Berlinale 2020 Competition Lineup Has Films by Abel Ferrara, Christian Petzold And Sally Potter

Abhishek Srivastava - 34 weeks ago

The 70th Berlin International Film Festival is scheduled from 20th February till 1st March. Judging by the lineup it seems that the organizers have left no room for conversations related to diversity but compared to previous year there is a definite drop. Out of the 18 films which are part of the competition line up, six have either been directed or co-directed by women.

My Salinger Year, starring Sigourney Weaver was earlier announced as the opening film of Berlinale 2020. The lineup of films this year will miss big Hollywood stars. Wes Anderson, a perennial favourite of the film festival since 2001, too will miss on the festival with his The French Dispatch. There is every possibility that the film will land up at Cannes. The festival is also conspicuous this year as no produced by the streaming giant is part of the competition this year. 

Amidst the buzz, all eyes will be centered on Ilya Khrzhanovskiy’s DAU. DAU has been in the making since 2006 and is a biopic on Russian physicist Lev Landau. The film unit had specially built the Institute for research in Physics in Ukraine for the shooting where actors came to live and work as if they were in the 50s. 

Below are some main attraction from the completion segment of Berlinale 2020.

(Annabelle Mandeng and Welket Bungué in a still from Berlin Alexanderplatz)


(Director - Burhan Qurbani)

Berlin Alexanderplatz is the modern day adaptation of a novel by Alfred Doblin written in 1929. The book was named among top 100 books of all time in a poll conducted in 2002 among noted writers. Qurbani’s earlier film Shahda was nominated for Golden Berlin Bear in 2010. 

(A still from DAU)

DAU.NATASHA (Germany/Ukraine/UK/Russia) 

(Director - Ilya Khrzhanovskiy)

DAU is the biopic of Soviet scientist Lev Landau. It’s a project which was first mooted in 2006 and with constant evolution, it has now become a part behavioural experiment. Some of the actors in the film were actually living and working on the sets in tune with the lifestyle of the 50s era.

(A still from Bad Tales)

BAD TALES (Italy/Switzerland)

(Directors - Damiano D’Innocenzo and Fabio D’Innocenzo)

Bad Tales deals with the lives of families living in the suburbs of Rome where tension runs high. Director Damiano D’Innocenzo’s claim to fame rests firmly on the much acclaimed Dogman which was written by him. 

(John Magaro in a still from First Cow)


(Director - Kelly Reichardt)

First Cow is about a cook and a loner who after traveling to west has now joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon. After he meets a Chinese immigrant. They together start a business collaboration. 

(A still from The Salt of Tears)

THE SALT OF TEARS (France/Switzerland)

(Director - Philippe Garrel)

The Salt of Tears deals with a young man who travels to Paris to appear for an entrance exam but when he meets a young woman, a relations ship blossoms. Garrel is known for Regular Lovers (2005), J'entends Plus la Guitare (1991) and L'enfant Secret (1979).

(Sidney Flanigan in a still from Never Rarely Sometimes Always)


(Director - Eliza Hittman) 

Eliza Hittman’s film deals with two teenage girls who travel to New York City to seek out medical help after they become pregnant. Eliza’s Beach Rats was the toast of film festivals three year back. 

(Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning in astil from The Roads Not Taken)


(Director - Sally Potter)

The Roads Not Taken is a starry affair with the presence of Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning. The film follows a day in the life of Bardem and his daughter Fanning who tries to grapples with his father’s chaotic mind. Bardem thinks of the possible alternate lives he could have lived. Potter’s The Party was the winner of Guild Film Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017. 

(Poster of Siberia)

SIBERIA (Italy/Germany/Mexico) 

(Director - Abel Ferrara) 

With Siberia, director Abel Ferrara will be collaborating with Willem Dafoe for the sixth time. The film is more about the exploration of language.

(Jacob Matschenz and Paula Beer in a still from Undine)

UNDINE (Germany/France)

(Director - Christian Petzold)

Undine is the latest offering from director Christian Petzold, a Berlin Film festival favourite. Undine is a city guide in Berlin, when her friend leaves her, she goes on a revenge rampage.


Berlinale 2020 / Berlin International Film Festival / Berlin Alexanderplatz / Siberia / Bad Tales / Undine / The Roads Not Taken / Javier Bardem / Elle Fanning / First Cow / DAU

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of The Film Hashery.

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