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Memo to Distributors: Buy These Berlinale 2022 Films

This year's Berlinale was a bit muted by the pandemic, but it featured plenty of great films that are still looking for good homes.

“This Much I Know to Be True”

Unfolding just a couple of weeks after this year’s all-virtual Sundance — and a couple of weeks before the in-person return of SXSW — the 2022 edition of the Berlin International Film Festival arrived at a particularly strange moment of the pandemic, and suffered a bit for the ambivalence that surrounded it. Buzz was muted despite a star-studded competition jury led by M. Night Shyamalan and world premieres from major auteurs such as Claire Denis (“Fire,” snapped up by IFC before it screened) and Bertrand Bonello (“Coma”), both of whom came to the festival with films that explicitly responded to a COVID crisis that cast a pall over almost every title in the lineup even when the virus didn’t factor into the plot (Peter Strickland’s excellent IFC acquisition “Flux Gourmet” being a prime example).

And yet, for all of the unique difficulties that confronted this year’s Berlinale, the fest remains one of the world’s biggest and most adventurously art-forward launchpads for new cinema from around the world, and the 2022 lineup was rich with essential work that deserves to be seen far and wide. Recent editions of the fest have launched indispensable features like “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” “Fire at Sea,” and Nadav Lapid’s astounding “Synonyms” (and that’s just limiting the scope to winners of the Golden Bear), and there’s no reason to think that a smart distributor couldn’t lay claim to something on that level from the films that premiered there last week. And so we arrive at our annual plea: Buy these films!

Ben Croll also contributed to this article.

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