LONDON -- The Berlin Film Festival's Panorama section has selected its first films. It unveiled 19 titles on Thursday out of a total 50 pics that will be in the program, which favors innovative and alternative pics.
Among the pics confirmed so far are those by Michel Gondry, Kutlug Ataman, Robert Lepage, Sophie Fillieres, Benjamin Heisenberg, Maximilian Erlenwein, John Michael McDonagh and Tsai Ming-liang.
"Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?," an animated docu in which the director converses with philosopher/linguist/political activist Noam Chomsky, premiered last month at DOC NYC, the Gotham documentary festival.
The lineup includes two directorial debuts by U.S. helmers, "Things People Do" by Saar Klein, and "The Better Angels" by A. J. Edwards.
Latin America will be well represented. Two Brazilian productions were named today -- Daniel Ribeiro's "Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho" (The Way He Looks), and "O Homem das Multidoes"(The Man of the Crowd)," the latest film from Marcelo Gomes ("Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures"), here co-directing with Cao Guimaraes.
"The Man of the Crowd" picks up on themes of loneliness and a search for love first explored by Gomes in his second feature, road movie "I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Want."
The opening film of the Panorama Special will be Jalil Lespert's "Yves Saint Laurent" on Feb. 7. The film will play in Berlin's flagship cinema, the Zoo Palast, which will be re-inaugurated as a Berlinale venue after extensive renovations.
Lespert appeared as a thesp in Robert Guediguian's "Le Promeneur du Champ de Mars," which played in the Berlinale's Competition section in 2005.
"Arrete ou je continue" (If You Don't, I Will) (France)
Dir: Sophie Fillieres
With Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric
"Bai Mi Zha Dan Ke" (The Rice Bomber) (Taiwan)
Dir: Cho Li
With Huang Chien-wei, Nikki Hsieh, Michael Chang
"Bing Du" (Ice Poison)