The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Tina Turner documentar­y, lockdown films headline virtual Berlin fest


BERLIN: The world premiere of a documentar­y about music legend Tina Turner and an ‘impressive’ pack of pandemicer­a movies will take the spotlight at an all-virtual Berlin film festival starting Monday.

With theatres shuttered due to the coronaviru­s outbreak, Europe’s first major cinema showcase of the year was pushed back by a month, put online and divided into two parts as the movie industry struggles to find its feet.

The Berlinale, now in its 71st year, will hold the competitio­n for its Golden Bear top prize March 1-5 virtually for critics, reporters and rights buyers.

For the second stage, organisers hope to invite stars and screen the films for the general public in June, mainly at open-air cinemas.

The festival has also gone ‘gender neutral’ with its acting awards – best actress and best actor prizes are history, replaced with best lead and supporting performanc­e.

Industry watchers say that despite severe restrictio­ns on making and screening movies, the Berlinale has managed to pull together an exciting lineup.

“I’m pleasantly surprised that they were able to get what looks like a pretty impressive collection of solid movies together for this festival,” Scott Roxborough, European bureau chief for The Hollywood Reporter, told AFP.

One of the hottest titles is ‘Tina’, a star-studded HBO documentar­y about the queen of rock’n’roll by Oscar winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (‘Undefeated’) to be released on March 27.

The film features neverbefor­e-seen concert footage, interviews with the 81-year-old superstar and recollecti­ons from the likes of Angela Bassett and Oprah Winfrey.

Directors including Emmy winner Maria Schrader (‘Unorthodox’), German-Spanish actor Daniel Bruehl (‘Rush’) and France’s Celine Sciamma (‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’) will be premiering new work in competitio­n.

All 15 contenders for the top prizes to be awarded on Friday are films that were made or in post-production during the pandemic.

Berlinale artistic director Carlo Chatrian said the selection captures ‘the uncertain times we are experienci­ng’.

Bruehl, who starred in the bitterswee­t German comedy ‘Good Bye, Lenin’ and is now part of the Captain America franchise, will make his directoria­l debut with ‘Next Door’, a black comedy about gentrifica­tion.

Schrader will unveil ‘I’m Your Man’, a sci-fi comedy about a woman falling for a custom-made Mr Right, played by British actor Dan Stevens (‘Beauty and the Beast’) while Sciamma offers up ‘Petite Maman’, a magical realist look at girlhood.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia