanna Huolman – WP
Let’s Dance: Bowie Down Under, Australia / Großbritannien, by Rubika Shah – WP
Nelly, Austria, by Chris Raiber – WP
Nulla Nulla, Australia, by Dylan River – WP
The Old Man and the Bird, Germany, by Dennis Stein-Schomburg – WP
Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose, Australia, by Brendan Fletcher and Del Kathryn Barton – WP
Piknik (Picnic), Croatia, by Jure Pavlovic – WP
Pochemu banan ogryzayetsya (Why Banana Snarls), Russian Federation, by Svetlana Razgulyayeva – IP
Stay Awake, USA, by Jamie Sisley – IP
Squirrel, Greece / USA, by Tomas Vengris – WP
Tuolla puolen (Reunion), Finland, by Iddo Soskolne and Janne Reinikainen – WP
Un Creux Dans Mon Cœur (A Hole In My Heart), Netherlands, by Mees Peijnenburg (Berlinale Generation 14plus 2014: Cowboys Janken Ook) – WP
Wawi, Australia, von Michael Portway – IP

Short films Generation Kplus

Agnes, Sweden, by Anja Lind – IP
Boogaloo and Graham, Great Britain, by Michael Lennox – EP
Camino del agua (Water Path), Colombia, by Carlos Felipe Montoya – WP
Catalina y el Sol (Catalina and the Sun), Germany / France / Argentina, by Anna Paula Hönig – WP
Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul, Australia, by Kitty Green – EP
Giovanni en het waterballet (Giovanni and the Water Ballet), Netherlands, by Astrid Bussink – IP
Hadiatt Abi (Gift of My Father), Iraq / Great Britain / Netherlands/ USA, by Salam Salman – WP
Der kleine Vogel und das Eichhörnchen (The Little Bird and the Squirrel), Switzerland, by Lena von Döhren (Berlinale Generation Kplus 2012: Der kleine Vogel und das Blatt) – DP
Kumu Hina (A Place in the Middle), USA, by Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson – EP
Mahiye sorkh shodeh (The Fried Fish), Iran, by Leila Khalilzadeh – EP
Maja, Poland, by Jakub Michnikowski – WP
Messages dans l’air (Air-Mail), Switzerland / France, by Isabelle Favez (Berlinale Kinderfilmfest 14plus 2004: Circuit Marine) – IP
Onomastika (Onomastics), Indonesia, by Loeloe Hendra – EP
Primavera (Spring), Bolivia, by Joaquín Tapia Guerra – IP
Rosso Papavero, Slowak Republic, by Martin Smatana – IP
Si la mer se meurt (The Wanderings of the Fisherman’s Son), France, by Lorris Coulon, out of competition – IP
The Tie, Belgium, by An Vrombaut – WP
Kacey Mottet Klein, Naissance d’un acteur (Kacey Mottet Klein, Birth of an Actor), Switzerland, by Ursula Meier – WP
Videojuegos (Videogames), Argentina, by Cecilia Kang – WP

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