FILE - The Baeren (Bears) awards are lined up during the award ceremony for the 2020 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, on Feb. 29, 2020. Organizers say the annual Berlin International Film Festival is being put off this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and split into two parts later in 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

The prestigious title of the Golden Bear is an award that many consider to be one of the most prominent accolades in the film industry. For good reason too! Every year, the Berlinale Film Festival rounds around fifteen of the best feature titles of its selected year, in a fight of talent and cinematic artistry. Nearly every Golden Bear winner in years past has demonstrated a keen eye for the advancement of cinema and motion picture art. From Spirited Away to the most recent honouree There Is No Evil, the Berlinale Film Festival will forever remain as an iconic staple of film culture. To celebrate the announcement of its feature-film selection, here’s a rundown of FilmHounds Magazine’s most anticipated titles from this year’s official 2021 selection:

Pictured: I'm Your Man, Next Door, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, Ted K, Petite Maman, Best Sellers, A Cop Movie
Pictured: I’m Your Man, Next Door, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, Ted K, Petite Maman, Best Sellers, A Cop Movie

The latest work from Krabi 2562 director Anocha Suwichakornpong is set to premiere in the Forum category. Her film Come Here is labeled as “a blend of narrative subtlety with a view of history that cuts deep” according to Berlinale programmers. In the Generation selection, both Ninja Baby and Short Vacation appear to be two must-see titles that highlight the coming-of-age sub-genre in two completely different forms. In the Berlinale Special program, the directorial debut from Lina Roessler entitled Best Sellers is bound to enrich audiences with another set of emotionally enriching performances from Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza. On the complete other side of the genre sphere, the Hong-Kong set serial killer drama Limbo should offer Berlinale audiences a great dosage of midnight madness. 

In the Encounters section, Jim Cummings (Thunder Road, Wolf of Snow Hollow) returns with his movie-agent drama The Beta Test. On the complete other side of the spectrum, the Marxist-Vampire dramedy Bloodsuckers is bound to cause a humorous bloody stir amongst the same crowd of dedicated cinephiles. The Canadian-New Zealand co-production Night Raiders is also set to have its world premiere in the Panorama selection. Academy-award winner Taika Waititi has boarded the film as an executive-producer. Also selected in the Panorama section, the Ted Kaczynski biopic starring Sharlto Copley titled Ted K and the Cannes 2020 selected feature Souad are officially set to debut. 

The highly anticipated film from French auteur Xavier Beauvois has been selected for official competition. With film’s such as Of Gods and Men and The Guardians, it’s a safe bet that his latest endeavour Drift Away will be another hotly covered festival title. Speaking of A-List talent, Sandra Hüller and Dan Stevens have paired up for the latest drama I’m Your Man, which is also in competition. While there’s no current plot details available, the film is bound to cause conversation once it arrives at the Berlinale. Another film that has been quietly kept under wraps is Céline Sciamma’s followup to Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Returning to her Tomboy routes, her latest film Petite Maman follows a subtle adolescent friendship. For those familiar with Sciamma’ repertoire, Petite Maman is bound to be another emotionally satisfying tear jerker.

Other auteur work in competition includes Introduction — the latest film from South Korean mumblecore king Hong Sang-Soo.  His latest black-and-white outing starring Kim Min-hee is also ironically enough partially set in Berlin. Daniel Brühl also lands in the middle of competition madness with his debut drama Next Door. Mexican Director Alonso Ruizpalacios also returns after his Berlinale Best Screenplay-Winner Museo with a documentary hybrid feature titled A Cop Movie. Last but certainly not least, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s tryptic titled Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is also set to bow at Berlin. Only great things can be expected from his latest feature, after the success of his critical Cannes sensation Asako I & II

The 71st Berlinale Film Festival is set for an in-person Summer Special event from June 9th-20th. There will also be an exclusive virtual Berlinale Industry Event as part of the European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents, and World Cinema Fund from March 1st-5th.



By David Cuevas

David Cuevas is a writer, reporter, and the official festivals editor (US/Canada) for FilmHounds Magazine. In his spare time, you can find him watching a bunch of movies while contemplating on his own existence.

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