Film Fest Dispatch From Berlinale 2020

By HIFF | March 6, 2020

HIFF’s Director of Programming, Anna Page just recently returned from the Berlin Film Festival, a.k.a. Berlinale, continuing the festival’s programming trips to look for the best in international cinema to bring back to Hawai‘i. Below is her report.

HIFF Director of Programming, Anna Page

Despite the cold weather and the coronavirus concerns, the 2020 Berlin Film Festival (also known as the Berlinale) proved to be a productive and fruitful event for the HIFF team. As HIFF’s Director of Programming, I made my annual trek to Berlin this year, looking for last minute additions to the upcoming Spring Showcase and for an early look at upcoming films for the 40th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival in November. With a new programming team leading this year’s Berlinale, I was curious and excited about the Festival’s selection this year.

At the concurrent industry event, the European Film Market, I was able to meet with over 20 companies from around the world, working towards securing films for both Spring and Fall. While at the Festival I was able to view over 25 international films.

Some of the highlights included competition film FIRST COW, Kelly Reichardt’s period western about an unlikely duo who team up to sell the hottest baked goods in pre-colonial Oregon. Another highlight was German filmmaker Christian Petzold’s fantasy drama UNDINE about a real life mermaid living in Berlin. The Panorama program continued to push the envelope with the genre bending MOGUL MOWGLI from the UK starring Riz Ahmed as a rapper with mysterious illness. Another standout was SUK SUK from Hong Kong, a romantic drama about the forbidden love between two older men from director Ray Yeung (FRONT COVER).

This year’s Berlin Festival didn’t disappoint, so keep an eye out for some of these films at a HIFF near you!