Berlinale 2019 more female than ever

Alexia Muiños Ruiz
Alexia Muiños Ruiz

Homage and honorary Golden Bear for Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling, honorary Golden bear

The 69th Berlinale is a promising edition. It will open with Lone Scherfig's The Kindness of Strangers.  Actress Charlotte Rampling will be honoured with the Honorary Golden Bear and no less than eight films in the official selection are directed by women. Last but not least, the Berlinale Talents has selected 141 women reaching 56.5% of all the talents.

This year we can celebrate the female talent in the Berlinale, both in the competition where seven films directed by women (since Varda par Agnès is Out of competition ) will vie for the Golden Bear  and also in the co-production market and Classics.

The Festival will award the Honorary Golden Bear to British film and stage actress Charlotte Rampling for her lifetime achievement, as well as dedicating the Homage to a selection of her films including lI portiere di notte (The Night Porter, 1974, directed by Liliana Cavani) and Charlotte Rampling - The Look, (Germany / France, 2011, directed by Angelina Maccarone).

8 films directed by women out of 16, in the official selection

Elisa y Marcela (Elisa & Marcela). Spain.
Directed  by EWA's honorary president Isabel Coixet (Elegy, The Bookshop, The Secret Life of Words) with Natalia de Molina, Greta Fernández, Sara Casasnovas, Tamar Novas, Maria Pujalte.

Gospod postoi, imeto i' e Petrunija (God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija) Macedonia / Belgium / Slovenia / Croatia / France
Directed by EWA member Teona Strugar Mitevska (When the Day Had No Name, The Women Who Brushed Off Her Tears, I Am From Titov Veles) 

Mr. Jones Poland / United Kingdom / Ukraine.
Directed  by Agnieszka Holland (Spoor, Europa Europa, Angry Harvest) with James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard

Der Boden unter den Füßen (The Ground beneath My Feet) Austria
Directed  by Marie Kreutzer 

Systemsprenger (System Crasher) . Germany
Directed  by Nora Fingscheidt (Without this World)Debut film

The Kindness of Strangers (Denmark / Canada / Sweden / Germany / France) – Opening film
Directed  by  Lone Scherfig

Ich war zuhause, aber (I Was at Home, But) Germany / Serbia.
Directed by Angela Schanelec

Varda par Agnès (Varda by Agnès) - Documentary France
Directed by Agnès Varda (Cléo from 5 to 7, The Gleaners and I, The Beaches of Agnès, Faces Places) – Out of competition


Elisa and Marcela by Isabel Coixet
God exists, Her Name is Petrunija by Teona trugar
Mr.Jones by Agnieszka Holland

Four additional films directed by women have been invited to screen in the scope of the Berlinale Special programme :
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch - Documentary. Canada.
Directed by Jennifer Baichwal (Long Time Running, Watermark, Manufactured Landscapes), Nicholas de Pencier (Long Time Running, Black Code, Four Wings and a Prayer), Edward Burtynsky (Watermark)

Weil du nur einmal lebst - Die Toten Hosen auf Tour (You Only Live Once) Germany.
Directed by Cordula Kablitz-Post (Christoph Schlingensief – Die Piloten, Nina Hagen - Godmother of Punk, Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free)

Lampenfieber (Kids in the Spotlight) - Documentary. Germany.
Directed by Alice Agneskirchner (On Hunting – Who Owns Nature?, 20xBrandenburg, Dear Mum, I Hardly Knew You…)

Gully Boy by Zoya Akhtar (India)

Panorama will screen 12 films directed by women

Lesser representation of women in the Berlinale sister competition, with 12 films out of 45 helmed by women (27%). With 19 directorial debuts, Panorama 2019 will be presenting a controversial, political, and provocative programme.

We congratulate EWA member Alexandra Hoesdorff, one of the producers of the opening film, Flatland.

Flatland – South Africa / Luxembourg / Germany
by Jenna Bass with Faith Baloyi, Nicole Fortuin, Izel Bezuidenhout.
Produced by Proper Film - South Africa, In Good Company -  Germany, and Deal Productions - Luxembourg,  Alexandra Hoesdorff and Désirée Nosbusch

Synopsis :
The world of lonely, middle-age policewoman Beauty Cuba changes forever when she receives a call for help from Billy, the lost love of her life who has recently been re-arrested for murder. Beauty returns to her home town of Beaufort West, deep in the heart of the surreal landscape of the Karoo semi-desert and quickly learns that this case is not as simple as she thought.
The real culprit of this accidental murder is a painfully shy young woman named Natalie who flees her small, rural town on horseback and teams up with her now pregnant childhood friend Poppie to outrun the law. Flatland is a journey of self-discovery for these three different but equally desperate women, painting a vivid and unique portrait of femininity against a hostile frontier-land and questions what it means to be a women in contemporary South Africa and the world at large.

Jessica Forever - France
Directed by Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
European premiere - Debut film. The winners of the Golden Bear for Best Short Film (for As Long as Shotguns Remain) in 2014, return with their French end-of-days dystopia, in which a group of orphan rebels are fortified in a villa with heavy arms to brace for a drone war with a faceless enemy.

Flesh Out
Directed by Michela Occhipinti. Italy – Debut film, World premiere.  Flesh Out received the EWA Network award at When East Meets West (Trieste) in 2017, to the best project with a woman at helm. Read more about Flesh Out here.

Shooting the Mafia - Ireland / USA
Directed by Kim Longinotto
Shooting the Mafia is a portrait of the life and work of Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia, who has been documenting the crimes of the Mafia in Palermo for decades.

The Souvenir – United Kingdom
Directed by Joanna Hogg

Woo Sang (Idol)
Directed by Lee Su-jin. South Korea – World premiere

La fiera y la fiesta (Holy Beasts)
Directed by Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas . Dominican Republic / Argentina / Mexico - World premiere

Directed by Joanna Reposi Garibaldi. Chile / Colombia – Panorama Dokumente, World premiere

Directed by Adele Tulli. Italy / Sweden – Debut film, Panorama Dokumente, World premiere

Searching Eva
Directed by Pia Hellenthal. Germany – Debut film, Panorama Dokumente, World premiere

Directed by Prune Nourry. USA – Debut film – Panorama Dokumente, World premiere

Staff Only
Directed by Neus Ballús. Spain / France - World premiere

We would like to mention the documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael  directed by Rob Garver (USA), which portrays the controversial film critic Pauline Kael (1919-2001) and her influence on the male-dominated worlds of cinema and film criticism.

Berlinale Classics : Márta Mészáros and Edith Carlmar

Márta Mészáros
Edith Carlmar

Berlinale Classics pays homage to the Hungarian director Márta Mészáros by screening her film Örökbefogadás (Adoption) Hungary 1975, in a digitally restored version in 4K DCP

Mészáros (1931) is a Hungarian screenwriter and film director. Her full-length directorial debut, Eltavozott nap/The Girl (1968), was the first Hungarian film to have been directed by a woman, and won the Special Prize of the Jury at the Valladolid International Film Festival.

Mészáros' films often feature heroines from fragmented families, such as young girls seeking their missing parents (The Girl) or middle-aged women looking to adopt children (Adoption).

She is best known for Diary for My Children (1984), which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. Throughout her career, Mészáros has won the Golden Bear and the Silver Bear awards at the Berlinale; the Golden Medal at the Chicago International Film Festival; the Silver Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival; and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Edith Carlmar (15 November 1911 – 17 May 2003), the first Norwegian female director, is also on the spotlight in this year's Berlinale classics with the screening of Ung flukt (The Wayward Girl), Norway 1959 World premiere of the digitally restored version in 4K DCP

Her 1949 film, Døden er et kjærtegn (Death is a Caress), is considered to be Norway's first film noir. The last film she directed, Ung Flukt, introduced Liv Ullmann to the silver screen.

In 1949 she and her husband started Carlmar Film A/S, and began writing scripts, directing and producing films. They made ten feature films over a ten-year period. After a decade of film-making Carlmar retired as a director. In the last part of her life she accepted only minor acting roles in plays and movies.

Berlinale Co-Production Market : Bringing together partners for 37 new feature film projects

Berlin is closing in on gender parity for the 2019 edition of its co-production market. Female directors are behind 48.6 percent of projects picked by Berlin to pitch for co-production partners

For the official selection, 22 feature film projects were chosen from a total of 325 submissions, with budgets ranging from 750,000 to 6.5 million euros. To qualify for this market, they had to have at least 30 percent of their financing in place.

Berlinale prize winner Carla Simon will attend the 2019 co-production market with two projects: Alcarras, a project being produced by Spain's Avalon, and Each of Us from Althena Production, which will see Simon team with fellow Spaniard Meritxell Colell (Facing the Wind) and German director Anne Zohra Berrached (24 Weeks) at the Talent Project Market.

Among the female filmmakers pitching the latest features at the event are :
Chilean director Marcela Said (Cannes 2017 Critics' Week entry Los Perros) Greek director Elina Psykou (Son of Sofia), Chinese helmer Wang Yichun (What's in the Darkness)
Norwegian-born filmmaker Tallulah H. Schwab (Confetti Harvest)
Brazil's Julia Murat, whose drama Pendular won the FIPRESCI award in Berlin's Panorama section in 2017

Aside from the meetings with partners, the producers of the selected projects also have the chance to compete for renowned awards featuring monetary prizes, namely the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award (20,000 euros), the VFF Talent Highlight Award (10,000 euros) and the ARTE International Prize (6,000 euros).

Official Project Selection Berlinale Co-Production Market 2019
Alcarràs (D: Carla Simón), Avalon PC, Spain

The Hunt for the Puma (D: Marcela Said), Cinéma Defacto, France

Rule 34 (D: Júlia Murat), Esquina Filmes & Bubbles Project, Brazil

The Kidnapping (D: Wang Yichun), Huace Pictures & Voilà Pictures, People’s Republic of China

Reshma Shera (D: Megha Ramaswamy), Jar Pictures, India

The Property (D: Dana Modan), July August Production, Israel & Extreme Emotions, Poland

A Responsible Adult (D: Shira Geffen), Marker Films, Israel

Chica_Chile_Norway (D: Ingvild Søderlind), Miso Film Norge, Norway

The Souls (D: Tallulah H. Schwab), PRPL, The Netherlands

Slash/Back (D: Nyla Innuksuk), Stellar Citizens & Scythia Films & Mixtape VR, Canada

Happy Sheep (D: Valéry Rosier), Wrong Men, Belgium

Berlinale Directors
Patrimonial Fears and Other Symptoms (D: Elina Psykou), Homemade Films & StudioBauhaus, Greece

Talent Project Market
Each of Us (D: Anne Zohra Berrached, Carla Simón, Meritxell Colell), Alhena Production (P: Eva Pauné), Spain

Livramento (D: Lillah Halla), Arissas Multimidia (P: Clarissa Guarilha Santos), Brazil

Wolf (D: Nathalie Biancheri), Feline Films (P: Jessie Fisk), Ireland

The Driver (D: Lusine Sargsyan), Illusion Production (P: Ophelia Harutyunyan), Armenia

Peaches (D: Jenny Suen), White Sea Pictures (P: Jenny Suen), Hong Kong & Salty Pictures, People’s Republic of China

Films at Berlinale Shorts: 7 women-directed films vying for the Golden Bear  ( 27%)
Can't You See Them? - Repeat
by Clarissa Thieme, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 9’ (WP)

by Flóra Anna Buda, Hungary, 10’ (WP)

by Victoria Giesen Carvajal, Chile, 19’ (WP)

by Bárbara Wagner, Benjamin de Burca, Brazil, Canada, USA, 20’ (IP)

The Spirit Keepers of Makuta'ay
by Yen-Chao Lin, Canada, 11’ (WP)

Suc de síndria
by Irene Moray, Spain, 22’ (WP)

Welt an Bord
by Eva Könnemann, Germany, 29’ (WP)