Also set to screen at the Berlinale sidebars are the Finnish film Girl Picture and Netflix feature Against the Ice produced by Iceland’s RVK Studios.
The Berlinale has announced on Wednesday the first titles for its 72nd edition due to unspool onsite February 10-20, 2022.
“The pandemic has created distances, not only between people but also the way we see the world, “said the festival’s artistic director Carlo Chatrian. “Amongst the 2022 selection are films shot during the pandemic, reflecting on how it feels to be disconnected from others. It is with this first batch of films that we want to highlight the power of cinema as a tool that connects people, places and times ahead,” he said.
As usual, Nordic fare is playing strongly in the Generation section for children and youth, and so far two girl power movies are lined-up for the Kplus section.
Comedy Queen from Sweden, is Sanna Lenken’s second entry at the Generation competition, following My Skinny Sister which won the Crystal Bear in 2015. Based on Jenny Jägerfeld's eponymous novel, adapted for the screen by Linn Gottfridsson (Beartown), the film centres on Sascha (13), who after her mother’s death and father’s ensuing depression, decides to look on the bright side of life and become a stand-up comedian.
In the title role as Sasha is Sigrid Johnson (Maria Wern), while her father is played by Oscar Töringe (Thin Blue Line) and her BFF Märta is newcomer Ellen Taure.
The film is produced by Rebecka Lafrenz and Anna Anthony for FLX, in co-production with Film i Väst, SVT and SF Studios, support from the Swedish Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Reinvent International Sales handle world sales. The domestic release via SF Studios is set for February 11, 2022.
Girl Picture (Tytöt tytöt tytöt) from Finland will be screening in Berlin, straight from its world premiere in competition at Sundance. The coming-of-age drama by Alli Haapasalo (Shadow Lines, Force of Habit) is an empowering portrait of three young girls who during three consecutive Fridays, will experience true love (for two of them) and the first vibrations of pleasure for the third one. The female trio consists of Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen and Linnea Leino.
Commenting on her Generation entry, Haapasalo says “young people are a critical audience, and I hope they will take ownership of the film.”
The film produced by Leila Lyytikäinen and Elina Pohjola for Citizen Jane Productions is due to open domestically in April.
Making its world premiere at the Panorama section is another female-led film - Nelly & Nadine by Magnus Gertten, competing for Best Documentary and Teddy Award.
The archive-based doc is Gertten’s third film in the “April 28 trilogy” about Holocaust survivors arriving in Malmö on April 28, 1945. The first two films were Harbour of Hope and Every Face Has a Name. Here Gertten tells the poignant story of Nelly and Nadine who met at Ravensbrück ‘s concentration camp on Christmas Eve 1944, and fell in love. Now Nelly’s grandchild, Sylvie, has decided to open their personal archives and uncovers their remarkable story.
“The Berlinale is one of my favourite festivals, so it feels extra cool and honourable to premiere my next film there,” said seasoned director and co-owner of Auto Images Magnus Gertten. “Nelly & Nadine is the third film in a creative journey that began in 2007, when I first became interested in an archive reel from April 1945. In the archive, we see survivors from the concentration camps arriving at the harbour of Malmö. One of the faces seen in the archive film belongs to Nadine Hwang. I'm glad that finally the world can now take part in Nadine’s fantastic love story with Nelly,” he said.
The film is co-produced by Norway’s Upnorth Film and Belgium’s Associate Directors, in association with SVT, DR, Yle, RÚV, VRT, RTBF, and support among others from Nordisk Film & TV Fond.
Finally, the Berlinale Special Gala will be showcasing the star-studded Netflix survival drama Against the Ice with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Heida Reed and Charles Dance.
The English-language feature is a passion project for Coster-Waldau who co-wrote the script with Joe Derrick. Peter Flinth serves as director. Inspired by the posthumously novel ‘The Against the ice’ by Danish polar explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen, the film follows two men - Mikkelsen and inexperienced crew member Iver Iversen - as they fight for survival, after they're left behind while on a Denmark expedition in ice-covered Greenland in 1909.
The film is produced by Baltasar Kormákur’s RVK Studios, with Coster Waldau’s Ill Kippers.
The programme for the Berlinale’s main competition headed by M. Night Shyamalan will be unveiled January 19, 2022.