London in Berlin
Date posted: 09.02.2011
The Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale (10-20 February), is the city's largest cultural event and one of the most important dates in the international film industry calendar. Founded in 1951, the festival takes place every February with more than 19,000 film professionals from 128 countries accredited each year.
As part of the Festival, the European Film Market (EFM), the film trade event, brings together distributors, producers, financiers and sales agents to undertake business and get informed about the latest productions and developments in the global film scene. Meanwhile, the Festival's programme of international films both in and out of competition attract film critics, festival programmers and film-makers from all over the world.
Part of the international offering screening this year in Berlin is the Film London supported short film Spring, written and directed by London film-maker Hong Khaou. Spring was made as part of Film London's digital shorts scheme, PULSE, which supports new film-making talent in the London region.
Spring skillfully tackles a somewhat controversial subject matter. The film follows a young man, Joe, who meets with a stranger to experiment with S&M, something that will change his life forever. Having already played at Sundance Film Festival this January, it will be shown as part of Berlin's Panorama section. The Panorama programme is renowned for its emphasis on independent and art-house cinema, showcasing films which are made in a personal style and attract a demanding, passionate audience. Famed for its diversity, the section's commitment to gay, lesbian and transgendered film is internationally regarded as one of the strand's outstanding qualities.
Similarly, Kyoko Miyake - a film-maker supported through the London Borough Film Fund Challenge - will premiere her latest short, Hackney Lullabies, at Berlin as part of the opening ceremony of the Berlinale Talent Campus and it is nominated for a Berlin Today Award.
Film London will also be present at the EFM, with an office at the Marriott Hotel close to the festival centre at Potsdamer Platz. Film London will be having meetings regarding various projects including the London UK Film Focus (LUFF) and the Film London Production Finance Market (PFM). PFM is a two day event held annually which focuses on connecting international producers and financiers to encourage new film financing relationships. On 16 February, a PFM information session will be held in Berlin for producers as well as representatives from MEDIA, European Film Funds and Regional Film Agencies to find out more about the event and in turn promote the opportunity in their territories.
The Film London office will also provide a base for six London-based production companies to hold meetings and conduct business at the festival. The companies are Cyclops Vision, February Films, Film and Music Entertainment, Full Circle Films, Gas Station 8 Ltd and Silk and Steel Productions.
Together, the Berlin Film festival and the EFM form a unique network of formal and informal connections and, as the first big international film event of the year, it acts as a good barometer for the upcoming film year.
The Film London: London Producer's Office can be found in the Wandelbar Meeting Room in the ground floor lobby of the Marriott Hotel, Inge-Beisheim-Platz 1 (off Potsdamerplatz), 10785 Berlin.
The Berlin Film Festival runs 10-20 February. To find out more about this year's Festival and offering, visit the Festival's official website.