Press 25 JAN 2017

Berlinale 2017

Three films from French-speaking Belgium will be presented during the 67th edition of the Berlinale, to be held from 9 to 19 February 2017.

First of all, this edition marks Sam Garbarski's return to the festival, 10 years after Irina Palm, which garnered critical acclaim at the festival and went on to attract more than 600,000 filmgoers to German cinemas. Bye Bye Germany will have its world premiere at the Berlinale Special Gala, highlighting its German stars Moritz Bleibtreu (star of Garbarski's previous film Vijay and I) and Antje Traue (Man of Steel, Criminal, and many others). The film is set in 1946 at the Displaced Persons Camp in Frankfurt: David Behrmann and his six friends have just one thought in mind: going to America! But to emigrate, they need money, lots of it. That hardly matters, though: "Hitler's dead, but we’re still here." Devising incredible schemes, they go door to door and sell household linens to the Germans. And they’re successful at it. But as business flourishes, David's shady past catches up with him. Why did he have a second passport? What was he doing at Hitler's private residence on the Obersalzberg? A mysterious American Nazi hunter, Major Marlene Frederick, interrogates Behrmann. Torn between her distrust and her inevitable attraction to him, Marlene's task proves difficult. To make matters worse, David makes up stories that even he starts to believe. And something else has to be decided: is it really possible to leave such a lovely country to the Germans?

Produced by Entre Chien et Loup (BE), In Good Company (DE) and Samsa Film (LU),
Bye Bye Germany is supported in Belgium by the Cinema and Audiovisual Centre of the Federation of French-Speaking Belgium,, the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and by Eurimages at the European level. It was co-produced in Belgium by RTBF, BeTV and Casa Kafka. The film is being marketed internationally by Match Factory and distributed in Germany by X Verleih (in April) and in France by BAC.

, the second feature film from Philippe van Leeuw (after The Day God Walked Away in 2008), will be having its world premiere in the Panorama programme. Taken from the headlines, the film tells the story of a family in Syria: staying inside day and night, never going out, not even daring to look outside because it's too dangerous. This isn't a prison, it's daily life for a family in war-torn Damascus. They're just an ordinary family, doing what they can to stay alive, day-by-day. Their flat has become a kind of bunker. Everything revolves around making do with what little there is. Each day is about holding on for one more day.

was produced by Altitude 100 Production (BE) and Liaison Cinématographique (FR), and co-produced with Minds Meet (BE), Né à Beyrouth (LB), Versus Production, VOO and BeTV. It was supported in Belgium by the Cinema and Audiovisual Centre of the Federation of French-Speaking Belgium, the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and by Eurimages at the European level. The film is being distributed in Belgium by O’Brother Distribution and in France by KMBO, and is being sold internationally by Films Boutique.

Also entered in the Panorama programme is
When The Day Had No Name by Teona Strugar Mitevska. A long-time regular of this programme – her two previous films The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears (2012) and I Am From Titov Veles (2007) were presented at Panorama – the Macedonian film-maker is no stranger to Belgium (where she lives for a few months each year) or to Belgian company Entre Chien et Loup, which co-produced this film along with her two previous ones. When The Day Had No Name depicts the lives of six friends from Radishani, a neighbourhood in the suburbs of Skopje. The story takes place over the course of 24 hours in the lives of these six friends who are getting ready to leave for a fishing trip early the next morning. As their day unfolds, we dive deeper into their lives, their truths and lies, and their secrets. The film was produced in Macedonia by Sisters and Brother Mitevski, co-produced in Belgium by Entre Chien et Loup, with support from the Cinema and Audiovisual Centre of the Federation of French-Speaking Belgium, the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government and by Eurimages at the European level.

Panorama aims to highlight new directions in auteur cinema: it includes new films from renowned film-makers, as well as debut films, all of which are presented in their world or European premieres. 

Lastly, the short film
Le film de l’été (‘The Summer Film’) by Emmanuel Marre has been entered in the Berlinale Shorts competition, along with 22 other films from 18 countries. The Summer Film is a film about motorways, tourists on their annual trek south, concrete picnic tables, long queues for the WC, lukewarm melons and car washes. It's a film about a man who wants to leave and a little boy who's holding on to him.

This short film was co-produced by Michigan Films (BE) and Kidam (FR).
It has also been selected for the national competition at the International Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand.

One of Germany's major cultural events, the Berlinale is also one of the most important meeting places for the international film industry. A few figures tell the story: over 335,000 tickets sold, more than 20,000 industry visitors from 122 countries, including 3,800 journalists and about 400 films each year, most of which have their world and European premieres here. The European Film Market is held here at the same time: about 550 companies and more than 9,000 industry professionals from 110 countries come to build and expand their networks, strengthen their position in the industry and negotiate film rights. The ties between the festival and the market are a unique characteristic of the Berlinale. This 67
th edition will be held from 9 to 19 February 2017.