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Agnieszka Holland’s film Charlatan which premiered in Berlinale’s Competition in 2020, is one of her best recent movies. That might be in part due to the writer, Marek Epstein, a young Prague actor.

In Poland, a man gifted with exceptional abilities for curing people’s illnesses is set against the background of the events of three different regimes, each of which is suspicious about the protagonist’s methods.


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The EFM’s 2021 visual combines the Berlin feeling with the online universe.

On February 17, the European Film Market is rolling out the red carpet for the international film industry. Starting now, people with an Online Market Badge can log in at www.efm-berlinale.de and access the new, expanded and optimized applications. At the same time, the EFM will present the key visual for this year’s online edition, in which illustrator Irmela Schautz has created a visual connection between the diverse film industry and the EFM online services, and placed it in the context of its origin: Berlin.

The comprehensive conference program, with more than 90 individual events in the “EFM Industry Sessions”, will be made public today as well. It is complemented by selected events of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents, World Cinema Fund, individual Berlinale sections, and associated events from partners and exhibitors. Numerous live streams can be retrieved on-demand after the event.

There will also be a focus on the virtual presence of exhibitors, and the offering of films and series in Market Screenings. The exact times and authorizations for access will be published on February 22.

Market Screenings and the EFM conference…


‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’ is an unexpected film in many ways. Before getting into the unexpected success of this film, we can say the entire concept is unexpected as it tells the story of a Syrian man Sam Ali who flees his country and turns his body into a living work of art which is promptly exhibited in a museum. He soon realizes that he has sold away more than just his skin. Sam Ali is played by a heretofore unknown Syrian actor named Yahya Mahayni who won for Best Actor in Venice Film Festival 2020.

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The inspiration for the movie came to writer-director Kaouther Ben Hania when she was visiting the Louvre in Paris in 2012. There she saw a retrospective of the Belgium artist Wim Delvoye and in Napoleon III Apartments, Delvoye’s Tim, (2006–08) was exhibited, a work in which the artist had tattooed the back of Tim Steiner, who was sitting on an armchair with his shirt off displaying Delvoye’s design. The piece was sold to a German art collector and Tim was contractually obliged to spend a certain amount of time, topless and sitting still, in a gallery every year. …


Reviewed by film critic and editor at Cahiers du cinéma, Thierry Méranger

Corsica, in a small village.

Kids brighten the streets, teens mess around, grown-ups discuss the future while elders reflect on time passing by. Those who never left welcome back those who went abroad. Family and long time friends share together this precious moment in the mountains. Under the burning sun and to the sound of rippling laughter, summer suspends time but doesn’t heal all wounds.

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The first feature film from Corsican theatre-maker, actor and author Pascal Tagnati is set in a Corsican village in summer. The locals flirt, swim, party, shoot the breeze and fight (“keep your hands off my sister”). The static camera observes the villagers, often in long takes — a little like the girl who says she is trying to create “a moment of life” through her photos. We regularly hear traditional songs sung in Corsican dialect, culminating in the stunningly heartrending ‘La mort de Filicone’.

Tagnati worked with the residents of the village he portrays: they contribute dialogue and perform, although…


Two days ago, very good news reached me that the documentary for which I worked as the dramaturgical advisor, meaning, story and rough-cut adviser and on which I have worked very intensely with the director, has been nominated as Best German documentary 2020 by the German critics, and only 5 have been nominated…. February 22nd the winner will be announced and I am very excited about this. Proud of the director and also a bit proud of my contribution. — Claudia Landsberger

This a very interesting story set in Eastern Germany starting in the 60s, about a Black woman trying…


La Llorona — Latinx. The legend of The Weeping Woman, a Medea-like figure who drowns her children after being abandoned by her husband and is thereafter condemned to wander the Earth, bringing misfortune to all who cross her path is a perennial myth in Latin American culture. I expected a horror film but this was not the sort of horror film we would expect. It is about Guatemala’s unfinished business of reconciliation.

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Families were destroyed by the dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt a general and politician who was a dictator who took power as a result of a coup d’état on March 23, 1982 and who was then exonerated by the court although his genocidal acts were common knowledge. Protests take place outside his family home and then the ghosts of his victims enter the domain of the family when the mistress of the house hires a mysterious young woman as a servant.


Gregory Everett’s Documentary ‘41st and Central’ will screen virtually February 20.

My condolences go out to his young widow and partner Lorean Everett. I feel very personally about the sudden death of Gregory Everett. I met him and his wife Lorean about two years ago when they were speaking about making this film at the California African American Museum and we spoke about my connection to the man whose words open this moving, insightful and inciteful film. This young filmmaker’s death from COVID, January 24, 2021 almost coincides with the January 19, 1968 death of Bunchy Alprentice Carter, whose words and deeds are commemorated in this documentary.

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The son of a Black Panther, Everett learned film and video through the Barnsdale Park Foundation, the Ebony Showcase, and Los Angeles City College. He launched a music career with the emergence of rap, establishing Ultra Wave Promotions (now Ultra Wave Media), and eventually directed over 30 music videos. Everett was also an accomplished editor, producer, and writer. And he was a true child of Los Angeles, raised by his mother and grandmother, it was only in 1992 that he reconnected with his father, a former Black Panther, and began to make this film.

Watch the trailer here.


“And the winner is…” Hope…illness…dysfunctional families….selfish careerists…and hope….there is hope. Even the ending….an open ending…no answer…but hope…If only five out of hundreds, even if statistics say 99% will die….there is hope. This is the film which we need today and this is the film we will remember for the next 20 years, if we live that long.

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Artwork by Ane Brun/Motlys

Hope should win the Oscar© for Best International Film. This beautiful, realistic film has elements we have seen many times, but here they are recombined in a way we can all empathize with and which strengthens us by giving us all hope.

The film is truly from the heart of the director as it is based upon her own life experience. Maria Sødahl, whose terminal cancer diagnosis led to a nine-year hiatus from filmmaking has put her all into Hope which marks her return to the world of cinema. Sødahl’s previous film was her debut film in 2010. Limbo garnered…


Much to hear, see and do, well organized and as always inclusive and democratically organized. One does not notice the head of the festival because there is no grandstanding. Today’s festivals have leaders you do not notice and that is OK. You can do your business and do not have to stand in awe wishing you were a part of it. You are. You find how to navigate its streets and screenings and conferences and you are in.

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International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) offers a high quality line-up of carefully selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art. The festival’s focus is on recent work by talented new filmmakers, with space for retrospectives and themed programmes. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through its co-production market CineMart, its Hubert Bals Fund, Rotterdam Lab and other industry activities. Adapting to the Covid-19 restrictions, IFFR is to celebrate its 50th edition as an expanded multi-part festival, taking place online from 1 to 7 February and in hybrid form from 2 to 6 June, with both…


So very cinematic in its use of gorgeous colors and unusual framing. The love scene was also very well done and uniquely appealing! Flesh against the flesh background. The story itself leads you into your own mind with your own longings as you design a story you too have, at least once in your life, created about love.

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Márta, a 40-year-old neurosurgeon, falls in love. She leaves her shining American career behind and returns to a cynical and discouraged Budapest to start a new life with the man she loves. At their prearranged time and place, she waits for him at the Liberty Bridge. But he does not appear. Márta starts to search for him desperately. When she finally finds him, the love of her life claims that they have never met before. …

Sydney Levine

Sydney’s 40+ years in international film business include exec positions in acquisitions, twice selling FilmFinders, the 1st film database, teaching & writing.

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