Tag Archives: Berlin International Film Festival

Women Filmmakers Set To Shine At The Berlin International Film Festival

Berlin International Film Festival is Europe’s first major film festival of the year, and starts on Thursday.

Founded in 1951, The Berlin International Film Festival is one of the world’s leading film festivals and most reputable media events. Every year, the festival showcases up to more than 400 films across several genres, representing a comprehensive sampling of the cinematic world. Around 20 films compete for the top awards, called the Golden and Silver Bears. It’s also one of Europe’s three major film festivals, which also include the Venice International Film Festival and the Cannes International Film Festival.

Now in its 65th year, the festival will be showcasing a number of new movies, which will put women in the spotlight. A number of leading female actress, directors and producer are expected to be in attendance, premiering their latest films.

Dieter Kosslick, who has run the festival since 2001, told reporters that many of the more than 400 films that will screen focused on “strong women in extreme situations”.

Who to look out for…

The festival will begin with Oscar winner Juliette Binoche playing Josephine Peary, a woman who accompanied her explorer husband, Robert, on treacherous Arctic expeditions, in Nobody Wants the Night. The film is directed by Spain’s Isabel Coixet, only the second woman in the history of the Berlinale, as the event is known, to hold the coveted opening-night slot.

Nicole Kidman plays British adventurer and spy Gertrude Bell opposite former Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson as TE Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, in German veteran Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert.

Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett has two Berlin entries. She closes the festival as the wicked stepmother in Disney’s live action Cinderella and is featured alongside Christian Bale and Natalie Portman in Terence Malick’s long-awaited Knight of Cups.

Portman, now Paris-based with her choreographer husband Benjamin Millepied heading the Paris Opera Ballet, will visit Berlin for Knight and as executive producer of The Seventh Fire documentary about Native American gangs.

Lea Seydoux, the latest Bond girl in the British spy franchise, returns to Berlin with French director Benoit Jacquot in Diary of a Chambermaid, based on a novel already adapted by cinema greats Jean Renoir and Luis Bunuel.

British actress Helen Mirren stars in Woman in Gold, the true story of Holocaust survivor Maria Altmann who fought the Austrian government for nearly a decade for restitution of valuable Klimt paintings that the Nazis stole from her family.

Although the proportion of female directors has not yet taken a 50-percent stake, women are heavily featured in the 2015 festival, and the red carpet appearances of these female stars have been long anticipated by the public.

For an Honest Portrayal of Lesbian Parenting, then Watch German Film ‘Two Mothers’

There is a film due out on DVD that you should add to your wish list. The German film, by first-time feature writer and director Anne Zohra Berrached, ‘Two Mothers’ (Zwei Mütter) is based on the experiences of several real lesbian couples struggles to conceive a baby.

The film has already won the FGYO Award for best dialogue at its Berlin International Film Festival. Its has also gone on to earn acclaim at several film festivals around the world, including acting awards for lead actresses, Sabine Wolf and Karina Plachetka, who play the married lesbian couple Katja and Isabella looking to have a child.

The story follows the lesbian couple’s path to parenthood. However, when they decide to have a child, they are confronted with unexpected obstacles. Despite living in the relatively progressive Germany, sperm banks and fertility clinics refuse to treat the couple, citing legal reasons.

Whilst Katja begins to doubt if they should continue, Isabelle is relentless in her pursuit of a baby, and after months of stessful and pricey procedures, they turn to a sperm donor. As weeks pass by, Katja starts doubting and discovers that Isa is willing to betray their relationship in order to fulfill her wish of becoming pregnant.

The film explores the troubles the couple face, and in particular Katja, who is worried about her place in Isabella’s pregnancy and in the life of their future child, since she will technically not be the mother or father in the most literal sense. She increasingly feels like an outsider and a passive observer in Isabella’s quest.

The dialogue in the movie is honest and pointed. Katja and Isabella’s relationship is presented sincerely and doesn’t feel contrived. The story unravels slowly and gently to explore the frustrating reality and the emotional burden of such a journey on a relationship.

There is no music to distract or manipulate feelings, nor are there many side characters, so the focus is solely on couple. Both Sabine Wolf and Karina Plachetka performances are strong and very relatable.


The movie that tackles a topic lesbian pregnancy very well, which will appeal to lesbian couples in a similar situation or to those curious about the process. It does not paint a blissful picture, however, and shows the dangers both implicit and explicit to lesbian parenting.