Australia Well Represented at Berlinale 2023 With Eight Films Featured
Australian projects abound at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival, two of which — Ivan Sen’s Limbo and Rolf de Heer’s The Survival of Kindness — selected for the Main Competition.
Simon Baker in Limbo © Bunya Productions
The two films lead seven new works featured in various categories in the festival, which runs from February 16 to 26.
They are joined by Bad Behaviour, Hello Dankness, Sweet As, Talk to Me, and Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black).
Australian classic comedy-drama Muriel’s Wedding, meanwhile, is set to be screened in the Retrospective program of the major international film festival.
Screen Australia lauded the high volume of quality projects from the country at this year’s edition of Berlinale, highlighting that it is a testament to Australian filmmakers’ abilities as well as the appeal for stories that they have to tell abroad.
“It’s a real coup for Australia to have such strong representation across a range of categories at this prestigious festival, including new features, episodic drama, short film, and a retrospective,” said Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason.
Below are the Australian projects at the 2023 Berlinale:
- Limbo (Main Competition) is a desert noir highlighting the complexities of loss and injustice experienced by First Nations Australians. It stars Simon Baker and is produced by Bunya Productions. The film is presented by the ABC and Screen Queensland in association with Windalong Films and the South Australian Film Corporation.
- The Survival of Kindness (Main Competition) is an allegorical tale of race and inequality from de Heer who is returning to the Main Competition after Alexandra’s Project in 2003. The film is supported by Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival, and Screen Tasmania.
- Bad Behaviour (Berlinale Series) is a four-part drama series that dives into the teenage experience of acceptance and social power. It is based on the book by Rebecca Starford of the same title. It received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with over-the-top streaming service Stan.
- Hello Dankness (Panorama) is a feature from creative duo Soda Jerk. The film takes the form of a suburban musical that bears witness to the psychotropic cultural spectacle of the period 2016 to 2021 and the mythologies and lore that arose around it. It was produced with assistance from the Adelaide Film Festival, Australia Council for the Arts and Samstag Museum of Art.
- Talk To Me (Berlinale Special) is a psychological horror movie and the debut feature from internet sensation RackaRacka — Danny and Michael Philippou. It received support from Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival, KOJO Studios, Head Gear Films and Hold Standard.
- Sweet As (KPlus) is the debut feature of Nyul Nyul/Yawuru director Jub Clerc and is a coming-of-age road movie inspired by her own experience.
- Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black) (Berlinale Shorts) is a short film from writer-directors Matthew Thorne and Derik Lynch and follows Yankunytjatjara man Lynch’s road trip back to Country for spiritual healing. The film got assistance from Other Pictures, Switch Productions, the South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund and Pool Collective.
A history of Australian titles at the Berlin Film Festival is available at the Screen Australia website (www.screenaustralia.gov.au) under Festivals and Markets.
This year’s Berlin film festival will be attended by Cate Blanchett who will have her new film TAR premiering in Berlinale Special. She will also speak at the Berlinale Talents program along with Australian talents Eliza Scanlen in the Directing discipline and Nisa East for Cinematography.
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