'Mermaid' to open sidebar

BERLIN — The Berlinale’s Panorama arthouse sidebar has completed this year’s lineup of 52 films from around the globe. The section will open with Russian director Anna Melikyan’s “Mermaid,” about the life of a little girl growing up in the turbulent reality of modern-day Moscow.

The section’s lineup includes 17 feature films in its main program, 15 in Panorama Special and 20 in its Panorama Dokumente series, with 31 world premieres and 17 directorial debuts.

The Panorama Special opens with Eran Riklis’ Israeli-German-French co-production “Lemon Tree,” which stars Hiam Abbass as a Palestinian woman who inherits a lemon grove bordering on Israeli territory. Abbass also appears in Jean-Marc Moutout’s French entry “The Feelings Factory.”

Kicking off Panorama Dokumente is Parvez Sharma’s “A Jihad For Love,” which looks at gay activists in Islamic countries. Pic was produced by Sandi Dubowski, who won the Berlinale Teddy Queer Film Award for his 2001 doc “Trembling Before G-d,” which looked at the problems and discrimination facing gay orthodox Jews.

Discrimination against gays and lesbians is one of this year’s hot topics in Dokumente and the subject of several films, including “Das andere Istanbul,” by Doendue Kilic; “East/West — Sex & Politics,” by Jochen Hick; “Suddenly, Last Winter,” by Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi, as well as Rosa von Praunheim’s “Tote Schwule — lebende Lesben.”

Music is again a main focus of several docs, including Argentine director Miguel Kohan’s “Cafe de los Maestros,” which looks at master musicians and singers from the golden days of tango; “Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” by Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi, which documents the career of Iraqi band Acrassicauda from the fall of Saddam Hussein to the uncertain present; and Matt Wolf’s “Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell,” a portrait of the late avant-garde composer, singer, songwriter and disco producer.

Panorama also named the three members of this year’s jury for the Manfred Salzgeber Prize: Mirsad Purivatra, director of the Sarajevo Intl. Film Festival; Bee Tham Tan, founder of the Asian Film Archive in Singapore; and Susanne Pfeffer, curator of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. The Manfred Salzgeber Prize, a non-cash prize for technical services required for cinema screenings, is awarded in memory of the Panorama’s former director and goes to a film “that broadens the boundaries of cinema today.”

The Teddy Queer Film Award will be presented during the Berlinale on Feb. 14 at the House of World Cultures by a nine-member jury made up of festival organizers from around the world.

PANORAMA LINEUP
DOCUMENTARY FILMS
“A Jihad for Love,” dir. Parvez Sharma (U.S./Germany/U.K./France/Australia)
“Bananaz,” dir. Ceri Levy (U.K.)
“Cafe de los Maestros,” dir. Miguel Kohan (Argentina)
“Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story,” dir. Julian Shaw (Australia)
“The Other Side of Istanbul,” dir. Doendue Kilic (Germany)
“Derek,” dir. Isaac Julien (U.K.)
“EAST/WEST — Sex & Politics,” dir. Jochen Hick (Germany)
“Erika Rabau — Puck of Berlin,” dir. Samson Vicent (Germany)
“Full Battle Rattle,” dir. Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss (U.S.)
“Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” dir. Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi (U.S.)
“Suddenly, Last Winter,” dir. Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi (Italy)
“Jesus Christus Savior,” dir. Peter Geyer (Germany)
“Patti Smith: Dream of Life,” dir. Steven Sebring (U.S.)
“Sag mir, wo die Schoenen sind…” (The Beauties from Leipzig) dir. Gunther Scholz (Germany)
“Sharon,” dir. Dror Moreh (Israel/Germany)
“The Glow of White Women,” dir. Yunus Vally (South Africa)
“The Living End: Remixed and Remastered,” Gregg Araki (U.S.)
“Dead Gay Men and Living Lesbians,” dir. Rosa von Praunheim (Germany)
“Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell,” dir. Matt Wolf (U.S.)
“With Gilbert & George,” dir. Julian Cole (U.K.)

FEATURE FILMS

PANORAMA MAIN PROGRAM
“Boy A,” dir. John Crowley (U.K.)
“Woman’s Hearts,” dir. Kiff Kosoof (Italy/Morocco)
“Guilty,” dir. Laetitia Masson (France)
“Dream Boy,” dir. James Bolton (U.S.)
“Shiver,” dir. Isidro Ortiz (Spain)
“The Aquarium,” dir. Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt/France/Germany)
“First Love,” dir. Imaizumi Koichi (Japan)
“I Am From Titov Veles,” dir. Teona Strugar Mitevska (Macedonia/France/Belgium/Slovenia)
“Jerusalema,” dir. Ralph Ziman (South Africa)
“The Fight,” dir. Anais Barbeau-Lavalette (Canada)
“Another Love Story,” dir. Lucia Murat (Brazil/France/Uruguay)
“Megane (Glasses)” dir. Naoko Ogigami (Japan)
“Otto; or, up with Dead People,” dir. Bruce LaBruce (Germany/Canada)
“Drifting Flowers,” dir. Zero Chou (Taiwan)
“Mermaid,” dir. Anna Melikian (Russia)
“The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela,” dir. Olaf de Fleur Johannesson (Iceland)
“Everything Is Fine,” dir. Yves-Christian Fournier (Canada)

PANORAMA SPECIAL
“Before the Fall,” dir. F. Javier Gutierrez (Spain)
“3 zan,” dir. Manijeh Hekmat (Iran)
“Beautiful,” dir. Jaihong Juhn (South Korea)
“Chiko,” dir. Oezguer Yildirim (Germany)
“What No One Knows,” dir. Søren Kragh-Jacobsen (Denmark/Sweden)
“Filth and Wisdom,” dir. Madonna (U.K.)
“Soul of a Demon,” dir. Chang Tso-chi (Taiwan)
“The Feelings Factory,” dir. Jean-Marc Moutout (France/Belgium)
“La Rabia,” dir. Albertina Carri (Argentina)
“Lemon Tree,” dir. Eran Riklis (Israel/Germany/France)
“Love and Other Crimes,” dir. Stefan Arsenijevic (Germany/Serbia/Austria/Slovenia)
“Revanche,” dir. Goetz Spielmann (Austria)
“Sleep Dealer,” dir. Alex Rivera (U.S./Mexico)
“Sonetaula,” dir. Salvatore Mereu (Italy)
“Transsiberian,” dir. Brad Anderson (Spain/Germany/U.K./Lithuania)

SUPPORTING FILMS
“No Bikini,” dir. Claudia Morgado Escanilla (Canada)
“Ta,” dir. Felipe Sholl (Brazil)

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