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‘Smiling Faces,’ ‘Cold Lands’ to premiere in Berlin

Generation youth section announces 15 selections

BERLIN — Daniel Patrick Carbone’s “Hide Your Smiling Faces” and Tom Gilroy’s “The Cold Lands” are among three U.S. films selected for the Berlin Film Festival’s youth showcase, Generation.

Screening as world premieres in the older skewing Generation 14plus section, all three pics deal with tough subject-matter: in Carbone’s drama, two young brothers struggle with the loss of a friend, while in “Cold Lands,” an 11-year-old boy tries to survive in the forests of upstate New York following his mother’s sudden death.

In their documentary “Tough Bond,” Austin Peck and Anneliese Vandenberg examine the plight of homeless children in Kenya who escape their reality by sniffing glue.

Other 14plus screeners include Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston’s New Zealand family drama “Shopping,” about two half-Samoan brothers dealing with the influence of gangs and domestic troubles; from Poland, Kasia Roslaniec’s “Baby Blues,” about a teenage mother; Ryota Nakano’s Japanese work “Capturing Dad”; Shin Suwon’s South Korean production “Pluto,” about dangerously ambitious students; and “Touch of the Light,” by Taiwanese filmmaker Chang Jung-Chi, about a young blind man who moves to the city to study piano.

Among the 15 titles announced Monday, seven will screen in the Generation Kplus children’s section, among them two Australian productions: Catriona McKenzie’s “Satellite Boy,” about an Aboriginal boy who embarks on a journey to save his home; and “The Rocket,” Kim Mordaunt’s drama about a family in war-torn Laos searching for a new place to live.

Also unspooling is Vincent Bal’s Dutch-Belgian drama “The Zigzag Kid,” starring Isabella Rossellini; and, from Germany, Bernd Sahling’s “Upsidedown,” about a troubled 10-year-old, and Anne Kodura’s documentary “Wasteland: So That No One Becomes Aware of It.”

Others include Janis Nords’ “Mother, I Love You,” from Latvia, and Jonas d’Adesky’s Belgian selection “Three Kids,” about Haitian street children trying to survive in the devastated capital Port au Prince.

The Berlinale runs Feb. 7-17.

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