Life world premiere at Berlin International Film Festival
Anton Corbijn’s Life will have its world premiere in a Berlinale Special Gala presentation at the Berlin International Film Festival next month.
Life, a co-production between Australia, Germany and Canada, was written by Luke Davies (Candy, Reclaim) and produced by The King’s Speech producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman with The Whistleblower’s producers Christina Piovesan, Benito Mueller and Wolfgang Müller.
A photographic assignment for Life magazine takes Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) on a tour across the US following James Dean (Dane DeHaan), capturing iconic images of the star and revealing a side to the actor only a few knew.
Life is one of eight Australian films selected to screen at the internationally renowned festival next month.
Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason, said, “It is fantastic news and an honour for the team behind Life to have their film debut to the world in a coveted Gala screening at Berlin. That same recognition has been extended to all eight Australian projects invited to the festival. Having three features and five shorts at this prominent festival demonstrates the strength of our stories and talent. What’s more, two of the shorts were made by students, revealing the depth of emerging talent in Australia.”
Australian/German co-production Elixir has been selected to have its world premiere in Berlinale’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino. The film was written by Brodie Higgs and Anya Watroba, produced by Rezso Bodonyi, Stuart Scowcroft, Brodie Higgs (Australia), Paul Zischler and Susanne Mann (Germany), and directed by Brodie Higgs. The film poses the questions: what if the Surrealists were living in Berlin today alongside punk’s founder Malcolm McLaren and a Bosnian vagabond? Can love, friendship and art save these dreamers who yearn for a life free from fear?
Previously announced Paper Planes has been selected to open the Generation Kplus section. The film has garnered exceptional response from critics and audiences of all ages at the Toronto, Busan and Melbourne film festivals and went on to win the largest Australian film prize at Cinefest Oz last year. Its release in Australian yesterday achieved outstanding results, with a phenomenal box office of over half a million dollars overnight. It is an imaginative children’s film about a young Australian boy’s passion for flight and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan. Robert Connolly wrote, produced and directed the film along with writer Steve Worland and producers Maggie Miles and Liz Kearney.
Also screening in in the Generation Kplus section is short film The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul, which comes from the filmmakers of award-winning documentary Ukraine Is Not a Brothel. The film was written and directed by Kitty Green and produced by Kitty Green, Philippa Campey and Michael Latham. The film, set in divided and war-torn Ukraine, tells the story of little girls adorned in pink sequins auditioning to play the role of gold medal–winning figure skater Oksana Baiul – whose tears of joy once united their troubled country. The short recently had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Four Australian short films will screen in Generation 14plus section:
Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose by Brendan Fletcher and Del Kathryn Barton is based on the classic fairytale by Oscar Wilde. A nightingale embarks on a perilous quest to find a single red rose for her beloved – so that her love may win the heart of another.
VCA student Michael Portway wrote and directed Wawi, which translates to ‘brother’ in the Aboriginal language of the Dja Dja Wurrung people. The short film, set in 1837 during the European settlement in Central Victoria, follows a young Dja Dja Wurrung man in search of his missing brother.
Nulla Nulla, was written and directed by Indigenous filmmaker Dylan River and produced by Tanith Glynn-Maloney. In the film a young policeman, fresh out of the academy, gets his first taste of the complexities of community life. Taken under the wing of a senior Aboriginal Community Police Officer, he is thrown into the deep end when he is encouraged to respond to a domestic dispute on his own.
AFTRS student Malina Maria Mackiewicz wrote and directed Driftwood Dustmites, about a young girl, Aishe, on a camping trip who wakes at dawn to witness her father kissing his new love. Unable to fall back asleep she wakes up her little sister for company and they talk about the kiss, the future, growing up and about their mother who died. The short film was produced by Jessica Giacco.
Cate Blanchett will strengthen the Australian presence by headlining in two of the Competition films – Cinderella and Knight of Cups. Queen of the Desert, which stars Nicole Kidman, will also screen in Competition. Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde, whose film 52 Tuesdays won the Crystal Bear for Best Film in Generation 14plus at the Berlinale last year, will sit on the Generation jury.
Two Australian filmmakers have been selected to attend the elite Berlinale Talents. Formerly known as Berlinale Talents Campus, the annual summit and networking platform of the Berlin International Film Festival invites 300 emerging film creatives from all over the world. Producer Janine Barnes and writer/director Asuka Sylvie will have the opportunity to receive invaluable input and share experiences with renowned film experts, and become part of the ever-growing community of Berlinale Talents alumni.
The Berlin International Film Festival takes place February 5-15.
Berlinale Talents takes place February 7-12
BERLINALE SPECIAL GALA PRESENTATION
See Saw Productions
Producers Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Christina Piovesan, Benito Mueller, Wolfgang Müller
Director Anton Corbijn
Writer Luke Davies
Cast Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan, Joel Edgerton, Sir Ben Kingsley
International Sales FilmNation Entertainment
Australian Distributor Transmission Films
Synopsis Dennis Stock was 26 and old before his time when into his buttoned-down world came fledgling star James Dean, a free spirit who would change popular culture from suits to jeans and from matinee idols to teenage heartthrobs. A photographic assignment took the pair on a journey from LA to NYC to Indiana, and would change Stock’s life and provide the world with some of the most iconic images of the age.
Arenamedia Pty Ltd
Producers Robert Connolly, Maggie Miles, Liz Kearney
Executive Producers Andrew Myer, Jonathan Chissick, Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye, Bernadette O’Mahony, Eric Bana
Director Robert Connolly
Writers Steve Worland, Robert Connolly
Cast Sam Worthington, Ed Oxenbould, Deborah Mailman, David Wenham
International Sales Arclight Films
Australian Distributor Village Roadshow
Synopsis An imaginative children’s film about a young Australian boy’s passion for flight and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.
THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL
Film Camp Pty Ltd
Producers Kitty Green, Philippa Campey, Michael Latham
Writer/Director Kitty Green
International Sales Film Camp Pty Ltd
Synopsis Adorned in pink sequins, little girls from across a divided, war-torn Ukraine audition to play the role of gold medal–winning figure skater Oksana Baiul, whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.
PERSPEKTIVE DEUTSCHES KINO
Elixir Films Gmbh, Berlin; Elixir Films Pty Ltd, Sydney
Producers Rezso Bodonyi, Stuart Scowcroft, Brodie Higgs (Australia), Paul Zischler, Susanne Mann (Germany)
Director Brodie Higgs
Writers Brodie Higgs, Anya Watroba
International Sales Nordisk Trust
Australian Distributor Icon Films
Cast Natasha Petrovikj, Swann Arlaud, Stipe Erceg, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Sebastian Pawlak
Synopsis Elixir asks the question, what if the Surrealists were living in Berlin today alongside punk’s founder Malcolm McLaren and a Bosnian vagabond? Caught up in a world of loss and wild abandonment, can love, friendship and art save these dreamers who yearn for a life free from fear? Elixir is an art film in creation as well as content. It incorporates the work of 22 contemporary artists, three Berlin-based fashion designers; and the music of Patti Smith, Antony and the Johnsons and PJ Harvey to name a few.
Australian Film, Television and Radio School
Producer Jessica Giacco
Writer/Director Malina Maria Mackiewicz
Cast Chloe Bayliss, Poppy Guy
Synopsis In a campsite at dawn Aishe watches, for the first time since her mother’s death, her father kissing his new love. Unable to fall back asleep she wakes up her little sister for company. They talk about what’s just happened and what’s to come. About breasts and about their mother. They lie silent as the world around them wakes up. After a while the younger one’s eyes droop closed and she falls asleep in her sister’s lap.
Producer Tanith Glynn-Maloney
Executive Producers Rachel Clements, Nicolas Lee
Writer/Director Dylan River
Cast Wayne Blair, Khan Chittenden, Audrey Napanangka, Pamela Nangala
Synopsis A young policeman, fresh out of the academy, gets his first taste of the complexities of community life. Taken under the wing of a senior Aboriginal Community Police Officer, he is thrown into the deep-end when he is encouraged to respond to a domestic dispute on his own.
OSCAR WILDE’S THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE
Producers Angie Fielder, Brendan Fletcher
Writer/Directors Del Kathryn Barton, Brendan Fletcher
Cast Mia Wasikowska, Geoffrey Rush, David Wenham, Benedict Samuel, Sophie Lowe
Synopsis A Nightingale embarks on a perilous quest to find a single red rose for her beloved – so that he may win the heart of the professor’s daughter. But such a gift comes at a chilling price. The ritual the Nightingale must put herself through to summon the red rose into being is an orgasmic collision of love, death and nature. The world of the true lover will never be the same again. Based on the classic fairytale by Oscar Wilde.
Victorian College of the Arts
Executive Producer VCA School of Film and Television
Writer/Director Michael Portway
Cast David Williams, Mark Kurungaiyi, Chris Griffiths
Synopsis In 1837, Europeans have begun settlement in Central Victoria, as a young Dja Dja Wurrung man searches for his missing brother.