Berlin hosts Asian, indie

Ten films from Southeast Asia are slated for the 47th Berlin Intl. Film Festival (Feb. 13-24). In addition, di-rector Ning Ying from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong actress Maggi Cheung have been invited as members of the festival competition jury.

The Independent Feature Project has also picked 10 films for its American Independents at the Market sidebar.

Among the Asian films, in competition is “Setouchi Moonlight Serenade,” by Japanese director Masahiro Shinoda. People’s Republic helmers Huang Jianxin (“Black Cannon”) and Yang Yashou are represented by “Surveillance.”

Selections from Hong Kong helmers are Yim Ho’s “Kitchen,” as well as “Viva Erotica” from Derek Yee and Lo Chi Leung, starring Leslie Cheung.

The world premiere of Taipei helmer Tsai Ming-Liang’s “The River” is also in competition. His “Vive L’Amour” won the 1991 Golden Lion in Venice.

South Korea is represented in the Panorama sidebar by “Farewell My Darling,” by Park Chul-Soo.

The IFP AIM sidebar, sponsored by Eastman Kodak Co. and in its first year, features:

“The Delta,” Ira Sachs’ portrayal of small-town gay life in and around Memphis; “Eye of God,” Tim Blake Nelson’s adaptation of his own play about a lonely woman awaiting the release of her prison pen pal, starring Martha Plimpton; and “Family Name,” Macky Alston’s docu about his slave-owning roots.

Plus, “Floating,” William Roth’s suburban coming-of-age story starring Chad Lowe (“Melrose Place”); “The Head-hunter’s Sister,” Scott Saunders’ drama about a guy on Manhattan’s Lower East Side who is operating outside the system; and “Layin’ Low,” Danny Leiner’s comedy about a couple of Brooklyn losers who get mixed up with drugs and guns.

Also, “Puddle Cruiser,” Jay Chandrasekhar’s humorous exploration of college mating rituals that features the Broken Lizard Comedy Group; “The Riddle,” Evan Brenner’s Russian-language film about a rambunctious 10-year-old who lives with his father, who is a drunken prison guard; “Wonderland,” John O’Hagan’s documentary about the planned community of Levittown, N.Y.; and “Work,” Rachel Reichman’s drama about a married white woman’s illicit relationship with her black, college-bound neighbor.

Of the 10 features in the AIM sidebar, five will screen at the Sundance Film Festival — “The Delta,” “Eye of God,” “Family Name,” “Wonderland” and “Puddle Cruiser.” “The Riddle” has been selected for the Slamdance Film Festival, while “The Delta” and “Work” will come to Berlin following their European premieres at the Rotterdam Intl. Film Festival.

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