The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival

7 February, 2022

The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 20, 2022. After many changes due to the pandemic situation and the new waves of infections with the Omicron variant, the festival organizers decided, however, that the event will take place in cinemas, and not online, and for a shorter period of time than originally planned.

 “We really believe that the collective experience is at the center of the film festival experience,” stated Carlo Chatrian, the artistic director of the festival.

The ceremonial opening will be held at the Berlinale Palast, where the festival will be inaugurated by François Ozon’s Peter von Kant, starring Denis Ménochet, Isabelle Adjani and Hanna Schygulla, which will be screened in world premiere. The film is inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1972 film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.

Peter von Kant is a theatrical tour de force around the concept of lockdown. In the hands of Ozon, the kammerspiel becomes the perfect container for love and jealousy, seduction and humour – indeed, everything that makes life and art so entangled.” (Carlo Chatrian)

Director, writer and producer François Ozon is back at the Berlinale for the 6th time. “The Berlin International Film Festival is the ideal place to discover Peter von Kant, which celebrates my attachment as a French director to German culture,” commented the director.

18 films make this year’s Competition, 17 of which are world premieres. Productions from 15 countries will compete for the Golden and Silver Bears. Eleven filmmakers have been at the festival before, and five of them already have an award earned in the previous editions.

“More than half of the films selected take place in the present day, but only two deal with the current pandemic times. Human and emotional bonds are a common thread – with half of the selection choosing the family as a context for their tales. Almost all films set their tales out of the city centre, in the periphery, in the countryside or they follow the characters in their journeys away from towns.” (Carlo Chatrian)

Radu Jude, last year’s winner of the Golden Bear for his feature Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, returns to the 72nd Berlinale with his new documentary short film, made with Adrian Cioflâncă, Amintiri de pe Frontul de Est / Memories from the Eastern Front. The film has been selected for the Berlinale Shorts programme.

Romania is also present at the festival through two co-productions:

Alis (dir. Clare Weiskopf, Nicolás van Hemelryck, a Columbia-Chile-Romania co-production) – Through a mixture of interviews, confessions and exercises of imagination, all wrapped up into an extraordinary documentary format, the directing duo brings the protagonists’ stories, from past traumas to desires for the future, to life. World premiere in the Generation 14plus section.

We Might As Well Be Dead (dir. Natalia Sinelnikova, a Germany-Romania co-production) – A social satire about fear, security and control, starring Romanian actress Ioana Iacob (I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians, Uppercase Print). World premiere in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section.

Films screened at the Berlinale include:

The Forger (dir. Maggie Peren), starring Louis Hofmann (Dark, Land of Mine). Based on a true story, the film is focused on Cioma Schönhaus, a young Jewish man in 1940s Berlin who just wants to enjoy life, but this proves difficult when his existence is threatened by the Nazis.

Rabiye Kurnaz Vs. George W. Bush (dir. Andreas Dresen), a film about politics and a mother’s struggle to save her son when he is wrongfully accused.

Rimini (dir. Ulrich Seidl), follows the story of Richie Bravo (Michael Thomas), a former gigolo who is brought back to his teenage home by certain circumstances.

Berlinale Special makes room to several documentaries, including This Much I Know to Be True (dir. Andrew Dominik), which highlights the work of musician Nick Cave during the pandemic.

This year, the Homage section is dedicated to French actress Isabelle Huppert who will be awarded an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement on February 15. Her latest film, À propos de Joan / About Joan (dir. Laurent Lariviere), will also be screened as part of the Berlinale Special programme.

Also present at the festival is Anamaria Vartolomei, the Romanian-born, France-based actress and France’s representative in the European Shooting Stars programme. She won the Lumières Award for Best Actress for her role in L’événement / Happening (dir. Audrey Diwan), winner of the Golden Lion and FIPRESCI Prize at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.

This year’s International Jury is led by M. Night Shyamalan. The other members of the jury are visual artist Karim Aïnouz (Brazil/Algeria), producer Saïd Ben Saïd (France/Tunisia), director and screenwriter Anne Zohra Berrached (Germany), filmmaker and author Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), director and screenwriter Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Japan), actor and producer Connie Nielsen (Denmark).

The Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 20, 2022. For the latest details, visit the Berlinale website.

Writer, photographer and videographer. For Films in Frame she writes news about the latest happenings in the film world and brings to the readers' attention the productions that can be seen at the cinema. When she's not writing articles, she's photographing people in a small studio or searching for new cake recipes.