And it’s a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!

Hugh Jackman - Logan ©Berlinale
Hugh Jackman – Logan
©Berlinale

My Goodness!

What a fabulous ten (10) days we have had in Berlin.

Just wow!

Sunday was the last day of the Berlin International Film Festival otherwise known as the Berlinale! And what a wonderful time we all had!

We had a long, fantastic fortnight of films, films, and yes more films!

I live in Berlin. And of course, I’ve been to the Berlinale before but last year was the first time ever, to go there as a press person.

Never as a professional journalist!

So this year, I went as a pro!

Let me tell you.

It was cool stuff!

Jeremy Miliker - The Best of All Worlds - was looking pretty dashing! ©Berlinale
Jeremy Miliker – The Best of All Worlds – was looking pretty dashing!
©Berlinale

Berlin has been hobnobbing with the best. If it’s good enough for the likes of the talented Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (the X-Men), Penélope Cruz, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter & Twilight) surely, it must be good enough for you!

In the flurry of excitement and talented art, I managed to watch forty-four (44) films in just ten (10) days.

Forty-Four!

I admit. It was a little exhausting but some films were long and some weren’t.

Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!
Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!

I’m a Vice-Principal & Corporate English Manager,  I’m married and have a teenage son, so I always have to get smart and creative. During the week, I went to only two movies per day – late night – and then really went crazy over the weekend.

I must be bonkers!

Book your hotel here!

The beautiful Sienna Miller & the gorgeous Robert Pattinson at the Berlinale ©Berlinale
The beautiful Sienna Miller & the gorgeous Robert Pattinson at the Berlinale
©Berlinale

Here are the films that I watched:

T2 Trainspotting - Ewen Bremner, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller & Robert Carlyle © Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH
T2 Trainspotting – Ewen Bremner, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller & Robert Carlyle
© Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH
  • T2 Trainspotting
  • The Party
  • Viceroy’s House
  • Logan
  • The Best Of All Worlds or Die beste aller Welten
  • Django
  • Bye Bye Germany or Es war einmal in Deutschland…
  • Vaya
  • Becoming Who I Was
  • Menashe
Dream Boat ©Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion
Dream Boat
©Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion
  • Dream Boat
  • Casting JonBenet
  • Berlin Syndrome
  • 1945
  • Vazante
  • Animal or Tiere
  • Foreign Body or Jassad gharib
  • Mr. Long
  • Ciao Ciao
  • Wallay
The Other Side of Hope - Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula Malla Hukkanen ©Sputnik Oy
The Other Side of Hope – Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula- Malla Hukkanen
©Sputnik Oy
  • The Other Side of Hope or Toivon tuolla puolen
  • God’s Own Country
  • Stonehead or Shi Tou
  • The Tundra Book. A Ta or Kniga Tundry. Povest’ o Vukvukaye
  • My Wonderful West Berlin or Mein wunderbares West-Berlin
  • The Taste of Betel Nut or Bing Lang Xue
  • Railway Sleepers or Mon rot fai
  • Just Like Our Parents or Como Nossos Pais
  • Grandfather or Aaba
  • Black Head Cow or Engiteng’ Narok Lukunya
The Dress on Her - Rose Yu & Peggy Tseng ©Lee Meng Ting
The Dress on Her – Rose Yu & Peggy Tseng
©Lee Meng Ting
  • The Dress on Her
  • Insyriated
  • In a Nutshell
  • Li.le
  • My Gay Sister or Min Homosyster
  • Swedish Cousin or La prima sueca
  • Playground or Terrain de jeux
  • Volcanoisland or Vulkánsziget
  • White Riot: London
  • The Catch
Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr - Abdou Khadir Ndiaye ©Cinekap
Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr – Abdou Khadir Ndiaye
©Cinekap
  • Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr
  • Promise
  • The Jungle Knows You Better Than You Do
  • Sirens

In my opinion, every film was brilliant, and none were duds!

So without further ado, here are the films that I think are going to be the next big thing, in alphabetical order!

AND IT’S A WRAP!

HOW TO SEE THE NEXT BIG THING AT THE MOVIES. PLUS VERY NEW STUFF!

Group selfie with everyone! - Viceroy's House ©Berlinale
Group selfie with everyone! – Viceroy’s House
©Berlinale

THE HITS FOR EVERYONE!

1. Becoming Who I Was

Becoming Who I Was ©Sonamu Films
Becoming Who I Was
©Sonamu Films

A seemingly ordinary boy (Padma Angdu) who lives in the Himalayan region of India, discovers (at the age of 5), that he is the highest ranking reincarnated Tibetan monk, giving him the noble and spiritual title of Rinpoche! However, the fact that the young boy was born in the India and hence in the wrong place, leads to his banishment from the local monastery in Ladakh. And so the lad is separated from his destiny, his spiritual monastery and thus his disciples, as his monastery is in closed-door Chinese Tibet!

This film is the real-life story of his struggle to get into Tibet and back to his people, with the help of his guardian, teacher and godfather Urgyan Rickzen.

I won’t tell you whether he succeeds, but I can tell you that there was not a dry eye in the room, and various sounds of sniffing and blowing of handkerchiefs!

If you can find this documentary, you must watch it!

2. Logan

Logan - Dafne Kenn, Hugh Jackman ©2017 Twentieth Century Fox
Logan – Dafne Kenn, Hugh Jackman
©2017 Twentieth Century Fox

I’m thinking that Logan, needs no introduction but if you’ve been living under a stone in the last ten (17) years, he’s also known as The Wolverine, from the X-Men!

The Wolverine is one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created and happily, Hugh Jackman was more than able to reprise his iconic role as The Wolverine for one final time. Mind you, this isn’t your every-day bubble-gum X-Men saga, ‘cos the film is bloody, violent, disturbing and raw, so get ready to hold onto your seat.

We saw it in a press-only screening, so I couldn’t make any comment about it when I first watched it!

As the only girl in a family of boys, my inclusion into the MARVEL family, and any other male-dominated comic / magazine, was always going to be a thing.

It’s 2029 and the mutants are gone – or almost gone. Could this be the last we hear of Logan? If you’re male, you’re going to love it. I know I did!

3. T2 Trainspotting

T2 Trainspotting - Jonny Lee Miller & Ewan McGregor ©Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH
T2 Trainspotting – Jonny Lee Miller & Ewan McGregor
©Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH

Yeeeees!

They’re back.

The boys are back in town, looking as roguish as when we last left them, 21 years ago!

Yikes!

It was the 90’s and for many people, the original Trainspotting film provided an adrenalin rush to the British movie scene, injecting the soundtrack of Underworld’s – Born Slippy NUXX – raves, techno clubs, ecstasy, poverty, politics, and the reality of a dead-end life into Scotland, and many parts of forgotten Britain at the time.

Trainspotting pretty much made careers out of our unforgettable anti-heroes – Ewan McGregor (Renton), Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy), Robert Carlyle (Begbie), and Ewen Bremner (Spud). I mean, I have the original book written by Irvine Welsh, I’ve seen the film a million times, and I even have the soundtrack somewhere, as we all use to go mad with it! As for me, it was the music more than anything that really made the film a cult one.

I’m amazed that Danny Boyle managed to get everyone together again with a shoot of over 70 locations, 12 sets, and 55 days, but manage they did, and they all look great. Indeed, the two main characters still manage to get into a pair of skinny jeans, and that’s saying a lot.

I won’t say any more except to say that T2 Trainspotting is a continuation of the first film, with flashbacks here and there, and references to the original story.

I loved it, and will most likely watch it again when it comes out at the cinema. You should too!

Book your hotel here!

4. Viceroy’s House

Viceroy’s House - Hugh Bonneville & Gillian Anderson Kerry Monteen ©Bend It Films Pathé
Viceroy’s House – Hugh Bonneville & Gillian Anderson
Kerry Monteen ©Bend It Films Pathé

Viceroy’s House is the personal story of the family of the British director – Gurinder Chadha.

The film is about the 1947 Partition of India into Pakistan, and how it affected everyone involved. The story takes place entirely in Viceroy’s House, the British Raj’s seat of government in Delhi, to create an Upstairs, Downstairs vision of Partition. The film focuses on the negotiations upstairs between Lord Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy of India, and India’s new political leaders Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah, whilst interweaving the stories of the local Indians downstairs (their hopes and fears in relation to how these negotiations will impact their own lives).

The combination of British and Indian talent, gave Gurinder the opportunity to make a true-life British historical epic which is both sorrowful and heartwarming. With talented actors such as Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson and Michael Gambon. And she succeeds.

In fact, there is a twist to the story, but you’ll have to watch the film to find out. I suggest that you do so!

THE HITS FOR FILM NERDS

If you’re really into independent or international films, then the following list will please you, and whet your appetite, for good quality film-making.

Films that don’t need to worry about whether the audience will “get it” or appeal to 12 year old boys. In short, intelligent films!

Here goes:

The Party - Timothy Spall ©Oxwich Media Limited Adventure Pictures Limited
The Party – Timothy Spall
©Oxwich Media Limited Adventure Pictures Limited
  • The Party is a black and white subtly witty comedy replete, with sharp-tongued dialogue, that later veers off into tragedy. Very cleverly made and with a stellar cast.
Vazante -Alexandre de Sena, Adão de Fátima Gomes, Adelsson Gonçalo Higino & Celso Timoteo Pereira ©Ricardo Teles
Vazante -Alexandre de Sena, Adão de Fátima Gomes, Adelsson Gonçalo Higino & Celso Timoteo Pereira
©Ricardo Teles
  • Vazante is a black and white film based on 1821 Brazil. It showcases a slave trader who marries a 12 year old girl, which leads to  violence, prejudice, and inevitably, tragedy.
Menashe - The first Yiddish film to be presented at the Berlinale. Ever! © Federica Valabrega
Menashe – The first Yiddish film to be presented at the Berlinale. Ever!
© Federica Valabrega
  • Menashe is about religion and tradition that determine everyday life in the Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Brooklyn. The film is based in part, on the true life story of Menashe Lustig who after his wife dies, is pressured to re-marry as quickly as possible, even though he doesn’t want to! In the vein of a tragi-comedy, he attracts one misfortune after another.

In a way, Menashe is quite funny!

Casting JonBenet ©Netflix Michael Latham
Casting JonBenet
©Netflix Michael Latham
  • Casting JonBenet is a sly and stylized exploration of the world’s most sensational child-murder case – the unsolved death of six-year-old American beauty queen – JonBenet Ramsey. After years of media speculation and public fascination, we are presented with a documentary hybrid examining the macabre legacy of the starlet.
Berlin Syndrome - Max Riemelt & Teresa Palmer ©Berlinale
Berlin Syndrome – Max Riemelt & Teresa Palmer
©Berlinale
  • Berlin Syndrome is a film about an Australian backpacker who finds herself in Berlin, meets a friendly English teacher on the street, spends a night with him, and soon finds out that when he goes off to work, she is locked in! Cut off from the rest of the world, Clare experiences terrifying weeks during which she vacillates between yielding to her kidnappers’ obsessions, and continuously trying to escape.

We’ve all seen disturbing psychopathic thrillers before, but they’ve never been about fun-living hedonistic Berlin.

Gulp!

Book your hotel here!

Animals - Birgit Minichmayr & Philipp Hochmair ©tellfilm, Andreas Seibert
Animals – Birgit Minichmayr & Philipp Hochmair
©tellfilm, Andreas Seibert
  • Animal or Tiere is a film about an Austrian couple who plan to spend a few months in Switzerland. However, on the way to their rented mountain-hill house, they have an accident with some sheep on a country road. This accident initiates a whole series of weird and unsettling experiences for the couple, which ultimately leaves them both incapable of being sure about where exactly where they are: in the real world, or in someone else’s imagination…

Very cleverly done.

The Other Side of Hope - Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula Malla Hukkanen ©Sputnik Oy
The Other Side of Hope – Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula Malla Hukkanen ©Sputnik Oy
  • The Other Side of Hope or Toivon tuolla puolen is a film that consists of two stories. The first one is about Khaled, a young Syrian refugee who has lost virtually all of his family, and finds himself as a stowaway passenger in Finland. Wikström, the other protagonist, is a middle-aged travelling salesman. The film is about how they meet, racism, and kindness.

Although based on the serious topic of refugee safety, the film is strangely disturbingly hilarious!

Aaba or Grandfather ©Raapchik Films Soumik Mukherjee
Aaba or Grandfather
©Raapchik Films Soumik Mukherjee
  • Grandfather or Aaba is a film about a young girl who lives in the highlands of India. The young girl lives alone with her aged grandparents.

After her grandfather is diagnosed with lung cancer, she watches as he calmly digs his own grave, furnishing it for his comfort in the hereafter with a handful of his worldly possessions. His light-hearted approach to dying is a gentle and laconic acknowledgement of the natural cycle of life and death. But things don’t always go as planned in the land of the living..

A heart-warming, but sad film.

Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr - Abdou Khadir Ndiaye ©Cinekap
Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr – Abdou Khadir Ndiaye
©Cinekap
  • Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr is a film about an innocent young boy from an affluent family, who has the experience of a lifetime. after his first day of school.

The boy’s father fails to pick him up from school, so he simply walks off. Of course, he quickly finds himself lost and wanders through the noise and chaos of the poverty-stricken African city in Senegal. Does he ever find his way home?

Watch it and see!

In a Nutshell ©YK Animation Studio
In a Nutshell
©YK Animation Studio
  • In a Nutshell is a short animated film about an attempt to capture the world in a nutshell, through images ranging from a nut seed to war, from a chunk of steak to love, from indifference to apocalypse.

Splendidly presented!

Promise - Feng Linhua ©Xie Tian
Promise – Feng Linhua
©Xie Tian
  • Promise is a film about a young boy left behind.

Like 60 million other children in China, his parents leave the country to find work elsewhere. Fending for himself in the mountainous countryside, he finds solace in his parents’ promise to return on New Year’s Eve, and in the loyal company of a tame piglet.

With magnificent footage, the film tells the tale of an existence filled with unavoidable adversity.

A heart-breaking film.

FILMS I REALLY, REALLY LIKED!

I’m very into British / Irish, Asian and East European films, as they’re all quite gritty, weird and obscure. This year, I watched quite a few German films. And surprisingly, I liked them!

The Best Of All Worlds - Jeremy Miliker ©RitzlFilm
The Best Of All Worlds – Jeremy Miliker
©RitzlFilm
  • TThe Best Of All Worlds or Die beste aller Welten
  • 2 Trainspotting
  • The Party
  • Viceroy’s House
  • Becoming Who I Was
Wallay - Ibrahim Koma & Nathan Diarra Makhan ©bathysphere Les Films du Djabadjah
Wallay – Ibrahim Koma & Nathan Diarra Makhan
©bathysphere Les Films du Djabadjah
  • Wallay
  • Dream Boat
  • Menashe
  • Berlin Syndrome
  • Casting JonBenet
Mr. Long Ⓒ2017 Live Max Film LDH Pictures
Mr. Long
Ⓒ2017 Live Max Film LDH Pictures
  • Mr. Long
  • Vazante
  • Vaya
  • Bye Bye Germany or Es war einmal in Deutschland…
  • The Other Side of Hope or Toivon tuolla puolen
Stonehead ©3C Films Co. Ltd
Stonehead
©3C Films Co. Ltd
  • Stonehead or Shi Tou
  • The Tundra Book. A Tale of Vukvukai, the Little Rock or Kniga Tundry. Povest’ o Vukvukaye – Malen’kom Kamne
  • Black Head Cow
  • Grandfather or Aaba
  • The Dress on Her
Railway Sleepers ©Phim Umari
Railway Sleepers
©Phim Umari
  • Railway Sleepers
  • Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr
  • In a Nutshell
  • Promise
  • Animals
God's Own Country - Alec Secareanu & Josh O'Connor ©Dales Productions Limited The British Film Institute 2017
God’s Own Country – Alec Secareanu & Josh O’Connor
©Dales Productions Limited The British Film Institute 2017
  • God’s Own Country
  • Playground or Terrain de jeux

FILMS THAT I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEN, BUT DIDN’T!

The Young Karl Marx - Stefan Konarske & August Diehl ©Kris Dewit
The Young Karl Marx – Stefan Konarske & August Diehl
©Kris Dewit
  • The Young Karl Marx
  • Return to Montauk
  • Skins
  • Belinda
  • From the Balcony
Final Portrait by Stanley Tucci - Armie Hammer & Geoffrey Rush ©Parisa Taghizadeh
Final Portrait by Stanley Tucci – Armie Hammer & Geoffrey Rush
©Parisa Taghizadeh
  • Final Portrait by Stanley Tucci
  • The King’s Choice
  • So Long Enthusiasm
  • Autumn, Autumn
  • Casting
For Ahkeem - Landon Van Soest ©Berlinale
For Ahkeem – Landon Van Soest
©Berlinale
  • For Ahkeem
  • Motherland
  • Spin
  • The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy
  • Summer 1993
Freak Show by Trudie Styler ©Maven Pictures
Freak Show by Trudie Styler
©Maven Pictures
  • Freak Show
  • On the Road
  • Back for Good
  • We were kings
  • Mikel
The Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel - Paul Schlase, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton & Ralph Fiennes ©TCFHE
The Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel – Paul Schlase, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton & Ralph Fiennes ©TCFHE
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Last Days in Havana
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • At the Fork – Culinary Cinema
  • Theater of Life
Chef's Table - Tim Raue - Culinary Cinema 2017 -Tim Raue. Tobias Koch ©Netflix 2017
Chef’s Table – Tim Raue – Culinary Cinema 2017 -Tim Raue. Tobias Koch
©Netflix 2017
  • Chef’s Table – Tim Raue – Culinary Cinema
  • Soul
  • Tea Time My Food Is My Home
  • Sameblod Sami Blood

FILMS THAT WERE A WASTE OF MY TIME

Bing Lang Xue The Taste of Betel Nut - Yue Ye, Shen Shi Yu & Zhao Bing Rui ©Berlinale
Bing Lang Xue The Taste of Betel Nut – Yue Ye, Shen Shi Yu & Zhao Bing Rui
©Berlinale
  • The Taste of Betel Nut or Bing Lang Xue: A jerky camera, noise overlay such that you could actually hear the footsteps of the camera person, and a confusing story line such that I spent most of the time falling asleep! Although the sex scenes just about passed muster!

Ahem!

Hugh Bonneville Berlin style! ©Berlinale
Hugh Bonneville Berlin style!
©Berlinale

In watching a festival film, you get to see a large variety of international locations and settings, and a better intimate view with acting and scenes, that are much more realistic than in films with a Hollywood budget!

The Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, is a special treat for the public.

See you next year!

Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!
Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received press accredited rates for tickets, all opinions and the impressive festival films that I saw, are my very own!

It’s February!

On 24.02.17 I’ll be going to the first ever blogger event at the  Wintergarten Varieté Berlin on How to be an artist LIKE BERLIN!

On 08.03.17, I’ll be at the iambassador – Traveldudes – ITB Travel Tweet-Up event.

On 08.03.17 – 12.03.17, the world’s largest tourism trade fair – the ITB will be in action, and everyone who is anyone in the travel industry, will be here!

On 15.03.17, I’ll be at the Spring Reception for the British Community at the British Embassy in Berlin.

If you’re not in Berlin in February, you’re boring!

Watch this space!

And it’s a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!
Peter Kreibich © Berlinale

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

And it's a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!
And it’s a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!

Which of these international films would you choose? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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Think David Bowie! Think Alan Rickman! Think the British Shorts Film Festival!

BRITISH SHORTS Film Festival, 2016.

Just over a fortnight ago, the world lost two very important British icons.

Men who were true artists of their craft and who didn’t shy away from the experimental. Men who at first glance weren’t considered classically handsome chaps or the type of men for leading roles, but who made a huge significant impact on British film, music, art and popular culture. Men who knocked you for six at their sparkling performances.

David Bowie ©Alpha Press.
David Bowie

True performers who wouldn’t bat at undertaking complex non-traditional roles.

The type of film that one might be inclined to call an independent film.

Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman

An independent film that can be found in such an event as the British Shorts Film Festival!

I Am Here by David Holmes.
I Am Here
by David Holmes.

This film festival has been around since 2007 but I only found out about it in 2015 and it’s a funny story. You can read all about it here!

Honestly, it’s great being British in Germany ‘cos you get to participate in all kinds of stuff. Only last week, I was honoured to be invited to the Friedrichstadt-Palast for a British evening of talks with distinguished guests, a room full of up-coming bloggers and interesting hacks, a look behind the scenes of the world’s largest theatre stage and an opportunity to watch the latest performance of the hit production THE WYLD which was still as brilliant as the first time that I watched it!

If you remember, I was awfully impressed and wrote all about it right here!

Yet again, the Film Festival started on 21.01.16 which was a Thursday so I went on Friday and pretty much made it a weekend to remember lol! This time, the German organiser Jürgen Fehrmann knew exactly who I was and was delighted to have me on board!

WHAT IS THE BRITISH SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL?

Three Brothers by Akleem Khan.
Three Brothers
by Akleem Khan.

The British Shorts Film Festival is a collection of 155 British and Irish short films shown within a span of five (5) days from the 21st – 25th January, 2016!

This was the 9th edition of British Shorts with the publicity title: Shorts. Now. Forever. And this film festival didn’t disappoint!

British Shorts Film Festival Logo.

The British Shorts Film Festival has evolved to become a true international audience festival with one of the most interesting platforms for British and Irish short films outside the UK and Ireland. There were showings of short exciting films embracing drama, comedy, animation, thriller, horror, experimental, documentary, and music videos. There were also concerts, parties, a free film workshop (including a 48-hour film project), Open Screenings, talks and an exhibition that created an atmosphere of festivity and involvement imbibing both a jury award, and an audience award. In fact, the 2016 retrospective was dedicated to the animation department of the world-famous National Film and Television School who include such talent as the Wallace & Gromit inventor Nick Park!

RETROSPEKTIVE - Wallace and Gromit - British Shorts Film Festival 2016.
RETROSPEKTIVE – Wallace and Gromit – British Shorts Film Festival 2016.

WHO IS THE BRITISH SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL FOR?

Mr Madila by Rory Waudby-Tolley which was hilarious, by the way!
Mr Madila
by Rory Waudby-Tolley which was hilarious, by the way!

Well, this film festival is for established film-makers, promising newcomers, talented film students, and anybody else who has an interest in the making of short films. Indeed, the likes of Judi Dench (James Bond – 007), Michael Fassbender (The X. Men), and Martin Freeman (Sherlock Holmes (BBC) & The Hobbit) have all appeared in previous festival films. And this year, we seemed to have a who’s who’s from Games of Thrones (Michelle Fairley & Liam Cunningham) and the BBC’s Dr. Who (Arthur Davill)!

It doesn’t matter if you have a large budget, a low-budget, or no budget at all (like we had LOL)! I very much like the British Shorts Festival because not only, were the films of the highest quality and really gripping but also, at the end of the festival ANYONE at all can present a film to be judged by a respected jury, as well as the audience.

Gulp!

BUT WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?

British Shorts Film Festival 2016.

Well, the film screenings have the following categories:

Drama.

Comedy.

Experimental.

Documentary.

Don't Fear Death by Louis Hudson
Don’t Fear Death
by Louis Hudson

Animation.

Mockumentary.

Romance.

Thriller.

Surgery (Horror) by George Clemens & Samuel Clemens.
Surgery (Horror)
by George Clemens & Samuel Clemens.

Horror.

Fantasy.

Film Noir.

Mystery.

Sci-Fi.

Holding The Strings by Benjamin Cowie
Holding The Strings
by Benjamin Cowie

Music Videos.

Retrospective: An evening’s screening dedicated to the National Film and Television School (NFTS), London showing big successes from the past four decades four (4) decades in “Directing Animation” followed by a Q&A.

DON'T CALL ME URBAN! The Time of Grime by Simon Wheatley.
DON’T CALL ME URBAN! The Time of Grime by Simon Wheatley.

And an exhibition featuring photographs, and experimental films. This year’s selection was the photography and short film series DON’T CALL ME URBAN! The Time of Grime by Simon Wheatley.

Oops!

The film documents the rise of Grime, an angst-ridden and confrontational sound that emerged from the UK. The photographer and filmmaker Simon Wheatley was present for Q&A and during the entire festival, the film was shown in loops.

Paaaaaarty!
Paaaaaarty!

We live in Berlin.

Berlin is an exciting city filled with young inspiring talent so there were other interesting and exciting events and items such as:

A free festival workshop & a 48-hour film project.

Concerts & Parties.

Exhibitions.

Talks with film-makers, directors, producers and writers.

An an Open Screening for ANY short film.

Open Screening.
Open Screening.

WHERE DOES THE BRITISH SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL TAKE PLACE?

At Sputnik Kino. On Bricks!
At Sputnik Kino. On Bricks!

This is the 9th year and the festival always takes place at the home base cinema called Sputnik Kino in the suburb of Kreuzberg, with some screenings taking place at the Badehaus Szimpla in Friedrichshain, Acudkino in Mitte, and City Kino in Wedding. All delightful cinemas who show art and independent films!

I went to the Sputnik Kino which has many cool memories of stone-distressed seating made of bricks! Yes, you heard me.

Bricks!

Not to worry though as times have changed, and seating is now covered with leather, cushions and plastic beer crates!

Acudkino.
Acudkino.

This year, I also went to the Acudkino in Mitte, and City Kino in Wedding.

I’ve only been to the Acudkino in Mitte perhaps once or twice, which is embarrassing as it’s only about 15 minutes from my home! In the olden days when I didn’t actually live in Prenzlauerberg, I used to go on that street all the time as it has a place called the Weinerei Forum.

In those days, the drinks were free!

Sortof!

The Weinerei in Berlin!
The Weinerei in Berlin!

It’s shabby chic daaaarling!

I hadn’t been to the City Kino at all as it’s in a dodgy neighbourhood, but right next to the French Cultural Literature Centre! I was surprised to discover that the venue was quite nice.

City Kino. This queue was wound all the way down the staircase and right to the front door. 'Good thing I was on the press list!
City Kino.
This queue was wound all the way down the staircase and right to the front door. ‘Good thing I was on the press list!

Once you stepped in!

I really enjoyed the films as many were recognisable respected British actors in my opinion! The films I saw were of excellent quality and we were able to observe a Q&A session with two directors of the film that we had just seen! This is why I really love going to film festivals. Not only do you see outstanding films worthy of each and every award, but you get the opportunity to be close to the Directors, Producers and Actors too!

 

Open Screening - British Shorts Film Festival 2016.

The Sputnik Kino has a lovely reputation of supporting aspiring independent film-makers and once a month, every third (3rd) Wednesday, has an Open Screening. This Open Screening allows film-makers to show their movies to a live audience, and is in both English and German.

No appointments are necessary, no application forms, no testings made, it doesn’t have to be “finished,” any language is accepted, no previous qualifications necessary.

It’s a forum whereby you can “test” your film, and a live audience can ask questions, make comments, positively criticise or praise your film.

The requirements?

Not more than 25 minutes. And members of the public are the judges of the film.

Cost?

Absolutely nothing! For both the film-makers and the audience!

Stutterer by Benjamin Cleary.
Stutterer
by Benjamin Cleary.

I’M INTERESTED IN FILMS BUT I’M NOT A FILM-MAKER.

Room 55 by Rose Glass
Room 55
by Rose Glass

I’m not a film-maker either but I do love independent films.

I saw various clips of film between 2 and 23 minutes. Most were really interesting and clever, and some were downright disturbing, but I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see them!

I watched a whole host of Festival Screenings / Documentary Specials / Retrospective Screenings and an amazing number of short Animation Films, after which I dragged myself home, using the über-efficient German public transport system in the wee hours, and chatted with the pretty friendly Berlin punters!

Edmund by Nina Gantz
Edmund
by Nina Gantz

The performances were completely packed out, showing British and Irish talent in a Berlin setting.

CAN YOU MAKE A FILM YOURSELF?

Make it yourself!
Make it yourself!

You sure can!

The attraction of British films for an international crowd is either historical drama or gritty down-to-earth films. I like British films because of the grit and the reality concept, as I do Berlin films.

The Man Who Fell to Earth. David Bowie.
The Man Who Fell to Earth.
David Bowie.

At the British Shorts Film Festival, we even got to watch a part of Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 sci-fi masterpiece The Man Who Fell To Earth with the main character played by a young David Bowie about an alien on an elaborate rescue mission, to find water for his planet.

At the film festival we booked into a workshop on film-making!

Last year, I went for the fun of it and to see what it was all about but this year, I decided to take it more seriously.

We only had 48 hours and this time I wanted to go it alone as the workshop was centred on the idea of a journey. Sadly, I couldn’t find enough inspiration that would satisfy my lust for quality.

I went for the Screening of the workshop films and the standard of the film-making workshop collection was amazing. Thank goodness I didn’t submit my sorry piece of video work. It would have been shameful!

The films produced were good quality stuff with many meeting for the first time, deciding to work together, and yet managing to create, produce, edit and design, in only a few hours, even editing right before the submission deadline!

They say, stick to what you know.

I like independent films and I love film festivals.

I’m a good writer and I don’t mind writing about films, or speaking and performing in front of a camera, but I’ll leave the art of film-making to the experts!

British Shorts Film Festival.

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND GERMAN TO PARTICIPATE?

Manomann by Simon Cartwright
Manomann
by Simon Cartwright

Nope!

All literature and instruction is in both German and English. It’s a British & Irish Film Festival so the films are of course, in English!

MY VERDICT?

Just Desserts by Michael Yanny
Just Desserts
by Michael Yanny

Lots of fun and learning and a really good project!

At a time when large budgets and big stars are the norm, it’s quite nice to see, support, and encourage a non-profit film-making project.

In our city.

In Berlin.

I salute you David Bowie & Alan Rickman. RIP.

For more information. Please contact: British Shorts Film Festival.

For more information about Open Screenings. Please contact: Sputnik Kino.

The back of me - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
The back of me –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

This article is not sponsored and although I received complimentary tickets, all opinions and the film that I attempted to make are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Next week, I’ll be writing Part II of the Berlin Fashion Week supplement!

On 04.02.16, I will be at a private dinner organised by the Thai Embassy!

The 66th Berlin International Film Festival – the Berlinale – will be taking place from 11.02.16 – 21.02.16 and for the first time, I will be an accredited member of the press force. I’m so excited!

Cinestar Original will be showing William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” on 25.02.2016, presented by the National Theatre LIVE!

In March, I’ll be travelling to England, Spain & Portugal!

February is going to be bursting!

Watch this space!

British Shorts Film Festival 2016!

Have you ever been to the British Shorts Film Festival? Do you like British films?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

The British Shorts Film Festival might not be a Ridley Scott film, although actually it was!

British bunting via @sonycctweetsI’m really excited about my forth-coming trip to the Baltic Region and you’ll be the first to hear all about it LOL! Right now, I would like to focus on some British stuff.

Living in Berlin as an expat  and as The British Berliner, means that I get to go to such fabulous activities and events such as:

Oh no! Don't look if you're a vegetarian! Image@ eat-the-world
Oh no! Don’t look if you’re a vegetarian!
Image@ eat-the-world
If I can go to Fashion Week, so can you?! © Photo Peter Stigter.
If I can go to Fashion Week, so can you?!
© Photo Peter Stigter.
  • As well as being invited to theatre productions such as THE WYLD at the Friedrichstadt-Palast or Breakin’ Mozart at the Wintergarten Varieté.
My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!

As a British expat in Berlin, I also get invited to British stuff such as:

  • The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I was invited by the Visit Britain Media Team! I wasn’t able to go as I was in Thailand at the time but it’s the thought that counts LOL and happily since I had actually been to Glasgow previously, I was still able to write a little something! : Go North to Glasgow!
Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL! @Debbiefm
Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL!
@Debbiefm
Royal Ascot.
Royal Ascot.
  • As a British expat, I also get invited to the British Embassy for “cheese and wine,” “a few drinks,” A Royal Ascot celebration aka horse-riding. Since it was official Embassy event we all had to observe protocol and tradition with the ladies wearing formal daywear and a hat if you’re sitting near the Queen, and a hat, headpiece or fascinator if you’re further away. As for gentlemen (and you get to be a real lady and a real gentleman), they got to wear either a black or grey morning dress including a waistcoat and tie, a top hat, and black shoes. Nothing else would do!
  • As a British expat, I get invited to networking events at the Embassy, and other social engagements. I’ve always felt honoured in being so. In fact just last week, I got a telephone call from a local TV / radio station who wanted to interview me about the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Germany. Me! I was astounded! And yes, she’s coming. The Queen is coming to Germany. I’ve never met the Queen in real life before so I hope to change that this year LOL! : 10 Reasons to be an expat.
  • From time to time, I get asked to join a German TV  programme such as Wissenshunger on the VOX TV station. I took part on the TV show to discuss After Dinner Mints. They gave me a DVD as a thank you. Meanwhile, some friends say that repeats are still on the German network but I’ve never seen it LOL! If you’re interested, that particular episode was called “After dinner mints der Englische Versuchung” or “WH Pfefferminztaler.” if you do see it anywhere, let me know!
Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea.
  • And if I’m extremely lucky, I get a tiny little paragraph that I wrote for a European food blog picked up by the American publication of The Huffington Post. THE HUFFINGTON POST! Wow! Here it is : 25 Spring Travel Tips Across Europe.
The British Shorts Film Festival.
The British Shorts Film Festival.

In short, I’m quite privileged as it goes, so in January, one of my favourite German girlfriends sent me a message on Facebook and asked me if I was going to the Festival.

“What festival I asked?”

She sent me a link.

As soon as I saw it, I contacted the organiser, a German man called Jürgen Fehrmann.

The fact is, Berlin is Germany’s capital city and a lot of things tend to happen at the same time. A lot of things. In fact, that very week I had events to attend on Wednesday and Thursday. The Festival was to start on 15.01.15 which was a Thursday. I couldn’t make it on Thursday but I went on Friday and pretty much spent the whole weekend there!

I’m married and I have a child and activities and events have to be carefully organised so that everything fits nicely. Thankfully, “The Tall Young Gentleman” had gone camping that weekend with the Boy Scouts of America. Outdoors.

And The Music Producer had another album to produce, and so I was free to go where I wished. I wished to go to the British Shorts Film Festival.

BS2014_Logo

WHAT IS THE BRITISH SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL?

The British Shorts Film Festival is a collection of 111 British and Irish short films shown within a span of five (5) days from the 15th – 19th January, 2015!

This was the 8th edition of the festival and even with the crisp, cold January weather, the British Shorts has evolved to become a true international audience festival with one of the most interesting platforms for British and Irish short films, outside the UK and Ireland.

The Brain Hack.
The Brain Hack.

WHO IS THE BRITISH SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL FOR?

Well, this film festival is for established film-makers, promising newcomers, talented film students, and anybody else who has an interest in the making of short films. Indeed, the likes of Judi Dench (James Bond – 007), Michael Fassbender (The X.Men), and Martin Freeman (Sherlock Holmes (BBC) & The Hobbit) have all appeared in previous festival films.

It doesn’t matter if you have a large budget, a low budget, or no budget at all (like we had LOL!). At the end of the festival ANYONE can present a film to be judged by a respected jury, as well as the audience.

Gulp!

The Bigger Picture.
The Bigger Picture.

BUT WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?

Well, the film screenings have the following categories:

  • Comedy.
  • Drama & Thriller.
  • Animation & Experimental.
  • Horror.
  • Music Videos.
  • Documentary.
  • Retrospective: “Reeling Back.” The very first (1st) British silent cinema film, accompanied by a new live score by Dirk Markham.
  • Special Screening, curated by Directors Notes. Followed by a Q+A with Rob Munday (Directors Notes).
OMP - Orchestre Miniature in the Park.
OMP – Orchestre Miniature in the Park.

We live in Berlin.

Berlin is an exciting city filled with young inspiring talent so of course, there were other interesting  and exciting events and items such as:

  • A free festival workshop & a 48-hour film project.
  • Stand-Up-Comedy live: Eleanor Morton’s Fringe-Show Lollipop.
  • Concerts & Parties which were either free entrance or a small token of about €5.00 and you got a glass of champagne included too!
  • Exhibitions.
  • Talks with film-makers.
  • An an Open Screening for ANY short film.

Sign

WHERE DOES THE BRITISH SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL TAKE PLACE?

This is the 8th year and the festival always takes place at the home base cinema called Sputnik Kino in the suburb of Kreuzberg, with some screenings taking place at the Badehaus Szimpla, Acudkino, and Filmkunst 66.

Oh, I remember the Sputnik Kino!

When I first came to visit Berlin in the 90’s, my German boyfriend lived in Kreuzberg and told me about this particular cinema. I like artists. What can I say!

Anyway, in those days, this cinema was not as comfortable as it is now.

Oh dear me no.

Seats made from brick!
Seats made from brick!

The seats were made of bricks! Yes, you heard me.

Bricks!

In Germany, you can take bottles of beer and glasses of wine into the screening with you.

Well, on this occasion, a long time ago. In the 90’s. The audience were a little upset about the film they were watching, and began to shout and throw bottles all about and at the big screen.

We got out of there pronto!

Cue 15 years later.

More bricks. With available cushions if needed!
More bricks. With available cushions if needed!

The seats are still made of bricks but now have soft cushions to lean on LOL!

And you can still take your drinks in with you and the clientele has changed, so nobody throws glasses and bottles about.

We’re far too artistic for that!

Open Screening.

The Sputnik Kino has a lovely reputation of supporting aspiring independent film-makers and once a month, every third (3rd) Wednesday, has an Open Screening. This Open Screening allows film-makers to show their movies to a live audience, and is in both English and German.

No appointments are necessary, no application forms, no testings made, it doesn’t have to be “finished,” any language is accepted, no previous qualifications necessary.

It’s a forum whereby you can “test” your film, and a live audience can ask questions, make comments, positively criticise or praise your film.

The requirements?

Not more than 25 minutes. And members of the public are the judges of the film.

Cost?

Absolutely nothing! For both the film-makers and the audience!

Emotional Fuse Box.

I’M INTERESTED IN FILMS BUT I’M NOT A FILM-MAKER.

I’m not a film-maker either LOL however, I do love British films.

I saw various clips of film between 2 and 30 minutes. Most were really interesting and clever, and some were downright weird, but I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see them!

I watched a whole host of Documentary Specials and also short Animation Films after which I dragged myself home in the wee hours of 2:00!

Eleanor Morton and her "Lollipop" stand-up show.
Eleanor Morton and her “Lollipop” stand-up show.

The performances were completely packed out, showing British and Irish talent in a Berlin setting.

I also watched a few live performances and a live stand up comedy show by the Scottish Variety Award nominated newcomer Eleanor Morton and her “Lollipop” stand-up show. She’s hilarious by the way and a right laugh!

Phantom Limb.
Phantom Limb.

CAN YOU MAKE A FILM YOURSELF?

You certainly can!

The attraction of British films for an international crowd is either historical drama such as Downton Abbey, The King’s Speech, and Titanic or gritty down-to-earth films such as Trainspotting, Billy Elliot, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

I like British films because of the grit as I do Berlin films, such as Lola Rent and Goodbye Lenin.

Boy and Bicycle by Ridley Scott introducing Tony Scott.
Boy and Bicycle by Ridley Scott introducing Tony Scott.

At the British Shorts Film Festival, we even got to watch the very first film that Ridley Scott ever made with his younger brother Tony Scott riding on a bicycle somewhere outside Durham, I think. The film was black and white and was called Boy and Bicycle.

Lassenza.
Lassenza.

At the film festival we booked into a workshop on film-making!

I actually went for the fun of it and to see what it was all about but my German girlfriend actually wanted to learn some movie-making techniques, and we eventually ended up making a 5 minute movie which we had to submit for film-making criticism!

We felt like this young man called Mohammed - in this film!
We felt like this young man called Mohammed – in this film!

OMG!

We only had 48 hours to make it and I perked up I can tell you! We spent 48 hours wandering the streets of Berlin for inspiration in the German cold of January.

And then we made the film.

It’s out and it was judged. Apparently, it was OK but I can’t tell you where it is, as it’s enormously raw.

We’re actually thinking of editing it properly and showcasing it as her film portfolio and perhaps mine too. It’s arty and a far-cry from the subject matter of my blog, but you can never have too many skills LOL!

I mentioned this to a British blogger who asked whether I would share it with you all.

Ha! Ha! No chance!

The People's Choice Award.
The People’s Choice Award.

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND GERMAN TO PARTICIPATE?

Nope!

All literature and instruction is in both German and English. Being that it’s a British & Irish Film Festival, the films are of course, in English!

Exchange And Mart.
Exchange And Mart.

MY VERDICT?

Lots of fun and learning and a really good project!

At a time when large budgets and big stars are the norm, it’s quite nice to see, support, and encourage a non-profit film-making project.

In our city.

In Berlin.

For more information. Please contact: British Shorts Film Festival.

For more information about Open Screenings. Please contact: Sputnik Kino.

Me relaxing at the Berlin Music Video Awards, 2014.
Me relaxing at the Berlin Music Video Awards, 2014.

This article is not sponsored although I received complimentary tickets, all opinions and the film that I made are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the next few months, I’ll be travelling to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.

International Games Week Berlin 2015 is a leading cross-industry communication and networking platform for games businesss, development and culture, and will be taking place between April 21-26, 2015.

I’ll be going to TBEX Europe (Travel Bloggers Exchange) an International Networking Conference, for the first time! It’ll be taking place in Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain from 30.04.15 – 02.05.15.

Strictly Stand Up English Comedy Night will be taking place at the Quatsch Comedy Club on 29.04.15.

Eddie Izzard will be back in Germany and will be front-lining a killer international night of comedy at the Admirals Palast on 08.05.15.

The Berlin Music Video Awards will be taking place from May 27.05.15 – 30.05.15. Anybody can apply!

The Berlin Fashion Film Festival will be taking place on 05.06.15.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin in the Spring, you must be mad!

March & April are going to be exciting.

Watch this space!

Waving the flag of Britishness!
Waving the flag of Britishness!

Have you ever been to the British Shorts film Festival? Do you like British films?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!