The Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival has long held the reputation as being one of the Festival’s edgiest, most sexually explicit, most politically explosive collection of films. If you are looking for films that push the envelope or take viewers to unexplored places, then this is the section for you. This year’s Panorama is presenting 53 feature films: 18 in the main program, 15 in Panorama Special and 20 in Panorama Dokumente. The great majority are world premieres, including 12 German films and the works of 24 women filmmakers. The section also has a well-deserved reputation as a staunch supporter of gay cinema, awarding the Teddy Award for Best Film, Best Documentary and Best Short Film at one of the Festival’s chicest and wildest late night soirees.
Among the highlights of the program are the US indie CHERRY with Heather Graham, James Franco and Lili Taylor; THE CONVOY, Russian director Alexei Mizgirev’s apocalyptic portrait of the police and the army in Russia today; LOVE, the latest film from Taiwanese wunderkind Doze, with a stellar starring role for Shu Qi; RENTANEKO (Rent A Cat) is a film in the Japanese humanist tradition about a young woman who rents cats to people who are lonely, told under the direction of Japanese filmmaker Naoko Ogigami; IRON SKY, a Finnish production featuring cult German actor Udo Kier, in which director Timo Vuorensola paints a dark picture of the world being threatened from outer space; A LAZY SUMMER AFTERNOON WITH MARIO MONTEZ, a portrait of the Andy Warhol drag queen superstar assembled by German documentarian John Heys; and GLAUBE, LIEBE, TOD (BELIEF, LOVE, DEATH) by Austrian director Peter Kern, an intimate drama about the conflicts smoldering between the generations and how an immigrant falls victim to them. Future articles will focus on other highlights from this year’s Panorama program. For more information, visit: http://www.berlinale.de/en/das_festival/festival-sektionen/panorama/index.html