Here’s what we know so far about the 64th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival: It’ll open on February 6 with Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. George Clooney’s The Monuments Men will see its international premiere. There’ll be an homage and honorary Golden Bear for Ken Loach. The Retrospective program, Aesthetics of Shadow. Lighting Styles 1915-1950, will feature a new restoration of Robert Wiene‘s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). And now, we have a first round of titles slated for the Generation section, a program geared toward (but not exclusively for) youngish viewers. With descriptions from the festival, which’ll run through February 16:
Cao Baoping’s Einstein and Einstein (China). China’s one-child policy has had a profound impact on Li Wan’s family. When she is 13 years old, she is given a dog named Einstein to console her for her father’s disinterest. But Li Wan is more interested in astrophysics and rebelling against social norms. European premiere.
Inés María Barrionuevo’s Atlántida (Argentina and France). A hot summer day in a village in Argentina. Adults are nowhere in sight and time has come to a stop. Yet for two teen sisters everything is in motion. It is their feelings and desires that propel the film onwards. World premiere.
Rhys Graham’s Galore (Australia). A dramatic love triangle set against the backdrop of raging bushfires. The summer nights hardly cool off and the parties keep getting wilder. Falling in love for the first time is a mysterious thing and here lies the danger for Billie, Danny and Laura. International premiere.
Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays (Australia). Every Tuesday for a year Billie spends with her mother who is undergoing gender transition and is now called James. As a result, everything is changing. Though actually, Billie has enough on her hands trying to cope with her own problems. European premiere.
Samuel Kishi Leopo’s Somos Mari Pepa (We Are Mari Pepa, Mexico). The four boys in the band “Mari Pepa” have only one song in their repertoire. Yet music is their big hope. Friendships and dreams are suffering from the constraints of everyday life. A film as poetic as punk rock. European premiere.
Fabio Mollo’s Il Sud è Niente (South Is Nothing, Italy and France). It seems as if everything around Grazia has come to a halt. Her father obeys the code of silence prevailing in this southern Italian village. In her family it is even off limits to mention her brother who has disappeared. European premiere.
Stuart Murdoch’s God Help the Girl (U.K.). Music is like medicine for Eve. In the underground scene in Glasgow, she finds a sense of security, friends and discovers her own talent. This musical directorial debut by the lead singer of Belle and Sebastian shows great ease and tact. European premiere.
Sofia Norlin’s Ömheten (Broken Hill Blues, Sweden). In Kiruna, a small Nordic mining community, the earth trembles day and night. Sparse in dialogue and with a gentle empathy for its protagonists, this directorial debut tells of growing up on very unstable ground. International premiere.
Jacques-Rémy Girerd and Benoît Chieux’s Tante Hilda! (Aunt Hilda!, France and Luxembourg). The genetically-engineered grain called “Attilem” is supposedly the new wonder weapon against global hunger. Only environmentally-minded Hilda has her doubts. A masterpiece from the famous animation studios Folimage and Melusine—and an unconventional plea for more flower power. European premiere.
Matías Lucchesi’s Ciencias Naturales (Natural Sciences, Argentina. There’s nothing to keep Lila at her boarding school high up in the cold and foggy mountains. This 12-year-old girl does not know who her father is but wants to find him. She sets out on a complicated quest for the truth. World premiere.
Martin Miehe-Renard’s MGP Missionen (The Contest, Denmark). For Karl, a boy from the country, moving to Copenhagen is like a voyage into a completely new world. A girl named Sawsan tries to help him. Yet it is not long before all of Denmark is searching not only for a superstar, but for the two children who have vanished without a trace. International premiere.
Grégoire Solotareff and Eric Omond’s Loulou, l’incroyable secret (Wolfy, the Incredible Secret, France). Loulou is off on another adventure. He fights against the dark dynasty of the Wolfenberg, to whom he is related in some mysterious way. Artistically animated, this work is about the most courageous wolf in the world and a valiant but timid rabbit named Tom. International premiere.