It’s already three year’s ago that Stil in Berlin’s Mary Scherpe said “Let’s do a film festival” – more or less in passing – and two months later the first ever Berlin Art Film Festival took place at Fsk Kino. What is it all about? Art films, experimental stuff, porn, films about Berlin-based artists and poetic narratives – but in a nutshell: We want to show Berlin in a different way – edgier, fresher, beyond the canon and adding art film classics on top. The concept worked, the festival moved to Moviemento and will open its doors this Thursday for a third time. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to some of the highlights!
On opening day (Thursday, December 8, 8pm) we are celebrating the German premiere of MASHA NATASHA, a four-part film portrait about the artist twins Maria and Natalia Petschanikov whose dove sculptures you might have seen around Berlin. Four filmmakers teamed up to put the work of this unusual couple into a fun film that brilliantly translates the playfulness of the the Petschanikovs’ work onto the silver screen. After this, you can witness a love story you probably haven’t seen told in such a way before: MUITO ROMÂNTICO. Gustavo Jahn and Melissa Dullius put their journey of love from Brazil to Berlin into a beautiful piece of cinema that takes us into a very personal, very colourful and very beautiful world of two artists whose hearts, like those of so many, found their destination in Berlin.
Of course, we went into the archives of Berlin art film cult classics and will be presenting some gems that are rarely screened with English subtitles. Don’t miss Michael Stock’s unique gay punk opera PRINCE IN HELL set in a 1990s Kreuzberg you will hardly recognise. Framed by a narrative that is told through finger puppets, the film is a dark, but ultimately entertaining adventure into the abyss of drug addiction, casual sex and a punk culture that seems to vanish more and more (Thursday, Dec 8, 10.30 pm, with director Michael Stock present).
Last year, we stunned the audience with the brilliance of early Ulrike Ottinger films and this year, we will be screening her masterpiece DORIAN GRAY IN THE MIRROR OF THE YELLOW PRESS, a film that seems weirdly topical, stars ex-supermodel Verushka (BLOW UP) in a mind-blowing and gender-bending performance and has been digitally remastered into a timeless marvel. (Friday, Dec 9, 7.30pm). Plus: No other than underground/avantgarde icon Bruce LaBruce will be here (in the flesh) to present his crazy gay zombie flick OTTO, OR; UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE (Saturday, Dec 10, 11:45pm).
And yes, there will be porn – Friday night at 11pm the short film programme NEW BERLIN PORN (presented by Pornfilmfestival Berlin) features hot new shit fresh from the capital including piss artists, bondage in black and white, lesbian aliens in slow motion, and a former US-American slave that finds herself on Berlin’s graveyards as a vampire with a lust for female blood and bodies: ENACTONE – a daring, fun yet political, artsy yet tongue-in-cheek porn film that won director Sky Deep (who will be present) the award for best feature at this year’s Pornfilmfestival.
And yes, there will be great cinematic performances: Saturday night (8pm) we will celebrate the cinema premiere of a colossal film project called BERLIN WALL – VERTICAL HORIZON by Rotraut Pape. The director took her camera, walked down the Wall in 1989 and repeated the walk 15 times until 2014. The 15 images she collected Pape added next to each other to form one kaleidoscope of impressions that make for a breathtaking time and sound travel through a city whose deconstruction and reconstruction couldn’t be more evident than in the form of the Berlin Wall. Rotraut Pape will give a live commentary throughout the film and discuss her work with the audience.
Plus: We have world premieres of young and coming Berlin artists, German premieres, directors discuss their un-premiered Berlin films and then two highlights on closing day (Sunday, December 11). Sharon Dodua Otoo, this year’s Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize winner, will be present for a talk and a performance of her short story WHTNACIG PNAIT (WATCHING PAINT). Afterwards we will close the festival with the amazing documentary AUDRE LORDE – THE BERLIN YEARS about the Black, lesbian, feminist poet, her time in Berlin, and the first initiatives of Black people, people of colour and Afro-Germans to ever take shape in post-war Germany. Ika Hügel-Marshall, co-author and protagonist will join a talk with Josephine Apraku who founded the Institute of Discrimination-free Education.
Needless to say: all films will be subtitled in English. Oh, we can’t wait for the festival to begin! See you at the movies!
BERLIN ART FILM FESTIVAL N°3
December 8-11, 2016
Moviemento Kreuzberg, Kottbusser Damm 22, [U] Hermannplatz
Homepage with full programme: http://berlinartfilmfestival.de
Facebook: Berlin Art Film Festival