Berlin Buzz 1

EUROPEAN FILM MARKET OPENS WITH HIGH HOPES

The European Film Market, the professional parallel event to the Berlin Film Festival, opened yesterday with anticipation of a busy buying session that signal the reemergence of the market after three disasterous years of economic recession. Market registration has increased by 15% from last year and offices are filled to capacity at the Martin Gropius Bau, the Market’s main venue, and the Marriot Hotel. Unofficial offices have also been set up by sales companies at the nearby Ritz and other hotels. The emergence of VOD platforms and the strong performance of several independently financed films in the Oscar race (e.g. THE KING’S SPEECH, BLACK SWAN, WINTER’S BONE, BLUE VALENTINE) have given rise to high hopes that the independent sector is reviving.

GERMAN PRODUCER IS SUING THE BERLINALE

Uwe Boll, a prominent German producer, says that he will file criminal charges against the Berlin Film Festival after it refused to consider his latest film AUSCHWITZ for its official selection. He accused the Festival of breach of trust and unfair policies. Boll refused to pay the 125 Euro fee that accompanies films that are under consideration for the Festival. He refused, according to a statement, because the submissions policy was not universally applied and that many films in the program were considered without paying the fee. “It is not right that the major American studios and friends of the Festival’s director Dieter Kosslick are able to submit films without paying and independent producers like myself are forced to pay”, Boll said in a statement. The producer will screen AUSCHWITZ outside the Festival at the Babylon Cinema on Sunday.

BERLINALE CO-PRODUCTION MARKET

38 projects from 25 countries have been selected for this year’s Berlinale Co-Production Market. Directors and producers of the projects will meet with 400 potential co-production and financing partners. In a parallel program, the Berlinale Talent Campus, an initiative that brings together independent producers with industry mentors, has also selected 11 projects for the Talent Project Market. Producers have an opportunity to pitch their programs and to learn the best methods to organize their financial and marketing strategies from an  international group of industry experts.

RAINDANCE COMES TO BERLIN

Raindance, the leading independent film festival and film training program in the United Kingdom and the presenter of the British Independent Film Awards, is hosting its popular Live Ammunition pitching event today at the HomeBase Lounge on Kothener Strasse. The free entry event allows local and visiting producers to pitch their movie ideas directly to a panel of top film executives. Producers are given two minutes to convince the assembled panelists to read their scripts or treatment and to have follow up meetings. For further details, visit www.raindance.org/site/berlin

LIV ULLMAN SPEAKS ABOUT INGMAR BERGMAN

As part of its exhaustive Retrospective of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, the Deutsches Kinematek is hosting a free talk with iconic actress Liv Ullman in conversation with critic and film historian Peter Cowie. Entitled “Film Begins With The Human Face”, the actress will presumably speak about her involvement with Bergman in more than a dozen films in which they collaborated. The Berlinale, in association with the Deutsches Kinematek and with the support of the Swedish Film Institute, are presenting a full retrospective of Bergman’s films and a few others by his collaborators, including Ms. Ullman, who has branced out into direction herself in the past decade.

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