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Jonah Hill’s ‘mid90s,’ Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin’s Panorama Section

Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.

Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were also announced in the first batch of 22 Panorama selections unveiled by the Berlinale on Tuesday. Nine of the films are debut works, and 14 will have their world premiere in the German capital. The section is curated by Paz Lázaro and co-curator and program manager Michael Stütz.

“mid90s” follows teenage Stevie as he joins up with four skateboarding punks who take him under their wing. Variety described Hill’s debut film as “a slice of street life made up of skittery moments that achieve a bone-deep reality. And because you believe what you’re seeing, what the moments add up to, in their artfully random way, is an adventure.”

“What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael,” by director Rob Garver, looks at the life of the New Yorker critic whose writing and approach to film influenced an entire generation of film reviewers. The documentary features Quentin Tarantino, Sarah Jessica Parker and Alec Baldwin.

Other English-language films in the Panorama section, which is devoted to art-house fare, include “Skin” (with Bell and Vera Farmiga), Israeli director Guy Nattiv’s look at the neo-Nazi scene in the U.S., and British director Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir” (starring Swinton and her daughter Honor Swinton-Byrne), the tale of a relationship between a young female film student and a charismatic but secretive man. The documentary “A Dog Called Money” focuses on groundbreaking musician PJ Harvey.

LGBTQ themes infuse Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante’s “Temblores” (“Tremors”), about the tumultuous coming-out of an Evangelical Christian father in a repressive society, and Brazilian director Armando Praça’s “Greta,” which portrays a gay nurse, one of his patients and one of his neighbors, who is a trans woman.

Women with disabilities struggle to come into their own in “37 Seconds,” the debut feature from Japanese director HIKARI (Mitsuyo Miyazaki), and “Dafne,” from Italian helmer Federico Bondi. In “37 Seconds,” a young Japanese woman named Yuma, who suffers from cerebral palsy, dreams of becoming a manga artist. The title character of “Dafne” has Down syndrome, and is forced to help her father while trying to process her own grief over the death of her mother.

The 2019 Panorama lineup so far:

“37 Seconds” – Japan
by HIKARI (Mitsuyo Miyazaki)
with Mei Kayama, Misuzu Kanno, Makiko Watanabe, Shunsuke Daitō, Yuka Itaya
World premiere – Debut film

“Dafne” – Italy
by Federico Bondi
with Carolina Raspanti, Antonio Piovanelli, Stefania Casini
World premiere

“The Day After I’m Gone” – Israel
by Nimrod Eldar
with Menashe Noy, Zohar Meidan
World premiere – Debut film

“A Dog Called Money” – Ireland/U.K.
by Seamus Murphy
with PJ Harvey
Documentary
World premiere – Debut film

“Estou Me Guardando Para Quando O Carnaval Chegar” (“Waiting for the Carnival”) – Brazil
by Marcelo Gomes
Documentary
World premiere

“Eynayim Sheli” (“Chained”) – Israel/Germany
by Yaron Shani
with Eran Naim, Stav Almagor, Stav Patai
World premiere

“Flatland” – South Africa/Germany/Luxembourg
by Jenna Bass
with Faith Baloyi, Nicole Fortuin, Izel Bezuidenhout
World premiere

“Greta” – Brazil
by Armando Praça
with Marco Nanini, Denise Weinberg, Demick Lopes, Gretta Star
World premiere – Debut film

“Hellhole” – Belgium/Netherlands
by Bas Devos
with Willy Thomas, Alba Rohrwacher, Lubna Azabal, Hamza Belarbi
World premiere

“Jessica Forever” – France
by Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
with Aomi Muyock, Sebastian Urzendowski, Augustin Raguenet, Lukas Ionesco, Eddy Suiveng, Paul Hamy, Maya Coline
European premiere – Debut film

“Kislota” (“Acid”) – Russian Federation
by Alexander Gorchilin
with Filipp Avdeev, Alexander Kuznetsov, Arina Shevtsova, Alexandra Rebenok, Savva Saveliev
International premiere – Debut film

“Mid90s” – U.S.
by Jonah Hill
with Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, Katherine Waterston, Na-kel Smith, Olan Prenatt
European premiere – Debut film

“Los miembros de la familia” (“Family Members”) – Argentina
by Mateo Bendesky
with Tomás Wicz, Laila Maltz, Alejandro Russek
World premiere

“Monos” – Colombia/Argentina/Netherlands/Germany/Denmark/Sweden/Uruguay
by Alejandro Landes
with Julianne Nicholson, Moisés Arias, Sofia Buenaventura, Julián Giraldo, Karen Quintero
European premiere

“O Beautiful Night” – Germany
by Xaver Böhm
with Noah Saavedra, Marko Mandić, Vanessa Loibl
World premiere – Debut film

“Selfie” – France/Italy
by Agostino Ferrente
Documentary
World premiere

“Shooting the Mafia” – Ireland/U.S.
by Kim Longinotto
Documentary
European premiere

“Skin” – U.S.
by Guy Nattiv
with Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Vera Farmiga, Bill Camp, Mike Colter
European premiere

“The Souvenir” – U.K.
by Joanna Hogg
with Honor Swinton-Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton
European premiere

“Temblores” (“Tremors”) – Guatemala/France/Luxembourg
by Jayro Bustamante
with Juan Pablo Olyslager, Mauricio Armas Zebadúa, Diane Bathen, María Telón
World premiere

“To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón” (“The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea”) – Greece/Germany/Netherlands/Sweden
by Syllas Tzoumerkas
with Angeliki Papoulia, Youla Boudali, Christos Passalis, Argyris Xafis, Thanassis Dovris
World premiere

“What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael” – U.S.
by Rob Garver
with Sarah Jessica Parker, Quentin Tarantino, Alec Baldwin, David O. Russell, Paul Schrader
Documentary
International premiere – Debut film

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