Berlinale to Offer a Window into Ukraine and Independent Cinema

Berlinale Festival Selects Independent Films to Compete for Bears

The 73rd edition of the Berlin International Film Festival, known as the Berlinale, has selected movies to compete for its prestigious Bears awards for 2021. Among 18 applicants, two films, both from independent studios, caught the jury’s attention.

The Spanish Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren’s “20,000 species of bees” and the Mexican Lila Avilés’s “Tótem” join the lineup of candidates. Both films tell stories of family and loss, according to the Berlinale’s artistic director Carlo Chatrian.

The Portuguese film “Mal Viver” by Joao Canijo will register its presence in both the official section as well as the festival’s “ Encounters” section – a unique achievement for its director. Chatrian also referred to films “crossed by love or family,” including “Music,” by the German Angela Schanelec, in which the director’s promotional photo is reminiscent of Carla Simón’s film, “Alcarràs.”

The festival will also pay an ode to the German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta, who received the lifetime achievement award from the European Film Academy in 2022, with her film “Ingeborg Bachmann”.

The Berlinale will open on February 16th with a romantic comedy, “she She came to me” directed by Rebecca Miller and starring Anne Hathaway. In its 10 days of existence, it will also focus on Ukraine and Iran with a parallel program. A special gala will screen Sean Penn’s documentary about Ukrainian politics, including his interview with President Volodímir Zelenski.

Lastly, the festival will conduct a tribute gala to Steven Spielberg, to honor his career with a Golden Bear of Honor.

The jury chaired by the American actress Kristen Stewart will distribute The Bears between the selected films.

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