Berlin Fest's Youth Section Generation Completes

Films include 'Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart,' 'That Boy Emil'

LONDON — Generation, the Berlin Film Festival’s section devoted to movies for young people, has completed its lineup, with the addition of 17 feature films.

A total of 60 short and full-length films from 35 countries have been selected for the Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus competitions.

The fest said that the live-action films presented a wide and contrasting range of craftsmanship and content. “Rigorously structured films open up spaces for sensitive and intimate portraits, and the multifaceted perspective young people have on their worlds — from punk to dark and melancholic — permeates the films’ micro-structures and narrative forms,” the fest said.

The lineup includes five feature-length and nine short animated films, including “Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart” and “That Boy Emil.”

Section head Maryanne Redpath said: “This diversity transcends all limits, in content, imagery, narrative structure and rhythm. Each of these animated gems creates its own universe and is a fantastic cinematic adventure, not just for children.”

The films added Tuesday are:
GENERATION 14PLUS
“3 Histoires d’Indiens,” Robert Morin (Canada). World premiere.
Pic delivers authentic insights into everyday life on a Native American reservation today. It depicts the life of a new generation of Native Americans, who are less resigned and more active than their parents.
“Artico” (Arctic), Gabri Velazquez (Spain). World premiere.
Gabri Velazquez presents the moods and states of mind of Spanish adolescents during the economic crisis. Sparse in dialogue and using static tableaux-like imagery, the composition is deeply influenced by music.
“Feriado” (Holiday), Diego Araujo (Ecuador/Argentina). World premiere.
In a remote region in the Andes, shy Juan Pablo meets self-assured Juano. A fragile romance evolves that transcends all class distinctions. Their tender explorations are set against a corruption scandal that shakes Juan Pablo’s rich banking family to the core.
“Mavi Dalga” (The Blue Wave), Zeynep Dadak, Merve Kayan (Turkey/Germany/Netherlands/Greece). International premiere.
An ensemble film about the end of adolescence and a new beginning. A clique of girls talks about boys, clothes and the latest music. Yet its carefree days are drawing to a close. A new life is imminent, and this feels both exciting and dangerous.
“Supernova,” Tamar van den Dop (Netherlands/Germany/Belgium). World premiere.
Where Meis lives, absolutely nothing ever happens. She loses herself in wistful fantasies about love, sex and a world elsewhere. A refreshingly bizarre story that conveys, on all cinematic levels, a sense of imminent change.
“Obietnica” (The Word). Anna Kazejak (Poland/Denmark). World premiere.
After a silly infidelity, Janek is doing everything to try to win back his girlfriend. A highly emotional youth drama and a suspenseful crime story are intricately and cleverly woven together.
“Violet,” Bas Devos (Belgium/Netherlands). World premiere.
In a shopping mall, Jesse’s best friend is stabbed to death right before his eyes. To convey his silent despair, the film uses long shots that have an artistic, photographic quality.
“What We Do in the Shadows,” Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement (New Zealand/U.S.) European premiere.
Youth is not a question of age. In their mockumentary, the popular team from the cult TV series “Flight of the Conchords” and the film “Eagle vs. Shark” takes a biting look at the life, love and woes in a Wellington apartment shared by vampires.
“Above Us All,” Eugenie Jansen (Netherlands/Belgium). World premiere (out of competition).
After the death of her Aboriginal mother in Australia, Shay’s father insists on returning to his old home in Belgium. Grief and leave-taking are dealt with quite differently in these two places. In 3D and 360-degree pans, the film revolves around the question of our existence in time and space.

GENERATION KPLUS
“Beyond Beyond,” Esben Toft Jacobsen (Sweden/Denmark). World premiere.
In search of his mother, the little rabbit Johan enters the fantastic underworld of the Feather King. Jacobsen’s third film in Generation is an elaborate, animated 3D family adventure that tells profoundly of love and loss.
“Emil & Ida i Lonneberga” (That Boy Emil), Per Ahlin, Alicja Jaworski Bjork, Lasse Persson (Sweden). German premiere (out of competition).
Little Emil just wants to help, but then everything always goes wrong. Banned to the shed, he’s supposed to think about his misdeeds – that is, until he gets into mischief again. Astrid Lindgren narrates this lovingly animated film about the little prankster who is known in German-speaking countries as Michel.
“Finn,” Frans Weisz (Netherlands). International premiere.
Finn just has to learn to play the violin! Music entwines reality and dreams — and helps him see his dead mother again. Flemish actor Jan Decleir brilliantly embodies the mysterious violin teacher.
“Hitono Nozomino Yorokobiyo” (Joy of Man’s Desiring), Masakazu Sugita (Japan). World premiere.
After an earthquake, Haruna and her little brother Sotha are taken in by relatives. Nobody has told the boy that his parents are dead, a fact that weighs heavily on Haruna. In meditative images, this debut film sensitively portrays the repercussions of huge catastrophes on children.
“Jack et la mecanique du coeur” (Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart), Mathias Malzieu and Stephane Berla (France). International premiere.
A cuckoo clock beats in Jack’s chest, instead of a heart. Falling in love is strictly forbidden, because strong emotions will cause his clock to tick wildly out of control. Mathias Malzieu adapted his bestselling short novel for this animated film; the songs are all by his band Dionysos.
“Killa” (The Fort), Avinash Arun (India). World premiere.
After moving, Chinu finds it difficult to adjust to his new surroundings. But gradually he makes new friends and gains more confidence. An atmospheric coming-of-age story, in which the landscape and the weather play a decisive role.
“Midden in de Winternacht” (A Christmoose Story), Lourens Blok (Netherlands/Sweden/Belgium). International premiere.
Mr. Moose, Santa Claus’ flying elk, has crashed into the barn and urgently needs help from little Max. This wintery adventure, based on Andreas Steinhofel’s book for children, spices up this traditional Christmas tale with charming humor and irony.
“Were Denge Min” (Come to My Voice), Huseyin Karabey (Turkey/Germany/France). World premiere.
Jiyan’s Kurdish father will only be let out of prison if he turns in a weapon. The search for the gun that he has never possessed takes Jiyan and his grandmother on an odyssey. Huseyin Karabey blends different narrative threads into a cinematic gem.

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