Telefilm Canada Salutes the Canadian Presence at the 61st Berlinale
Montréal, February 3, 2011 – Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce the Canadian films invited to the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, running from February 10 to 20, 2011. This year, the Canadian delegation is comprised of 13 works featured in various sections of the Festival, which includes the world premiere of Stéphane Lafleur’s Familiar Grounds (En terrains connus) and two films in the Berlinale Shorts competition.
“Canadian cinema, especially our emerging talent, figures prominently at Berlin this year,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “This strong presence at the Festival is the crowning of a number of Canadian initiatives spearheaded by Telefilm that strive to build strategic opportunities from international financing and sales, to skills development and talent recognition.”
This year, the 61st Berlinale pays tribute to Canada with the invitation of director Guy Maddin to the Official Jury, presided by Isabella Rossellini. A long-time darling of the Festival, Maddin’s films have been known to captivate audiences. Brand Upon the Brain! was the centerpiece of the Forum screening at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2007 and My Winnipeg opened the Forum in 2008. His most recent installation work Hauntings I (Fragments) & Hauntings II, commissioned by the TIFF Bell Lightbox, will also be presented at the Festival this year.
The last Canadian to serve on the Jury was Atom Egoyan in 2003, when he was invited as Jury President.
Canadian films invited to the Berlin International Film Festival:
Daniel Montgomery, Medium Density Fibreboard Films (Ontario)
An elementary school parable involving Xavier and Liam, two seven-year-olds who are moulded by their actions following a classroom spitting incident.
Daniel Montgomery, Medium Density Fibreboard Films (Ontario)
A middle-aged woman is faced with poverty. As she struggles to find help in the system, her only option is to wait.
Vampire * Sundance 2011, World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Rockwell Eyes (USA), Convergence (USA), V Project Canada Productions (Canada)
Simon seems like a fairly normal, average young man who’s devoted to his teaching job and ailing mother. Underneath the surface, however, things are not what they seem.
Familiar Grounds (En terrains connus) * World Premiere
Luc Déry & Kim McCraw, micro_scope (Quebec)
A factory employee, Maryse lives a humdrum suburban life with her spouse Alain. When a serious accident occurs at the factory where Maryse works, a series of chance accidents and the enigmatic visit of a Man claiming to come from the future plunge Maryse and her brother Benoit into a kind of brotherly road movie that will change their destiny.
Forum Expanded (Short)
National Parks Project: Sirmilik
Joel McConvey, Geoff Morrison, Ryan Noth, Kristina McLaughlin, Kevin McMahon & Michael McMahon, FilmCAN (B.C.)/Primitive Entertainment (Ontario)
Shot and soundtracked in Nunavut’s Sirmilik National Park, this short film explores the changes in the Arctic’s’ icy expanses, skies and Inuit communities, and the beauty of the Canadian North.
Forum Expanded (Installation)
Hauntings I (Fragments)
These films were originally part of Hauntings I, a large-scale projection work, commissioned by TIFF (the parent organization of the Toronto International Film Festival) for the opening of its new year-round film and moving image facility, TIFF Bell Lightbox. The installation, composed of 11 projections of 13 films, was featured as part of the facility’s inaugural exhibition, Essential Cinema.
Hauntings II is a multi-channel site-specific installation commissioned by TIFF that featured exterior projections of ghostly figures across a 100-foot bank of windows during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. In Berlin, the ghostly visions will appear periodically on a large screen in the Sony Courtyard.
A Bar IST a Garden IST a Café IST a Reading Room
A site-specific installation for the central Café/Bar installation at the Filmhaus.
United Channels Media (Israël), Intuitive Pictures (Canada), K5 International (Germany), MACT (France)
Everything in Yoni’s life is complicated. He’s almost 13, a gifted student, but physically undeveloped and desperate to change that before his Bar Mitzvah. If that wasn’t enough, Yoni’s autistic brother, Tomer, 17, hidden away for years in an institution, returns home. His arrival forces Yoni to grow up, fast.
Generation Kplus Short
Halima Ouardiri, Mila Aung-Thwin, Eyesteelfilms (Quebec)
Based on a true story, Mokhtar recounts the tale of a young boy in a remote Moroccan village as he adopts a fallen owl.
Marc Bertrand & Michael Fukushima, Office national du film du Canada (Quebec)
Chasing away boredom on a grey Sunday afternoon, a young boy plays with coins on the railroad tracks. Sunday, directed by Patrick Doyon, is a charming animated fable about life as seen through a child’s eyes.
The Legend of Beaver Dam
Eli Batalion, Jerome Sable, Michael Blaha, Sable & Batalion (Montréal)
When a campfire ghost story awakens an evil monster, it’s up to nerdy Danny Zigwitz to be the hero and save his fellow campers from a bloody massacre!
Christine Kleckner & Danis Goulet, Zero Films (Ontario)
A final visit to their isolated cabin in northern Canada reveals the intergenerational rift between Josh and his traditional Cree father.
The 9th Berlinale Talent Campus, taking place from February 12 to 17, brings together 350 emerging creators from around the world. A creative academy and networking event, selected participants will meet with experienced film professionals for workshops and discussions. This year, the Canadian contingent includes 12 up-and-coming film talents: Alison Stella Meghie, Damali Kai Little-white, Gerald Patrick Fantone, Jennifer Mesich, Jsj, Jonathan Durand, Josephine Anderson, Kwistina, Lauren Grant, Matthew Rankin, Temenuga Trifonova, and Tristen Bakker.
Visit the Canada at Berlin 2011 microsite for complete Festival and Market programming information, trailers and more.
About Telefilm Canada
Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry. Telefilm provides financial support to the private sector to create distinctively Canadian productions that appeal to domestic and international audiences. Telefilm also administers the Canada Media Fund’s programs. Visit www.telefilm.ca.