Finding the Chinese Films Selected in the 71st Berlin International Film Festival Announced Lists

The list of each section of the 71st Berlin International Film Festival has been announced. In the main competition section, there are 15 films (including 2 director’s debut films) representing 16 countries to compete for the Golden Bear Award this year. “If the Competition offers a picture of the cinema as it is and as it will be, we can say that the disruption brought on by the events of 2020 has led filmmakers to make the most of this situation and create deeply personal films. This Competition is less rich in numbers but very dense in content and style,” comments Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian on the selection.

Most of the films shown in the Berlin Film Festival are from artists who once participated in film festivals. Subjects of the films are usually wide, and are from issues closely related to current events. As for Chinese films, there was no Chinese film being selected in the main competition, but there were surprises in the Berlinale Special, Berlinale Shorts, Forum and Generation. Among them, the film “Limbo”, directed by Hong Kong director Soi Cheang, was shortlisted for the Berlinale Special. Rookie policeman Will Ren and his partner, the veteran cop Cham Lau, are pursuing an obsessive and especially brutal murderer of women. To lure this “hand-fetish” ripper, they use the criminal Wong To, who needs to atone for causing an accident involving Cham’s family, as bait. But this young woman is both unpredictable and insubordinate. Surrounded by ever more insane bouts of violence and increasingly in danger of falling victim to the bestial serial killer herself, she fights the traumas of the slums by her own means. Alongside the great cast, the trademarks of Hong Kong genre filmmaker Soi Cheang include his brilliantly cool observation of well-honed cop rituals – at times condensed into a one-shot-per-second montage, at others edited at a more leisurely pace – as well as close-ups of those struggling to survive amid the city’s trash heaps. Making use of monochrome, “hidden object” aesthetics, the film probes the boundaries of the bearable, traversing them experimentally with excesses of violence, subtle gender-bending and tender gestures in a world that has lost its humanity.

Director Shengze Zhu, who won the Hivos Tiger Award for “Present.Perfect.” at International Film Festival Rotterdam in the year before the last, brought her debut work “A River Runs, Turns, Erases, Replaces”; Director Sabrina Zhao brought her debut feature “The Good Woman of Sichuan”. In this film, the director tells a story of a young widow returns to Leshan, Sichuan, the hometown of her ex-husband. There, she meets her old friend, a drama actress. In Leshan, the actress studies a drama adapted from Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan, they are immersed in the stillness of multiple rhythms. “Summer Blur” directed by Han Shuai was shortlisted. The film won the Fei Mu Award in Pingyao International Film Festival last year and Fipresci Prize in the 25th Busan International Film Festival. In addition, there are also many Chinese language works and works of Chinese directors in the short films sections, including the new short film “Day Is Done” by Zhang Dalei; “More Happiness” directed by Livia Huang and “One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean” by Wang Yuyan.

Due to the current situation, the 71st Berlin International Film Festival has developed a new festival format for 2021 and is pleased to be able to hold the festival for the industry and the public. The industry platforms European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents and the World Cinema Fund will kick off the 71st Berlinale in March with an online offer. In June, there will be a summer event with numerous film screenings for the public audiences – in cinemas as well as open air. The division allows to maintain the two supporting pillars: film market and festival.

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