11. The Green Fog (Guy Maddin)
Guy Maddin’s films are informed by cinematic history, yet he processes his visions in a completely original way. The Canadian director’s last film at Berlinale was The Forbidden Room, an epic journey through silent cinema that represented a Faberge egg in its intricate construction.
His latest film, The Green Fog, is a retelling of Vertigo compiled together from old film footage and TV shows that were set in the San Francisco area. One of the most original directors around, Guy Maddin’s latest film is one that cannot be missed.
12. Yardie (Idris Elba)
Adapting the 1993 novel by the Jamaican-born British writer Victor Headley, Yardie seems like the perfect story for Idris Elba to direct. As a black British man who had to go to the USA (The Wire) in order to pick up meaningful roles, his directorial debut will focus on the black experience in 1980s Hackney, London.
This seems like a natural start for the great actor to foray into directing. Aml Ameen, known for playing Trevor in Kidulthood, will star alongside Stephen Graham.
13. The Silence of Others (Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar)
Produced by none other than Pedro Almodóvar, The Silence of Others is a documentary about the survivors of the Franco regime in their journey to prosecute those who persecuted them.
Filmed over the course of four years, the film will focus on the lawsuit and those trying to pursue it. As a result it should shed an interesting light on a Spain that is still divided — especially in light of recent events in Catalonia.
14. Lemonade (Ioana Uricaru)
Some great films have come out of the Romanian new wave in the past 15 years. Titles such as The Death of Mr Lazarescu and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days are definitely hard to watch, but the rewards of such viewing can be immense.
Produced by Cristian Mungiu, Lemonade, directed by Iona Uricaru, will tell the story of a single mother from Romania who gets married in the USA while she is only there on a temporary visa. The tale, depicting her process to get a green card, will see her struggle against unfair stereotypes.
15. Ága (Milko Lazarov)
Directed by Milko Lazarov, and starring Mikhail Aprosimov and Galina Tikhonova, Àga will tell the story of Nanuk and Sedna, who dream of rejoining their family.
Set in the far north during a despairing Winter, it should be a riveting examination of love, tradition and the harshness of nature. This will be a milestone for Bulgarian cinema as it marks the first time a Bulgarian film will close the official main programme in Berlinale history.
16. 7 Days in Entebbe (José Padilha)
Another addition to the well-populated terrorists-on-a-plane genre, 7 Days in Entebbe will star both Daniel Brühl and Rosumand Pike. It is a dramatisation of the real life story regarding the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 from Tel Aviv to Paris.
These terrorists represented the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the plane they hijack is eventually forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda — thus giving the film its name. With such brilliant actors behind the camera, we can expect a well-made thriller here.
17. Black 47 (Lance Daly)
Black 47 looks like one of the most vital films of the entire festival. Taking place in Ireland during the Great Famine, it will follow an Irish Ranger who returns to Ireland after fighting for the British Army abroad. It should be a personal journey as he finally realises the extent to which the British people have devastated his homeland.
A part of history that is constantly misrepresented — as the famine was largely caused by the British and qualifies as state-sponsored genocide — Black 47 will hopefully remind the mainstream of the atrocity that really went on. It will star Hugo Weaving and James Frencheville.
18. Touch Me Not (Adina Pintilie)
The second film from Romania on this list, Touch Me Not is director Adina Pintilie’s debut feature. According to the synopsis, it will explore how intimacy manifests itself in the human experience, hopefully making the viewer reflect on their own personal journey.
Featuring a strong ensemble cast of Laura Benson, Tomas Lemerquis and Irmena Chichikova, this film has already had a lot of buzz ahead of its competition premiere at the Berlinale.
19. The Prayer (Cedric Kahn)
The latest film by respected director Cédric Kahn tells the story of a drug addict who moves to the mountains in the hope of curing himself. From there he joins a community of former addicts who use the power of prayer in the hope of restoring themselves.
This film promises to be an exciting exploration of faith and healing — oft unrepresented in film — starring upcoming actors such as Anthony Bajon and Damen Chapelle. It will premiere in the competition.
20. Eldorado (Markus Imhoof)
As the Berlin Film Festival seeks to be a catalyst for change in the wider world, the movies they show prove to be a reflection of that desire. The latest film by the Swiss director Markus Imhoof is no exception.
Like Fire At Sea, which premiered in Berlin two years ago, this is another film exploring the refugee crisis. Inspired by his own meeting with an Italian child refugee during World War II, this film will show how migrants and refugees are being dealt with in the present day — surveying the Mediterranean Sea, Italy and the director’s native country of Switzerland.
Author Bio: Redmond Bacon is a professional film writer and amateur musician from London. Currently based in Berlin (Brexit), most of his waking hours are spent around either watching, discussing, or thinking about movies. Sometimes he reads a book.