Leonardo DiCaprio came to town and it seemed as if he was everywhere: in museums, restaurants, department stores–he was also present as the photo-of-the-day, brimming on every LCD monitor in each subway car.
However, what I actually want to talk about is marvelous the female directors and their works screening at the Berlinale this year. In light of Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award nomination for best feature as well as best director with her powerful picture THE HURT LOCKER (2008), plus a real chance of her winning either or even both awards as the first female winner, I wanted to introduce the competition entries by female filmmakers from around the world at this year’s Berlinale.
Twenty films will compete in this year’s 60th Berlinale for the Golden and Silver Bears, seventeen of those are by male directors and only three by female ones. The first of the three is from 2006 Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic for her first feature GRBAVICA. This year, the Bosnian filmmaker will present NA PUTU (ON THE PATH). The second female director is Danish filmmaker Pernille Fischer Christensen who, like Zbanic, returns to Berlin after winning the Silver Bear in 2006 for her debut feature EN SOAP. Her latest work is titled A FAMILY and will screen the end of the week. And the third woman director is Argentine Natalia Smirnoff, who brings her first feature ROMPECABEZAS (PUZZLE), an Argentine-French co-production, to Berlin. If last year’s Gold Bear winner–Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa’s drama LA TETA ASUSTADA (THE MILK OF SORROW)–is any indicator, I am very much looking forward to catching these three films. The festival also includes other noteworthy productions by females such as German filmmaking-duo Anne Linsel and Rainer Hoffmann’s documentary TANZTRAEUME (DANCING DREAMS), American Laura Poitras’ Sundance winner THE OATH, and Israeli Anat Yuta Zuria ‘s SORERET (BLACK BUS); All to be included in the next report!