Press 14 JAN 2019

"By the Name of Tania" selected for next Berlinale

On Friday 11 January, the Berlinale announced that By the Name of Tania, the latest offering from Bénédicte Liénard and Mary Jiménez, will be screened in the festival’s Generation programme. 

By the Name of Tania is the film-makers’ third joint effort, following on from Sobre las brasas (2013) and Rising voices (2016).

Based upon real testimonies, this hybrid film tells the story of Tania, a teenage girl forced into prostitution in the gold mining regions of Peru.
Tania remembers how she was taken from her home lured with false promises of wealth and riches and how she slowly lost her identity in the process, changing her life forever. While sharing her story with a police officer, Tania’s voice takes us from one memory to another. While she talks, the camera takes us on a journey from the jungle to the mining region, from her home where her grandmother died to the heart of her exploitation in the prostitution bars.
The Amazon’s beautiful scenery, the floating slums and the jungle are in sharp contrast with the darkness of the story, the poverty and the poignant testimony of a young girl. And though she is now safe, where her youth-like sense of worthiness and innocence once shined, a deeper and darker self-knowledge has settled in.
The feverish rush for gold combined with the destruction of the environment echoes as an allegory for the destruction of life in a capitalist world.

Jimenez and Liénard are both well-known on the international film festival circuit for both their documentaries and dramas. Jiménez’s Du verbe aimer was screened at the Berlin Forum (1984), while Liénard’s A Piece of Sky was included in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

By the Name of Tania is produced by Clin d’œil films and co-produced by Dérives, CBA and BALDR Film. The film is supported by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation’s Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, the Netherlands Film Fund, Casa Kafka, Creative Europe, RTBF, VRT and Terre des Hommes.

God exists, her name is Petrunija, the latest offering by Brussels-based Macedonian film-maker Teona Strugar Mitevska, will be screened in the Competition section.

Every 19th January, during Epiphany, the high priest throws a cross into the local waters, while hundreds of men charge for it. The one who finds it is believed to be blessed for the whole next year, and becomes a kind of a local hero. Returning home from a failed job interview, Petrunija decides to jump into the ice-cold water wanting to be the blessed one for a change. She wins the cross, but now she has to fight the local men, the world and the whole system for her right to keep it.

God exists, her name is Petrunija, Mitevska’s fifth feature, is once again co-produced in Belgium by Entre Chien et Loup, with support from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation’s Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel.

The director is a regular feature at the festival, where her three previous films have been screened in parallel programmes. This year marks her first appearance in the Competition section.

Happy Sheep, the new project by Valéry Rosier (Holy Tour, Parasol), produced by Wrong Men, features on the 37-strong Co-production Market line-up.

The 69th Berlinale International Film Festival takes place on 7-17 February.