Berlinale 2021: Céline Sciamma and Xavier Beauvois in the official competition

The moviess Little Mom and Albatross are among the fifteen feature films selected for the first digital edition of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Two French films will take their virtual flight for the Berlinale 2021. Albatross by Xavier Beauvois and Little mom by Céline Sciamma are part of the main competition of the 71e edition of the festival unveiled Thursday 11 February.

In her new film, Céline Sciamma, winner in 2019 of the screenplay award at the Cannes film festival for her drama Portrait of the girl on fire , is interested this time in childhood with a story featuring Nina Meurisse. For its part, the new opus by Xavier Beauvois, Albatross, tells the story of a brigade commander (Jérémie Renier) whose life changes after he kills a man while trying to prevent him from committing suicide.

In total, fifteen feature films – including two first films – will compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition of the film festival which is to be held online from 1er to March 5. Other selected productions include Ich bin dein Mensch by Germany’s Maria Schrader, who won an Emmy Award last year for her hit series on Netflix, Unorthodox . Her new film is a romantic comedy about a woman played by Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann) in search of the perfect man.

German actor Daniel Brühl, revealed in bittersweet comedy Good By, Lenin and become an international star, is also competing for the Golden Bear with his first film as a director Nebenan which deals with gentrification in Berlin. Romanian Radu Jude, awarded in Berlin in 2015 for Aferim is back in the competition with Bad Luck Banging or Looney Porn on a teacher filmed in a sextape that spreads on the internet, deeply affecting her life

An edition marked by the Covid

The Berlinale 2021 is already shaping up to be a very special edition. Relocated online because of the coronavirus epidemic, the festival will present works produced in whole or in part during the pandemic. “While only a few directly show the new world we live in, they all carry the uncertainty of the times we live behind the surface.», Declared the artistic director of the festival Carlo Chatrian during an online presentation of the selection. “A feeling of dread is present everywhere“, he added.

The jury, made up this year of six previous Gold Bear winners, exceptionally has no president. If the sanitary situation permits, the festival will organize screenings open to the public indoors and outdoors from June 9 to 20. The 2020 edition could have taken place normally at the end of February when the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe was in its infancy.

Created in 1951, the Berlinale is with Cannes and the Venice Film Festival one of the three main film festivals in Europe. The last French film to win the Golden Bear is Privacy by Patrice Chéreau, in 2001.


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