Who is in with a chance of picking up the Golden Bear, what issues are young filmmakers around the world interested in, and which films are the hot topic of discussion at parties and in cinema foyers? International bloggers and film journalists will be following the Berlinale on behalf of Goethe.de – in interviews, critiques and background reports.
The 66th Berlin International Film Festival will begin on 11 February 2016. Bloggers and film journalists from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Norway and Spain will be in Berlin on behalf of the Goethe-Institut to report on Germany’s leading film festival and this year’s festival programme.
The central focus of the reports will be on the filmmakers and their contributions to this year’s festival: how will the Danish and Italian contenders perform in the race for the coveted awards? How strong are the Chinese productions this year? Are the current debates about refugees and migration reflected in the filmmakers’ submissions? Which formal innovations have been incorporated into the invited films? And how will the contributions from German filmmakers fare by international standards?
The coverage is rounded off with film reviews by the Talent Press, a joint project of Berlinale Talents, Goethe-Institut, and FIPRESCI (the International Federation of Film Critics) that invites young international film critics to Berlin.
Sam de Wilde – Belgium
Photo: Bibí Euse
is a freelance film critic. He studied film history at Antwerp University and was nominated for de Prijs voor de Jonge Kunstkritiek (Price for Young Filmcritics) in 2014. He regularly contributes to the Belgian film magazines Oogst
, Knack Focus
and de Filmkrant
. He loves westerns, Buster Keaton and the film Notting Hill
Camila Gonzatto – Brazil
Photo: © Private
writes and directs films for cinema and television. She did her Master’s in creative writing at PUCRS University in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and is currently writing her PhD thesis in that field under an academic exchange with the Free University of Berlin.
Jutta Brendemühl – Canada
Photo: © Goethe-Institut
is the Goethe-Institut Toronto's Program Curator and year-round blogger at GermanFilm@Canada. Jutta is lucky to love what she does: arts and cultural programming across the genres and through a global lens. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Rauschenberg, Wim Wenders, Pina Bausch, and other luminaries. She has an M.A. in English Literature.
Yun-hua Chen – China
was born in Taichung, and studied in Taipei, France and Scotland. She obtained her PhD in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews (Scotland). Based in Berlin at the moment, she writes regularly for Film International
and academica journals, and gives talks at international conferences and film seminars.
Morten Vejlgaard Just – Denmark
Photo: Linn Grubbström
is editor-in-chief of the film portal Filmz.dk, where he keeps himself busy with film reviews and news on a daily basis. Film is his passion, and as a true film nerd, his greatest dream is not to meet Leonardo DiCaprio, but his German dubbing voice Gerrit Schmidt-Foss instead. Morten has been a Berlinale blogger from the very beginning, and is a member of the goethe.de/daenemark team since 2014.
Ahmed Shawky – Egypt
Photo: © Private
is a blogger and film critic. He studied pharmacology and media sciences, and since 2009 has been working primarily as an author in the areas of film and art, including as an independent critic at international and Arabic film festivals.
Philipp Bühler – Germany
Photo: © Private
has been reporting as a free-lance film critic on the Berlinale since 2000, among other things for the Berliner Zeitung
. Having majored in history and English language and culture at university, he works for the German Federal Centre for Political Education and the film classics programme of the German Film Academy in the area of cinema education. He had also co-authored and edited a range of popular book series on cinema.
Venia Vergou – Greece
is a free lance film critic. After her M.A. in Film Studies and European Cinema (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK) she worked for the Greek Athinorama magazine (2001-2008) and the Greek Film Archive (2013-2015). This and other experiences validated her confidence in cinema being a wonderful ocean for critical thought and analysis.
Veronika Kusumaryati – Indonesia
finished her undergraduate study in Cinema Studies at the Jakarta Arts Institute in Indonesia. She has worked as a curator with specialization in experimental and documentary practices. Her writings have appeared in publications such as the Jakarta Post and Netpac Asia. She is currently working on her dissertation at the Department of Anthropology with a secondary in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University.
Vincenzo Patanè – Italy
is the founder and editor of the Italian film magazine Taxidrivers
and author of a radio show on cinema called La febbre del sabato sera
. Furthermore, he is art director of the monograph La meglio gioventù del cinema italiano
on the careers of the leading Italian actors of the last 20 years. He has been living in Berlin as a free-lance journalist since 2010.
Mugambi Nthiga – Kenia
Photo: Operetar Photography
is an actor and writer who has worked in Nairobi, Philadelphia and New York. He has had principal roles in the Kenyan films Nairobi Half Life
and Stories Of Our Lives
, and co-wrote the film Kati Kati
from 2016. He created Stories From The Mall
, a theatre tribute to the 2007 Westgate attack in Nairobi, and is part of an improv comedy group called “Because You Said So”. In 2015, he started the film viewing and critiquing project #44Films.
Julia Thurnau – Norway
Photo: © Private
is a German-French actor. She studied visual arts at the Einar Granum School of Fine Art in Norway and at the Berlin University of the Arts. There she attended philosophy seminars under Byung-Chul Han and courses in academic and artistic writing. In film she is particularly interested in gender-related themes.
Pablo López Barbero – Spain
Photo: © Filiz Penzkofer
is a journalist, comes from Madrid and lives in Berlin. He studied journalism at the Complutense University of Madrid. He worked there in a number of editorial teams until 2012, when he decided to move to the German capital, where he has lived since then. His passions are cinema and audio-visual media. He currently works for the Deutsche Welle news desk and produces contributions for a variety of publications.