The remaining categories in the 71st Berlin International Film Festival have been announced as of February 11th. Finally, the highly prestigious and world famous festival lineup is available in its entirety on the Berlinale official website. Gradually, the programs in the 2021 film selection were announced throughout the month of February, with a formal video-unveiling this morning. The freshly introduced films belong to the programs: Competition and Berlinale Special–arguably two of the most anticipated and watched categories. Within these categories is where we usually see films featuring acclaimed, Hollywood actors familiar to an American audience. The festival’s first round takes place virtually on March 1-5, 2021, and in-person on June 9-20th for the second.
Recognizable names in the Competition program will include the Netflix Unorthodox series’ director Maria Schrader in her directorial feature Ich bin dein Mensch (I’m Your Man). The film is listed as a German entry, and is a sci-fi romance between a woman and humanoid robot. The film will star Dan Stevens from Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, in his second German-language feature. Another recognizable name from the same category is actor Daniel Brühl from the TNT limited-series The Alienist in his directorial-debut film Nebenan (Next Door), also a German entry. It is described as a dark comedy centering around a confrontation between a movie star and his neighbor.
Also in the Competition program are titles Memory Box, a French-Lebanese-Canadian-Qatari production, and Una Película de Policías (A Cop Movie) from Mexico. Memory Box is directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, and tells the story of a Lebanese mother and daughter living in Canada who reconnect with a woman from the mother’s past when a memory box shows up in the mail. A Cop Movie, the only Latin American title in the Competition program, follows two idealistic cops as they come to realize the corruption within the system.
In the Berlinale Special program we will see Hollywood stars Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza, and Cary Elwes in Lina Roessler’s comedy-drama Best Sellers. The story about an old writer embarking on a final book tour. More recognizable faces will include Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges in Azazel Jacobs’ French Exit. The duo play socialite mother and son in the aftermath of spending all of their inheritance. It is a Canadian-Irish production. Kevin Macdonald’s The Mauritanian, a Great Britain entry, features a cast of Hollywood heavy-hitters Benedict Cumberbatch, Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley and Zachary Levi in a 9/11 investigation-turned-conspiracy story.
Also in the program is a documentary tracking the Belarusian peaceful protest against the repression of democracy entitled Courage. The docu is a German entry but directed by Belarusian filmmaker Aliaksei Paluyan. One of two USA entries in the Berlinale Special is documentary Tina by Dan Lindsay and T. J. Martin about, and in celebration of, musical legend Tina Turner.
Full List of Competition and Berlinale Special Program Entries:
Albatros (Drift Away) by Xavier Beauvois FRA 2020
Babardeală cu buclucsau porno balamuc (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn) by Radu Jude ROU, LUX, HRV, CZE 2021
Fabian oder Der Gang vor die Hunde (Fabian – Going to the Dogs) by Dominik Graf DEU 2021
Ghasideyeh gave sefid (Ballad of a White Cow) by Behtash Sanaeeha, Maryam Moghaddam IRN, FRA 2020
Guzen to sozo (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy) by Ryusuke Hamaguchi JPN 2021
Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse (Mr. Bachmann and His Class) by Maria Speth DEU 2021
Ich bin dein Mensch (I’m Your Man) by Maria Schrader DEU 2020
Inteurodeoksyeon (Introduction) by Hong Sangsoo KOR 2020
Memory Box by Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige FRA, LBN, CAN, QAT 2021
Nebenan (Next Door) by Daniel Brühl DEU 2021
Una Película de Policías (A Cop Movie) by Alonso Ruizpalacios MEX 2021
Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma FRA 2021
Ras vkhedavt, rodesac cas vukurebt? (What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?) | Was sehen wir, wenn wir zum Himmel schauen? by Alexandre Koberidze DEU, GEO 2021
Rengeteg – mindenhol látlak (Forest – I See You Everywhere) by Bence Fliegauf HUN 2020
Természetes fény (Natural Light) by Dénes Nagy HUN, LVA, FRA, DEU 2020
Best Sellers by Lina Roessler CAN, GBR 2020
Courage by Aliaksei Paluyan DEU 2021
French Exit by Azazel Jacobs CAN, IRL 2021
Je suis Karl by Christian Schwochow DEU, CZE 2021
Language Lessons by Natalie Morales USA 2020
Limbo by Cheang Soi HKG/CHN, CHN 2020
The Mauritanian by Kevin Macdonald GBR 2021
Per Lucio (For Lucio) by Pietro Marcello ITA 2021
Tides by Tim Fehlbaum DEU, CHE 2021
Tina by Dan Lindsay, T. J. Martin USA 2020
Wer wir waren (Who We Were) by Marc Bauder DEU 2020