LONDON — The Berlin Film Festival’s kids and youth films section, Generation, has completed its lineup.
The films explore and challenge contradictions surrounding concepts of childhood, such as being child-like and being an adult, and what is forbidden and what is permitted, the festival said.
“Young people worldwide are constantly confronted by dystopic realities not of their own making,” Maryanne Redpath, head of Generation, said. “In the diverse films of this year’s program we see them taking matters into their own hands.”
A total of 63 feature-length and short films produced or co-produced in 35 countries have been invited to take part in the two competitions, Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus. The program was selected from around 2000 feature-length and short films submitted to Generation this year, which is more than in any year previously.
(Film descriptions courtesy of the Berlin Film Festival)
6A – Sweden
By Peter Modestij
Bullying, skipping school, violent outbursts: something’s gone wrong in the 6A class. But are Denise and her friends really to blame for everything, the way most of the parents believe? With impressive realism, the director observes a very uncomfortable encounter with all involved, which ends up revealing the psychological shortcomings of the adults more than anything.
Avant les rues (Before the Streets) – Canada
By Chloé Leriche
Life on the Atikamekw reservation in the Canadian province of Québec is tense and young Shawnouk is stuck in a rut. When his situation escalates, he escapes to the woods. Traditional rituals, fire and smoke, the old trees and the beats of his ancestors come to the boy’s aid as he is forced to face up to himself. An authentic and hopeful portrait, filmed in the language of the Atikamekw.
El Soñador (The Dreamer) – Peru
By Adrián Saba
For brief relief from his dreary existence as a petty criminal, Sebastián drifts off into his dream-worlds. It’s only there that he can protect himself and his love for Emilia and attempt to escape the real threats in his life. The boundaries between reality and illusion become blurred by the increasing interaction of light and color compositions.
Es esmu šeit (Mellow Mud) – Latvia
By Renars Vimba
In order not to lose their home, 17-year-old Raya and her little brother keep their grandmother’s death a secret. Raya tries every trick in the book to make it seem like she’s still alive, while at the same time fully indulging her feelings for her English teacher. But in spite of her best efforts, things are getting out of control. Raya hopes for help from her mother in far-off London.
Ma Révolution (My Revolution) – France
By Ramzi Ben Sliman
The Arab Spring is blossoming right in the middle of Paris. Marawann celebrates with the singing and dancing immigrants from the Maghreb. The 15-year-old French boy’s Tunisian roots never meant as much to him as they do at this moment. Marawann’s got butterflies in his stomach, but it’s probably because of his feelings for Sygrid.
Royahaye Dame Sobh (Starless Dreams) – Iran
By Mehrdad Oskouei
Murder and theft, drug dealing and addiction: young lives marked by traumatic stories lead to this Iranian “Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre” for girls. Some of the girls feel more at home in prison than they did with their families. A rare documentary glimpse inside a locked-up world and a respectful portrait of young women struggling to recapture some sense of personal dignity.
Valderama – Iran
By Abbas Amini
Who is Valderama? The boy with the conspicuous curls and mischievous grin but without parents or even an identity, at least as far as the authorities are concerned, resolves to leave his hometown behind and escape to distant Tehran. His desire for security and belonging keeps him going but he’s constantly in trouble with the rules of society, religion and culture.
Zhaleika – Germany
By Eliza Petkova
For Lora, growing up in a Bulgarian village is a mixture of monumental tedium and hesitant desire. Her existence is determined by rigid religious and social customs, until a radical break drives her to the borders of the small community and beyond. The director captures the claustrophobia of a small town and the vastness of a clever young woman’s emotional world in images which remain with the viewer long after the credits have rolled.
Titles previously announced:
Ani ve snu! (In Your Dreams!), Czech Republic/Slovak Republic/Bulgaria, by Petr Oukropec – WP
Born to Dance, New Zealand, by Tammy Davis – EP
Girl Asleep, Australia, by Rosemary Myers – IP
Las Plantas (Plants), Chile, by Roberto Doveris – IP
Sairat (Wild), India, by Nagraj Manjule – IP
Triapichniy Soyuz (Rag Union), Russian Federation, by Mikhail Mestetskiy – IP
What’s in the Darkness, People’s Republic of China, by Yichun Wang – IP
Jamais contente – France
By Emilie Deleuze
Aurore may not get the best marks, but she’s certainly not dumb. She has a keen way of observing and commenting on her surroundings – on her parents, the boys, her French teacher and herself too. Defiantly stubborn, Aurore tests the boundaries and discovers in the process that she can let off steam with music and that she is not actually ‘frigid’. The film is based on the popular French trilogy of adolescent novels “Le journal d’Aurore” and features Catherine Hiegel and Alex Lutz.
Little Men – USA
By Ira Sachs
Tony quickly becomes best friends with Jake, who’s new in his Brooklyn neighbourhood. Director Ira Sachs (Teddy Award winner Berlinale Panorama 2012: Keep the Lights On) tells the story of a young friendship at odds with the logic of the adult world, with great empathy for his characters and a keen sense of social inequality. Featuring Jennifer Ehle, Greg Kinnear and Alfred Molina.
Mavi Bisiklet (Blue Bicycle) – Turkey, Germany
By Ümet Köreken
12-year-old Ali lives an austere life in the Anatolian countryside. He’s saving up his hard-earned money for his big dream: a brand-new, blue bicycle. When Elfi, the girl he is secretly in love with, becomes the victim of a great injustice at school, Ali takes up the passionate fight for democracy and against a system stuck in its ways.
Ottaal (The Trap) – India
By Jayaraj Rajashekaran Nair
8-year-old Kuttappayi’s life seems blissful, though he’s still coping with the loss of his parents. He spends his days living, fishing and laughing with his grandfather, who tends to huge flocks of ducks, in a natural paradise of breath-taking beauty. The boy dreams hopefully about his future and doesn’t suspect that he will soon share the fate of the many millions of children around the world who are still being forced into child labor.
Rara – Chile, Argentina
By Pepa San Martín
Being interested in boys, thinking they’re stupid, being really close to your best friend and keeping secrets from her, having trouble in school and having annoying parents: these are the kind of problems a 13-year-old girl is faced with. For Sara, all of that has nothing to do with the fact that her mother lives together with another woman. Her father doesn’t see it that way though. DAAD Short Film Award winner Pepa San Martín (Berlinale Shorts 2011: La Ducha) takes a real-life Chilean custody battle as the inspiration for her feature-film debut.
Solan og Ludvig – Herfra til Flåklypa (Louis & Nolan – The Big Cheeserace) – Norway
By Rasmus Sivertsen
For the cheeky little magpie Solan, there is much more at stake in the cheese race than just personal honor. Together with his two teammates, he pulls up to the starting line full of confidence and clever ideas. But the savvy members of the opposing team, arch-rivals from the neighboring town, are ready to use some dirty tricks. With breakneck pacing and a lot of laughs, this lovingly-executed clay animation demonstrates that life is not always about winning.
Woorideul (The World of Us) – Republic of Korea
By Yoon Ga-eun
Playing alone in the summertime alleyways, the two 10-year-olds Sun and Jia forge a tender bond of friendship. Alas, the turbulent social dynamics of their school class threaten to break them apart. Crystal Bear winner Ga-eun Yoon (Berlinale Generation Kplus 2014: Sprout) returns with her feature-length debut – a powerful but understated portrayal of the experience of a gentle young girl which is nothing short of masterful.
Titles previously announced :
ENTE GUT! Mädchen allein zu Haus (Fortune Favors the Brave), Germany, by Norbert Lechner – WP
Genç Pehlivanlar (Young Wrestlers), Turkey/Netherlands, by Mete Gümürhan – WP
Rauf, Turkey, by Barış Kaya, Soner Caner – WP
Siv sover vilse (Siv Sleeps Astray), Sweden/Netherlands, by Catti Edfeldt, Lena Hanno Clyne – WP
Ted Sieger’s Molly Monster, Switzerland/Germany/Sweden, by Ted Sieger, Matthias Bruhn, Michael Ekblad – WP
Zud, Germany/Poland, by Marta Minorowicz – WP
Short films Generation 14plus
Balcony, Great Britain, by Toby Fell-Holden – IP
Berlin Metanoia, Germany, by Erik Schmitt (Berlinale Generation 14plus 2013: Nashorn im Galopp) – WP
Blind Vaysha, Canada, by Theodore Ushev – WP
Carousel, Great Britain, by Kal Weber – WP
Crystal Lake, USA, by Jennifer Reeder (Berlinale Shorts 2015: Blood Below the Skin) – WP
El Edén (Eden), Colombia, by Andrés Ramírez Pulido – WP
Jacked, Great Britain, by Rene Pannevis – IP
Kroppen är en ensam plats (The Body Is a Lonely Place), Sweden, by Ida Lindgren – WP
Léchez-nous, Miaou, Miaou! (Lick Us, Meow, Meow!), Switzerland, by Marie de Maricourt – IP
Mamma vet bäst (Mother Knows Best), Sweden, by Mikael Bundsen – WP
Mushkie, Israel, by Aleeza Chanowitz – WP
O noapte in Tokoriki (A Night in Tokoriki), Romania, by Roxane Stroe – WP
Refugee Blues, Great Britain, by Stephan Bookas, Tristan Daws – WP
Sensiz (Without You), Ukraine, by Nariman Aliev – WP
Spoetnik, Netherlands, by Noёl Loozen – IP
That Day, USA, by Stephanie Ard, WP
The Ballad of Immortal Joe, Canada, by Hector Herrera – EP
Short films Generation Kplus
Aurelia y Pedro (Aurelia and Pedro), Mexico, by Omar Robles, José Permar – WP
Cats & Dogs, Switzerland / Germany, by Gerd Gockell, Jesús Pérez (Berlinale Generation Kplus 2011: Der große Bruder) – IP
Chopping Onions, USA, by Adinah Dancyger – EP
El inicio de Fabrizio (Fabrizio’s Initiation), Argentina, by Mariano Biasin – IP
En la azotea (On the Roof), Spain, Damià Serra Cauchetiez – IP
Kill Your Dinner, Australia, by Bryn Chainey – WP
Le renard minuscule (The Teeny-Weeny Fox), France / Switzerland / Belgium, by Aline Quertain, Sylwia Szkiladz – IP
Lili, Denmark / Great Britain, by Siri Melchior (Berlinale Generation Kplus 2010: Fløjteløs) – WP
Little Doll, Ireland, by Kate Dolan – WP
Neiwa, Mexico, by Abraham Cruz Herrera, Javier Vázquez Cervantes – WP
Nina, Belgium, by Emmanuel Elliah, Maria Körkel – WP
Ninnoc, Netherlands, by Niki Padidar – IP
Semele, USA / Cyprus, by Myrsini Aristidou – EP
Simon’s Cat ‘Off to the Vet’, Great Britain, by Simon Tofield – IP
Skatekeet, Netherlands, by Edward Cook – IP
Take Your Partners, Great Britain, by Siri Rodnes –WP
The Boyfried Game, Australia, by Alice Englert – EP
Zeezucht (Jonas and the Sea), Netherlands, by Marlies van der Wel – EP