6 female directors vie for the Golden Bear in the 70th Berlinale which honours Mirren and Ottinger

Alexia Muiños Ruiz
Alexia Muiños Ruiz

Berlinale 2020 – Homage and Honorary Golden Bear for Helen Mirren


Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren will be honoured with the Honorary Golden Bear for her lifetime achievement  in the 70th edition of the festival, marked the first for new executive director Mariette Rissenbeek and new artistic director Carlo Chatrian.

Berlinale Camera for ULRIKE OTTINGER

At the 70th Berlin International Film Festival,  one of the most important German filmmakers, all-round artist artist Ulrike Ottinger will receive the Berlinale Camera,  a trophy  presented since 1986 to honour personalities and institutions who have made a special contribution to filmmaking.

©Jelka von Langen

Films in Official Competition

Six films directed by women (including a co-direction) have been announced to vie for the Golden Bear,  which represent 30,5%, slightly less than last year.

DAU. Natasha. Germany / Ukraine / United Kingdom / Russian Federation. Directed by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Jekaterina Oertel, with Natalia Berezhnaya, Olga Shkabarnya, Vladimir Azhippo, Alexei Blinov, Luc Bigé. World premiere.

El prófugo (The Intruder). Argentina / Mexico. Directed by Natalia Meta, with Érica Rivas, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Daniel Hendler, Cecilia Roth, Guillermo Arengo, Agustín Rittano, Mirta Busnelli. World premiere.

First Cow. USA. Directed by Kelly Reichardt, with John Magaro, Orion Lee, Toby Jones, Scott Shepherd, Gary Farmer, Lily Gladstone. International premiere.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always. USA. Directed by Eliza Hittman, with Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder, Théodore Pellerin, Ryan Eggold, Sharon Van Etten. International premiere.

The Roads Not Taken. United Kingdom. Directed by Sally Potter, with Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek, Laura Linney. World premiere.

Schwesterlein (My Little Sister). Switzerland. Directed by Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond, with Nina Hoss, Lars Eidinger, Marthe Keller, Jens Albinus, Thomas Ostermeier, Linne-Lu Lungershausen, Noah Tscharland, Isabelle Caillat, Moritz Gottwald, Urs Jucker. World premiere.


Films in Berlinale Special

An additional film directed by a woman has been invited to screen in the scope of the Berlinale Special programme.

It's the Israeli documentary Speer Goes to Hollywood, directed by Vanessa Lapa. World premiere / Documentary form.

Panorama will screen 10 films directed by women

So far, lesser representation of women in the Berlinale sister competition, with 10 films out of 35 helmed by women (27%). With autobiographically inspired works and some directorial debuts, Panorama 2020 will be presenting a bold, political, and provocative programme.

Always Amber. Sweden. Directed by Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen. World premiere / Debut film / Panorama Dokumente.

The Assistant. USA. Directed by Kitty Green, with Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Kristine Froseth, Makenzie Leigh. International premiere.

Aufzeichnungen aus der Unterwelt (Notes from the Underworld). Austria. Directed by Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel, with Kurt Girk, Alois Schmutzer. World premiere / Panorama Dokumente.

Håp (Hope). Norway / Sweden. Directed by Maria Sødahl, with Andrea Bræin Hovig, Stellan Skarsgård.

Jetzt oder morgen (Running on Empty). Austria. Directed by Lisa Weber. World premiere / Panorama Dokumente.

Kød & Blod (Wildland). Denmark. Directed by Jeanette Nordahl, with Sandra Guldberg Kampp, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Joachim Fjelstrup, Elliott Crosset Hove, Besir Zeciri. World premiere / Debut film.

Las mil y una (One in a Thousand). Argentina / Germany. Directed by Clarisa Navas, with Sofía Cabrera, Ana Carolina Garcia, Mauricio Vila, Luis Molina. World premiere.

Mare. Switzerland / Croatia. Directed by Andrea Štaka, with Marija Skaričić, Goran Navojec, Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Mirjana Karanović. World premiere.

Schlingensief – In das Schweigen hineinschreien (Schlingensief – A Voice that Shook the Silence). Germany. Directed by Bettina Böhler, with Christoph Schlingensief, Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Alfred Edel, Udo Kier, Sophie Rois. World premiere / Debut film / Panorama Dokumente.

Schwarze Milch (Black Milk). Germany / Mongolia. Directed by Uisenma Borchu, with Gunsmaa Tsogzol, Uisenma Borchu, Terbish Demberel, Franz Rogowski. World premiere.

BERLINALE CLASSICS : Wanda Jakubowska's Ostatni Etap


The Classics section pays hommage to the Polish film director Wanda Jakubowska. Although she directed as many as 15 films over 50 years, Jakubowska is best known for her work regarding the Holocaust.

Her film Ostatni Etap (The Last Stage)  was one of the earliest and most influential cinematic depictions of concentration camps. The director realistically depicts the everyday horrors of forced labour and mass extermination, but also resistance by the women prisoners.  It was filmed on location at Auschwitz, where Jakubowska had been interned.

World premiere of the digitally restored version 2019

Berlinale Co-Production Market Brings 36 International Feature Film Projects looking for co-production partners.

Berlin is closing in on gender parity for the 2020 edition of its co-production market. With 11 projects helmed by women, the Co-Production market exceeds the 50% of female representation in its line-up of 21 feature film projects.

Golden Bear winners as Adina Pintilie, some debutants and Berlinale darlings will bring their new projects with budgets ranging from 750,000 to 5 million €.

In addition to the official selection, a total of 15 female directors’ projects are represented in the selection which also includes Berlinale Directors' Projects , Rotterdam-Berlinale Express and Talent Project Market.

Skin of Youth (D: Ash Mayfair), An Nam Productions, Vietnam & Mayfair Pictures, USA
Toll (D: Carolina Markowicz), Biônica Filmes, Brazil & O Som e A Furia, Portugal
Antonia’s Garden (D: Christine Repond), Contrast Film, Switzerland
Boldstar (D: Antoinette Jadaone), Epicmedia & Project 8 Projects, Philippines
Salt Lake (D: Kasia Rosłaniec), Mañana, Poland
Happiness (D: Pepa San Martín), Manufactura de Películas, Chile & Aleph Cine, Argentina
Piggy (D: Carlota Pereda), Morena Films, Spain
The Melting (D: Veerle Baetens), Savage Film, Belgium
Zafari (D: Mariana Rondon), Sudaca Films, Peru & Venezuela & Klaxon, Brazil
Transit Times (D: Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu), Weydemann Bros, Deutschland & Mobra Films, Romania

“Berlinale Directors” Projects:
Death and the Maiden (D: Adina Pintilie), Manekino Film, Romania
Maret (D: Laura Schroeder), Red Lion, Luxembourg & Red Balloon, Germany

“Rotterdam-Berlinale Express”:
Sleepwalkers (D: Radu Jude), Microfilm, Romania and produced by Ada Solomon

“Talent Project Market” – Projects and Producer Talents

Hazel Eyes (D: Maria Ibrahimova), Cinex (P: Maria Ibrahimova), Azerbaijan
Sahar (D: Vera Egito), Lacuna Filmes (P: Diana Almeida), Brazil

255 filmmakers in the Berlinale Talents, with equal representation of women.

255 Talents with different expertise at the fields of directing (113), production (50), acting (15), screenwriting (2), cinematography (16), editing (14), set design (12), sales and distribution (9), score composition (7) and sound design (9), as well as film journalism (8) will meet in Berlin to develop their skills and projects .

We congratulate EWA members selected as talents or alumni.

Emine Yildirim at the Script Station, with Gündüz Apollon Gece Athena
(Apollon by Day Athena By Night)

Maria Ibrahimova (EWA mentee in 2019 Programme), at the Talent Project Market with Hazel Eyes

Aurora Fearnley

Laura Nasmyth

Carla Sospedra

10 Series Projects participate at the Co-Pro Series Pitch.

Co-Pro Series is an exclusive pitch event, which is part of the “Berlinale Series Market” (February 24 to 26) at the Zoo Palast.  SciFi, dramas and a project picked up in cooperation with the Series Mania Forum in Lille, are included in the line-up. 6 of the projects have at least one female scriptwriter and Babyland and Snow have a full female team.


The King’s Wives (writers: Hany Abu-Assad, Amira Diab; director: Hany Abu-Assad), Abbout Productions, Lebanon
Babyland (writers: Simona Nobile, Dianne Jones, Martichka Bozhilova; director: tba), Agitprop, Bulgaria
Precious (writers: J. David Guerra, Joost van Gelder; director: tba), Atlantic Films & Lemming Film, Netherlands
Dark Victory (writer/director: Matthew Saville), Goalpost Television, Australia
Pawns (writers: Michael Idov, Lily Idov; director: tba), Metrafilms, Russia
Transitniki (writers: Heide Schwochow, Constantin Lieb, Christian Mackrodt; director: tba), Rohfilm Factory, Germany
Signals (writers: Óskar Jónasson, Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, Sjón, Jóhann Ævar Grímsson; director: Óskar Jónasson), Sagafilm, Iceland
Dome 16 (writer: Thomas Seeberg Torjussen; director: tba), Tordenfilm, Norway
Snow (writer: Michaela Taschek; director: Barbara Albert, Sandra Wollner), Witcraft Filmproduktion, Austria

Project in cooperation with Series Mania:
Capturing Big Mouth (writers: Ahsan Naeem & Hans Van Nuffel; director: tba), De Mensen, Belgium & Reel One Entertainment, United Kingdom

50% of Shorts directed by women participate at the Shortfilm Competition.

The total of 24 films of which 12 are directed by women, offer a wide spectrum of subjects and aesthetics.

Atkūrimas, Laurynas Bareisa, Lithuania, 13’ (WP)

Cause of Death, Jyoti Mistry, South Africa / Austria, 20’ (WP)

Celle qui porte la pluie, Marianne Métivier, Canada, 17’ (IP)

A Demonstration, Sasha Litvintseva, Beny Wagner, Germany / Netherlands / United Kingdom, 25’ (WP)

Girl and Body, Charlotte Mars, Australia, 19’ (IP)

Gumnaam Din, Ekta Mittal, India, 29’ (IP)

It Wasn't the Right Mountain, Mohammad, Mili Pecherer, France, 29’ (WP)

My Galactic Twin Galaction, Sasha Svirsky, Russian Federation, 7’ (WP)

Playback. Ensayo de una despedida, Agustina Comedi, Argentina, 14’ (IP)

So We Live, Rand Abou Fakher, Belgium, 16’ (WP)

T, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, USA, 14’ (IP)

Veitstanz/Feixtanz, Gabriele Stötzer, GDR, 25’, 1988 (out of competition)

58% of female-helmed films at the 43rd Generation Kplus and 14plus competition.

Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus are two competition programmes aimed for young audiences.  Coming-of-age stories: awesome, wild and angry, heartfelt and headstrong. The programme of the 43rd GENERATION is completed with 59 films, including a share of 58% of female directors with 11 debut films, among which, we highlight Jumbo, Zoé Wittock's debut film produced by Anaïs Bertrand (Insolence Productions)


Jumbo by Zoé Wittock (Debut film). France / Belgium / Luxembourg

synopsis: The shy Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) still lives with her mother. At night, she works in an amusement park. Suddenly, the new attraction Jumbo - a huge idiosyncratic carousel - appears and begins to put the young woman under its spell. A wild and unusual love story unfolds.