Berlinale 2017 First Wave: New Films by Sally Potter & Aki Kaurismäki Among Highlights

Editor, Canada; Montréal, Canada (@bonnequin)
Berlinale 2017 First Wave: New Films by Sally Potter & Aki Kaurismäki Among Highlights

Berlinale, where many European and world titles begin their festival journey of the calendar year, has announced its first competition titles and a few from the Berlinale Special section. New films by some of the top European auteurs will featured, including Sally Potter, Aki Kaurismäki, and Agnieska Holland.

According to IMDB, Potter's film The Party is "a comedy wrapped around a tragedy. It starts as a celebration and ends with blood on the floor." This certainly gives the impression of a classic British murder-mystery. But with Potter at the helm, and stars such as Kristen Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Bruno Ganz, and Cherry Jones, I think we can expect something rather radical from one of the UK's great directors. Other European highlights include Holland's Pokot; there is no information as to the story of the film, but Holland has been working in US television in recent years (Treme, Rosemary's Baby, House of Cards), so it will be interesting to see if that has been an influence. Kaurismäki returns with The Other Side of Hope, the second in the director's port city trilogy, about a Syrian refugee seeking asylum in Helsinki. Spain's Fernando Trueba will have a film in the Berlinale Special section, the grand comedy The Queen of Spain starring Penelope Cruz, Cary Elwes, Javier Cámara and Mandy Patinkin, about the rather tumultuous filmming of a Spanish epic film in the 1930s.

From other parts of the world, there is the world premiere of Chilean director Sebastián Leilo's A Fantastic Woman, and The Dinner by Oren Moverman and starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Steve Coogan, about parents who must decide how to handle a violent crime committed by their children.

Here is the list of the titles announced so far. The festival takes place in early February.


A teströl és a lélekröl (On Body and Soul)


By Ildiko Enyedi (My 20th Century, Simon the Magician)

With Géza Morcsányi, Alexandra Borbély, Zoltán Schneider

World premiere

Ana, mon amour

Romania / Germany / France

By Călin Peter Netzer (Child‘s Pose, Maria)

With Mircea Postelnicu, Diana Cavallioti, Carmen Tănase, Adrian Titieni, Vlad Ivanov

World premiere

Beuys - Documentary


By Andres Veiel (Black Box Germany, Addicted To Acting, If not us, Who)

World premiere


Portugal / France

By Teresa Villaverde (The Major Age, The Mutants, Trance)

With João Pedro Vaz, Alice Albergaria Borges, Beatriz Batarda, Clara Jost

World premiere

The Dinner


By Oren Moverman (The Messenger, Rampart)

With Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny

World premiere


France / Senegal / Belgium / Germany / Lebanon

By Alain Gomis (L’Afrance, Andalucia, Tey)

With Véro Tshanda Beya, Gaetan Claudia, Papi Mpaka

World premiere

The Party

United Kingdom

By Sally Potter (Orlando, Yes, Ginger & Rosa)

With Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall

World premiere

Pokot (Spoor)

Poland / Germany / Czech Republic / Sweden / Slovak Republic

By Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa, Bitter Harvest, In Darkness)

With Agnieszka Mandat, Wiktor Zborowski, Miroslav Krobot, Jakub Gierszał, Patricia Volny, Borys Szyc

World premiere

Toivon tuolla puolen (The Other Side of Hope)


By Aki Kaurismäki (The Match Factory Girl, Juha, Le Havre)

With Sakari Kuosmanen, Sherwan Haji

International premiere

Una Mujer Fantástica

Chile / Germany / USA / Spain

By Sebastián Lelio (El Año del Tigre, Gloria)

With Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Küppenheim, Amparo Noguera

World premiere

Berlinale Special Gala at the Friedrichstadt-Palast

La Reina de España (The Queen of Spain)


By Fernando Trueba (The Year of Awakening, Belle Époque, The Girl of Your Dreams)

With Penélope Cruz, Antonio Resines, Chino Darín, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Neus Asensi, Ana Belén

International premiere

Le jeune Karl Marx (The Young Karl Marx)

France / Germany / Belgium

By Raoul Peck (Sometimes In April, Moloch Tropical, Fatal Assistance)

With August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Hannah Steele, Olivier Gourmet

World premiere

Últimos días en La Habana (Last Days in Havana)

Cuba / Spain

By Fernando Pérez (Life Is to Whistle, Madrigal)

With Jorge Martínez, Patricio Wood, Gabriela Ramos

European premiere

Berlinale Special at the Volksbühne

Acht Stunden sind kein Tag (Eight Hours Don't Make a Day)

Federal Republic of Germany 1972 – TV series with 5 episodes

By Rainer Werner Fassbinder

With Hanna Schygulla, Gottfried John, Luise Ullrich, Werner Finck, Irm Hermann

World premiere of the restored version

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