Berlin Film Festival Adds Competitive Section, Removes Two Strands; UK Deal For ‘Animals’ — Global Briefs

The new Berlinale director duo – artistic director Carlo Chatrian and executive director Mariette Rissenbeek – have introduced a new competitive section to sit alongside the Competition and Berlinale Shorts programs.

According to the festival, Encounters will look to “foster aesthetically and structurally daring works from independent, innovative filmmakers. Its goal is to support new voices in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms in the official selection.”

The lineup will comprise a maximum of 15 works – world or international premieres of fiction or documentary films at least 60 minutes in length. A three-member jury will choose winners for best film, best director and a special jury award.

Also announced today, the festival will be discontinuing sections NATIVe and Culinary Cinema.

“The 21st century with its technological and economical shifts has changed film production in many ways, making boundaries between fiction and documentary, film essay and genre, less stable and more porous. As the Berlinale is committed to propelling the market and discovering new cinematic visions, we have decided to create a competitive section which, alongside the international Competition, will allow us to fully embrace this changing world,” commented artistic director Chatrian.

Berlin has also revealed the following programming delegates: Jacob Wong (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong), Ryan Werner (USA), Paz Lázaro (Latin America), Eduardo Valente (Brazil), Meenakshi Shedde (India and South Asia), Maryanne Redpath (Australia and New Zealand) and Dorothee Wenner (Sub-Saharan Africa).

The director duo have also appointed as advisors Norman Wang, Luciano Monteagudo, Dennis Lim, former long-time EFM director Beki Probst, and Jason Ryle.

Picturehouse has picked up UK rights to Sundance title Animals, based on the novel of the same name by Emma Jane Unsworth and starring Holliday Grainger (Cinderella) and Alia Shawkat(Transparent) as best friends Laura and Tyler, two girls who like to party. As they drift into their thirties, reality begins to bite, but the women refuse to be tamed.

Clare Binns, joint MD of Picturehouse Entertainment, said, “Audiences are going to love a night on the tiles with Sophie Hyde’s Animals. It’s fresh, dynamic and obscenely hilarious, and a unique, unflinching take on contemporary womanhood. It has a truthfulness about the dilemmas we all face, and this mix of comedy and honesty makes Hyde one of the most fearless and exciting directors around.”

Cornerstone Films’ Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder, added, Animalsis a bold and unabashed portrait of modern women from the immensely talented Sophie Hyde. We are delighted to have Picturehouse Entertainment on board to release the film in the UK.”

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