Cinema & filmmaking

Berlinale 2020: 4 Films That Will Inspire You to Pick up Your Camera

With the Berlinale Film Festival kicking off next week, we take a look at the competing films that will inspire you to reach for your camera

With the Oscars now done and dusted, conversations are steering away from film accomplishments in 2019 and towards ones-to-watch in 2020. What does this year hold for international cinema? The line-ups for the major film festivals indicate the talent and titles we should be keeping an eye out for.

Berlinale 2020: 4 Films That Will Inspire You to Pick up Your Camera 1
Berlinale 2020

The Berlin International Film Festival–often called the Berlinale–is one of the most anticipated stops on the international film festival circuit. Next week, it will celebrate its 70th edition, marking the first time that its new co-directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian take the helm.

Running from February 20th to March 1st, the Berlinale’s focal point is its section known as “The Competition”, for which Chagrin has curated a selection of 18 films from 18 countries–a rich library for budding filmmakers looking to broaden their horizons and find inspiration in cinema that is often shut out from the major award ceremonies, and which speaks to us about the state of the world beyond our national borders.

“If there is a predominance of dark tones, this may be because the films we have selected tend to look at the present without illusion–not to cause fear, but because they want to open our eyes,” comments Chatrian.

Here are the films considered to be among the strongest contenders for the Golden Bear at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, and which will inspire any filmmaker to pick up their camera.

Domangchin yeoja (The Woman Who Ran) by Hong Sangsoo

South Korean writer-director Hong Sang-soo’s distinctive oeuvre has made him a one-to-watch on the festival circuit. His 2015 film, “Right Now, Wrong Then”–which many consider his masterpiece–was awarded the top prize at Locarno (of which Chagrin is the former artistic director), and esteemed actress Kim Min-hee won Best Actress at the Berlinale for his female character study, “On the Beach at Night Alone”. His films are considered warmly accessible, often stylized portraits of male-female relationships. “The Woman Who Ran'' tells the story of Gamhee, also played by Kim Min-hee, who meets up with her friends in Seoul while her husband is away on a business trip. The Berlinale will mark its world premiere.

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Domangchin yeoja (The Woman Who Ran) by Hong Sangsoo

First Cow by Kelly Reichardt

Based on the novel “The Half Life” by Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt’s latest offering premiered to critical acclaim at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival. Set in 19th century Oregon Territory, the film stars indie mainstay John Magaro who plays a skilled cook who joins a group of fur trappers. He befriends a Chinese immigrant played by Orion Lee, and together the two end up collaborating on a business.

Favolacce (Bad Tales) by Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo

Following their outstanding debut, “Boys Cry”–which was first screened at the Berlinale–the Italian twin brothers Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo bring us “Favolacce” (Bad Tales). According to the writers-directors, it is “a choral story set within a middle-class community of the Lazio suburbs; the point of view is that of a group of eleven-year-olds. The Italian title [Favolacce] is a contraction of the words “favole” [tales] and “parolacce” [bad words], the film’s form is that of a grotesque tale”. The cast is led by celebrated actor, Elio Germano, who picked up the Best Actor award at Cannes in 2010. Damiano and Fabio, at the age of 31, are the youngest directors to compete in this year's Competition.

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Favolacce (Bad Tales) by Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo

Never Rarely Sometimes Always by Eliza Hittman

A tender coming-of-age drama about two teenage cousins, Autumn and Skylar, who set off from their small town in rural Pennsylvania for New York so that Autumn can seek an abortion. Hittman’s three feature films to date have all been honest portraits of teen American life, and have each showcased new talent. For “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”, Hittman cast newcomers Sidney Flanigan–who had never previously acted–and Talia Ryder for the lead roles after she felt they had an “organic connection” when they read together for the first time.

Here is the full Competition line-up:

Berlin Alexanderplatz by Burhan Qurbani
Germany / Netherlands

DAU. Natasha by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Jekaterina Oertel
Germany / Ukraine / United Kingdom / Russian Federation

Domangchin yeoja (The Woman Who Ran) by Hong Sangsoo
Republic of Korea

Effacer l'historique (Delete History) by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern
France / Belgium

El prófugo (The Intruder) by Natalia Meta
Argentina / Mexico

Favolacce (Bad Tales) by Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo
Italy / Switzerland

First Cow by Kelly Reichardt
USA

Irradiés (Irradiated) by Rithy Panh
France / Cambodia

Le sel des larmes (The Salt of Tears) by Philippe Garrel
France / Switzerland

Never Rarely Sometimes Always by Eliza Hittman
USA

Rizi (Days) by Tsai Ming-Liang
Taiwan

The Roads Not Taken by Sally Potter
United Kingdom

Schwesterlein (My Little Sister) by Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond
Switzerland

Sheytan vojud nadarad (There Is No Evil) by Mohammad Rasoulof
Germany / Czech Republic / Iran

Siberia by Abel Ferrara
Italy / Germany / Mexico

Todos os mortos (All the Dead Ones) by Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra
Brazil / France

Undine by Christian Petzold
Germany / France

Volevo nascondermi (Hidden Away) by Giorgio Diritti
Italy

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