Selection includes Kaurismaki's 'Mama Africa,' Har'el's 'Bombay Beach'

BERLIN — Berlinale organizers on Wednesday announced the final documentary selections for the Panorama arthouse sidebar, among them Mika Kaurismaki’s “Mama Africa” and Alma Har’el’s “Bombay Beach.”

Panorama is presenting 16 feature films in its main program, 14 in Panorama Special and 20 docs in its Panorama Dokumente series in addition to three supporting films.

“Mama Africa” is a portrait of late South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba, while “Bombay Beach” offers a look at the neglected and largely abandoned town on the coast of Southern California’s troubled Salton Sea.

Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius’ “Barzakh” opens Panorama Dokumente. The Finnish-Lithuanian co-production, produced by Aki Kaurismaki, examines post-war Chechnya, the disappearance of a man and his family’s efforts to find information on his whereabouts.

German selections include Peter Doerfler’s “The Big Eden,” about legendary Berlin club owner, playboy and entrepreneur Rolf Eden, who returned to post-war Germany from Israel in the 1950s in order to open his first nightclub in West Berlin; Britta Wauer’s look at one of the biggest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, “Im Himmel, Unter der Erde. Der Juedische Friedhof Weissensee”; and Annette Frick’s “Leicht muss man sein, Fliegen muss man koennen.”

Also screening in Dokumente are Jannik Splidsboel’s Danish title “How Are You” and Chinese helmer Zhao Liang’s “Zai Yi Qi” (Together).

Panorama will also present Johny Heys’ German feature “Warum Madame Warum” as a supporting film in the sidebar.

French director Celine Sciamma’s previously announced “Tomboy,” about a 10-year-old girl who pretends she’s a boy, is the Panorama’s opening feature film and will also screen as part of the Berlinale’s tyke section Generation Kplus.

The Berlinale runs Feb. 10-20.

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