The Berlin Film Festival is now underway in Germany, premiering some of the best new international cinema in 2012. Each year the festival sells around 300,000 tickets, making it the largest publicly attended film festival in the world. It is visited by film industry professionals from over 115 countries, with the best films receiving the prestigious Golden and Silver Bears. Last year’s winners included ‘A Separation’, which went on to be featured in festivals worldwide and is now Oscar nominated.
The festival also has a World Cinema Fund, which spends around 400,000 EUR annually in countries with weak film infrastructure. It ensures feature films and documentaries get produced and distributed where they otherwise wouldn’t.
Below are some of the films we’re excited about seeing, and some that are getting major buzz at the Berlin Film Festival this year.
In the Land of Blood and Honey – Angelina Jolie’s much-anticipated directorial debut is set amongst the Bosnian war, following the relationship between a Muslim artist and a Serbian policeman. Their pre-war relationship takes a radical turn when they meet again in a prison camp – she an inmate, he a guard.
The Flowers of War – This much-heralded Chinese epic gets its first European screening at the Berlin Film Festival. Director Zhang Yimou’s film retells the horrors of the Japanese invasion of Nanjing in 1937 (also known as Nanking). Christian Bale stars as a mortician who must protect a group of students from the invaders.
Marley – Made in co-operation with his family, this documentary aims to be the definitive account of the life of musical icon Bob Marley. Directed by Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland), this is the world premiere of this hotly anticipated film.
Iron Sky – With one of the greatest taglines ever – “In 1945 The Nazis Went To The Moon. In 2018 They Are Coming Back” – this comedy premiere should become a cult favourite. From director Timo Vuorensola and the team behind satires such as ‚ÄòStar Wrecks’, this Finnish film about Nazis in space is sure to be a Festival highlight.
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate – Wuxia martial-arts master Tsui Hark is back with his first ever 3D film. Jet Li stars as a warrior searching for a missing woman, in this remake of Dragon Gate Inn (1966). Fans of Hark’s gravity-defying fight sequences and flying weaponry will be in heaven as it leaps out of the screen at Berlin this year.