Social media, the legacy of Spanish colonization and vampirism are just a few of the themes explored by the latest selections for the Berlinale’s Panorama sidebar, unveiled on Wednesday.
Among them are Kevin Macdonald’s documentary “Life in a Day,” an example of social filmmaking that collects footage from around the globe shot on a single day; and “Even the Rain,” Iciar Bollain’s Spanish drama (and the country’s foreign-language Oscar entry), starring Gael Garcia Bernal, about a film team shooting a historical pic in a South American indigenous village.
In Shunji Iwai’s English-lingo debut, “Vampire,” Kevin Zegers plays a mild-mannered teacher with a taste for blood.
Also unspooling in the edgy arthouse section are two works offering transgender stories: French director Celine Sciamma’s “Tomboy,” a coming-of-age story of a boy in a girl’s body and, from Germany, Sabine Bernardi’s directorial debut “Romeos.”
Braden King’s U.S. drama “Here,” starring Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal, chronicles an on-the-road romance between an American mapping engineer and an Armenian photographer.
Israeli filmmaker Michal Aviad examines the traumatic impact of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in “Invisible,” while Angelo Cianci’s French drama “Top Floor Left Wing” centers on the next generation of Arab adolescents who may be integrated but remain marginalized in Gallic society.
Unspooling in 3D is Gareth Maxwell Roberts’ U.K. production “The Mortician,” a contemporary urban noir, starring Edward Furlong and hip-hop musician Method Man (aka Clifford Smith).
Innovative works from India are also on display in British filmmaker Phil Cox’s “The Bengali Detective,” about the booming private detective business in Calcutta; Vishal Bhardwaj’s “7 Sins Forgiven,” about a woman who moves between religions and their male proponents; and “Gandu” (Asshole), Kaushik Mukherjee’s film debut about angry young men who set out to find a place for themselves in the world.
Also playing in the sidebar: “Amador,” Fernando Leon De Aranoa (Spain); “Into the White Night,” Yoshihiro Fukagawa (Japan); “Man at Sea,” Constantine Giannaris (Greece); “Medianeras,” Gustavo Taretto (Argentina/Germany/Spain); “Offbeat,” Jan Gassmann (Switzerland); “Qualunquemente,” Giulio Manfredonia (Italy); “Suicide Room,” Jan Komasa (Poland); “Porno Melodrama,” Romualdas Zabarauskas (Lithuania/France/Finland); “Spring,” Hong Khaou (U.K.)
Complete Panorama lineup will be announced soon. The Berlinale runs Feb. 10-20.