Berlin gets experimental

Sidebar section boasts 21 world preems

See Forum Lineup

New trends and innovative narrative forms in world cinema will be under the spotlight in the Berlin Film Festival’s Forum sidebar.

Among the lineup of 40 films from 29 countries unveiled Friday are 21 world preems and 15 debut works plus six special screenings. Fest runs Feb. 9-19.

The 36th Forum, the third major fest section after the Competition and Panorama, focuses on directing debuts and unconventional films by young directors, like Fujiwara Toshi’s Japanese narrative experiment “We Can’t Go Home Again”; unique ethnographic works, like Brit helmer Ben Hopkins’ “37 Uses of a Dead Sheep”; boundary-breaking documentary works like the South African “Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon” by Khalo Matabane; and political films such as Laura Poitras’ “My Country, My Country,” a report on the Iraqi parliamentary elections.

Also showcased are works from returning filmmakers, including Belgian Chantal Akerman’s “La-bas,” a cinematic diary from Tel Aviv; and Canadian Allan King’s “Memory for Claire, Max, Ida and Company” about the tradegy of memory loss.

American avant-garde director James Benning presents in “27 Years Later” an individualistic remake of his own “One Way Boogie Woogie.” Fellow U.S. filmmaker Alan Berliner agonizes over his insomnia in his autobiographical “Wide Awake.”

Malaysia, Iran and South Korea are represented with several works. Two features and two documentaries hail from Germany.

THE FORUM LINEUP

“37 Uses for a Dead Sheep,” Ben Hopkins, Britain/Turkey
“Am Rand der Staedte,” Aysun Bademsoy, Germany
“Acts of Men,” Kiko Goifman, Brazil/Germany
“Another Morning,” Nasser Refaie, Iran
“Aus der Ferne,” Thomas Arslan, Germany
“Baboo-ska,” Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, Austria/Italy
“Barakat!” Djamila Sahraoui, Algeria/France
“Before Born,” Zhang Ming, China
“Beyond Hatred,” Olivier Meyrou, France
“Big River,” Funahashi Atsushi, Japan/U.S.
“Close to Home,” Dalia Hager and Vidi Bilu, Israel
“Combat,” Patrick Carpentier, Belgium
“Congo River,” Thierry Michel, Belgium
“Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon,” Khalo Matabane, South Africa
“Dear Pyongyang,” Yang Yong-hi, Japan
“Happy People,” Aleksandr Shapiro, Ukraine
“Hotel Harabati,” Brice Cauvin, France
“Host & Guest,” Shin Dong-il, South Korea
“In Between Days,” So Yong Kim, U.S./Canada
“John & Jane,” Ashim Ahluwalia, India
“Kinetta,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece
“La-bas,” Chantal Akerman, France/Belgium/Israel
“The Last Communist,” Amir Muhammad, Malaysia
“Lenz,” Thomas Imbach, Switzerland/Germany
“Lucy,” Henner Winckler, Germany
“Memory for Claire, Max, Ida and Company,” Allan King, Canada
“Men at Work,” Mani Haghighi, Iran
“Monday Morning Glory,” Woo Ming Jin, Malaysia
“Montag kommen die Fen-ster,” Ulrich Koehler, Germany
“My Country, My Country,” Laura Poitras, U.S.
“One Way Boogie Woogie/27 Years Later,” James Benning U.S.
“The Perfect Afternoon,” Przemyslaw Wojcieszek, Poland
“The Peter Pan Formula,” Cho Chang-ho, South Korea
“The Prisoner,” Fermin Villanueva, Alejo Moguillansky, Argentina
“Schuss!” Nicolas Rey, France
“Strange Circus,” Sono Sion, Japan
“Unexpected,” Domenico Distilo, Italy
“We Can’t Go Home Again,” Fujiwara Toshi, Japan
“Wide Awake,” Alan Berliner, U.S.
“Wrestling Grounds,” Cheikh Ndiaye, Senegal/Morocco/France

Special screenings:
“And If They Haven’t Passed Away… The Children from Golzow. The End of an Endless Story,” Barbara and Winfried Junge, Germany
“News from Home/News from House,” Amos Gitai, Israel/France/Belgium
“Parineeta,” Pradeep Sarkar, India
“Place de la Republique,” Louis Malle, France 1972-74
“Tertium non datur,” Lucian Pintilie, Romania
“Liviu’s Dream,” Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania

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