The Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) opened its doors on February 11th with the participation of 20 EU supported films, 5 of which are shortlisted for the Golden and Silver Bears. The Berlinale also includes a showcase event presenting projects funded by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme and the European Film Forum with discussions between EU policymakers and the audiovisual industry. Commissioner Oettinger will announce events to mark the 25th anniversary of the MEDIA programme.

logo of the Berlinale with text "Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin"

 

20 films being screened at the Berlinale have been supported by the European Union's MEDIA programme having received overall €1.9 million of EU investment. Among them, 5 of the 23 shortlisted for the Silver and Golden Bears. Most of the films received EU funding for the development (scriptwriting, film budgeting & financing research, networking activities) and pre-production stages (casting, location scouting, storyboarding, development shooting). See full list.

Parallel MEDIA programme events at the Berlinale

On February 15th, a number of events related to the MEDIA programme will take place in parallel to the Berlinale, around the theme "All about going digital".

  • Showcase of EU-funded projects. The morning will showcase 6 projects that have received funding from the MEDIA programme to promote digital innovation and cultural & societal diversity in Europe's audiovisual sector. For example, the Walk This Way project experiments with new economic models for the distribution of digital films; or Good Pitch, which is a market access event bringing together the best documentary filmmakers with leading changemakers around urgent social and environmental issues, to forge new coalitions and campaigns, that are good for films and for society;Find out about all projects here.
  • European Film Forum. The European Film Forum (EFF) will take place alongside the Berlinale in the afternoon of February 15th; the event's title is "Go Digital: How to put European works in the spotlight". The EFF will focus on European works going digital, and on how new opportunities can help European works be discovered and promoted. The European Film Forum is a platform where a structured dialogue between policy makers and stakeholders in the audiovisual sector takes place. This dialogue takes place notably during Film Festivals, under different formats (such as conferences, roundtable discussions and workshops).
  • 25 years of MEDIA – MEDIA in motion. In 2016, the MEDIA programmecelebrates 25 years of support to innovation and creativity in Europe. European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market Gunther H. Oettinger will announce the beginning of a year of celebration at a dedicated event during Berlinale 2016.

Further to the events organised by Creative Europe MEDIA, the EU programme has also  partnered with a number of initiatives taking place at Berlinale: Full details here

  • Berlinale Co-Production Market (14 – 16 Feb): This networking event brings together international producers, film distributors, potential funders, sales agents and many other representatives from the industry. It gives the opportunity for many stakeholders to secure co-production deals.
  • Berlinale talents This Berlinale platform, co-funded by the MEDIA programme, brings 300 selected talents (writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, actors, editors and others) together with professionals from the international film industry.It supports young filmmakers in their first steps. This year's motto is "The nature of relations". Multi award-winning actress, Meryl Streep will give a keynote speech.
  • Shooting Stars (11 – 21 Feb): Running since 1998 and presented by European Film Promotion, these awards provide a unique spotlight on 10 young actors and actresses. These young talents are presented throughout the Berlinale to the public, the industry, as well as the international press through a series of high profile events – the peak event being the Shooting Stars awards on 15 February.

LOLA at Berlinale spotlights the best in German film by presenting a programme of films long-listed for the German Film Awards (aka Lola) by the German Film Academy.13 films of these films have been funded by the Media programme.

Background

The MEDIA programme is in fact a sub-programme of the European Commission's Creative Europe programme. The Berlinale lasts until February 21st. Audiovisual media and, in particular, films are one of the best ways to display Europe's cultural diversity, richness of heritage, creativity and artistic excellence. Cultural and Creative industries in Europe promote our cultural and linguistic diversity, and are an impressive driver of economic growth. The Berlin International Film Festival has always been an important part of MEDIA programme's efforts to promote European films.

Links

EU supported films at the Berlinale

Films co-funded by the MEDIA programme and screened at the Berlin International Film Festival are:

EU supported films shortlisted for a Golden or Silver Bear

  • Alone in Berlin by Vincent Perez is set in the eponymous town in 1940. Working class couple Otto and Anna Quangel receive the news that their only son has lost his life in the battlefield and decide to resist the Nazi regime in their very own way. Soon the Gestapo is hunting "the threat"
  • Soy Nero by Rafi Pitts tells the story of a deported Mexican who returns illegally to the U.S in search of his identity. He joins the U.S army as a Green card soldier, a shortcut to citizenship. Lost in a maze, Nero fights to obtain his nationality.
  • Quand on a 17 ans (Being 17) by André Téchiné reports the story of two boys who spend their time quarrelling, in spite of numerous efforts from both families to solve their disputes. Until one day, they are forced to live under the same roof.
  • Zjednoczone Stany Miłosci (United States of Love) by Tomasz Wasilewski is set in the post-soviet era in Poland. The winds of change are blowing in Poland. The first euphoric year of freedom, but also of uncertainty for the future. Four apparently happy women of different ages decide it’s time to change their lives, fight for their happiness and fulfil their desires.
  • Kollektivet (The Commune), by Thomas Vinterberg, narrates the story of Erik and Anna, an academic couple, and their daughter, Freja. Focusing on the little family, the film invites us into the dream of a true commune. We are there for house meetings, dinners and parties. There is friendship, love, family and community under one roof. However, when Erik's mistress is allowed to move in, everything changes.

The first four films will have their world premiere (first screening of the film ever) in Berlin, whereas Kollektivet will have its international premiere (first screening outside its country of production). 19 of the 23 films in competition will premiere at the Berlinale.

In addition, EU co-funded and Out-of-Competition Saint Amour by Benoït Delépine and Gustave Kervern, starring Gérard Depardieu and Benoit Poelvoorde, will also celebrate its world premiere at the Berlinale.