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Waiting for Berlinale 2021: Four TFL Films selected

TFL Films & Series

Waiting for Berlinale 2021: Four TFL Films selected

February 15, 2021

Could there be a Berlinale without some of the best films developed within TorinoFilmLab? We definitely don’t want to jinx it for the future, but we are excited to have four titles at the 71st edition of the Berlin International Film Festival (March 1th-5th and June 9th-20th).

Official Competition

You may have heard it already, but Adina Pintilie – which has brought home a Golden Bear in 2017 with her TFL Film TOUCH ME NOT – will be part of the International Jury of the upcoming edition of Berlinale.
Perhaps this will bring luck to NATURAL LIGHT (original title: Természetes fény) by the Hungarian filmmaker Dénes Nagy, which will have its world premiere in Berlin.
NATURAL LIGHT was developed within AdaptLab in 2016 (a former TFL programme dedicated to non-original screenplays) and FeatureLab in 2017.

The film is based on the novel of Pál Závada and is set during World War II, occupied Soviet Union. István Semetka is a simple Hungarian farmer who serves as a Sub-Lieutenant in a special unit scouting for partisan groups. On their way to a remote village, his company falls under enemy fire. As the commander is killed, Semetka has to overcome his fears and take command of the unit as he is dragged into a chaos that he cannot control. This is not a war film. No grenades and bombs. We watch the faces of soldiers during their daily routine as they slowly enter the unknown. The story is set almost entirely in the wilderness. The Russian landscape is infinite. Life-giving sunlight in the damp wetlands.

Fun fact: the film is also the debut of the director. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Encounters Section

As pointed out by Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of Berlinale, the films featured among the Encounters titles “want to take us to places where we will learn something about the world, humankind and maybe about ourselves too”. Two TFL world premieres then, may teach you something about the world.
One of them is TASTE (original title: Vị) directed by the Vietnamese filmmaker Lê Bảo.
The film participated in FeatureLab 2017 and was financed by the TFL Co-Production Award 2017 (€ 50.000).

The film stars Bassley, a Nigerian footballer in Vietnam, unable to make a living since he broke his leg. He and four middle-aged women he sometimes works for decide to escape the disappointment of their daily lives. They go to an old house where together they create a special world for themselves. But this intimate utopia cannot last forever...

Fun fact: TASTE, the first feature of Bảo, is shot with non-professional actors in the places the director has known all his life.

Still in Encounters, we are glad to spot a female director: the Greek Jacqueline Lentzou and her TFL film MOON, 66 QUESTIONS, written within ScriptLab 2017 and winner of the CNC Award 2017

The story takes place when, after years of distance, Artemis has to get back to Athens due to her father’s frail state of health. Discovering her father’s well-kept secret allows Artemis to understand her father, in a way she was not able before, therefore love him truly for the first time.

Fun fact: Lentzou has written and directed five short films up until now, all of them premiered at Locarno, Toronto, Berlin, Cannes. This is her first feature film.

Panorama Section

This section, traditionally the favourite of the public, has its own audience award. Will this award go to HUMAN FACTORS by Ronny Trocker? We hope so.

This TFL Film – ScriptLab project 2017 – just premiered overseas during the last Sundance Film Festival and is ready to virtually land in Germany for its European premiere. Get ready to discover how a mysterious housebreaking can expose the agony of an exemplary middle class family.

Best of luck to all the films, we can’t wait for the festival to start because quoting Mariette Rissenbeek (Berlinale Managing Director) and Chatrian: “…filmmaking keeps hope alive”.

In the image: a still photo from MOON, 66 QUESTIONS.