– The Generation 14plus section will open with Last Swim by Sasha Nathwani and Generation Kplus with Winners by Soleen Yusef

Berlin unveils the entirety of its Generation line-up

Last Swim by Sasha Nathwani (© Caviar/Pablo & Zeus)

The 74th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival has confirmed its Generation section line-up, set to be screened from 15-25 February. After unveiling the initial titles in December (see the news), the gathering has now announced nine additional feature-length films, comprising five world premieres, and ten shorts. This broadens the scope across 15 more production countries in the Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus competitions.

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The Generation 14plus competition kicks off with the world premiere of Sasha Nathwani‘s debut feature, Last Swim, portraying a pivotal day and night in the life of a young British-Iranian woman awaiting her A-level results. Confronting the repercussions of a life-altering diagnosis, the ambitious teenager navigates contemporary London, prompting a reassessment of her dreams and relationships. Meanwhile, the Generation Kplus strand opens with Soleen Yusef‘s Winners, a witty and charming exploration of an 11-year-old Kurdish refugee girl’s passion for football amid the complexities of daily school life in Berlin’s Wedding district. Both films share an unwavering approach to addressing challenges and trauma, coupled with a hopeful energy needed to embrace life’s fragility.

Section head Sebastian Markt commented: “In light of the conditions we find across the world today – which appear catastrophic from the perspective of young people, and not only to them – the question as to what cinema can be as art and social space repeatedly arises. This programme is our attempt to formulate an answer: films that expose the cracks that run through our world and make them graspable, films that come up with forms to make things visible and expressible, and films that invent images which could become the material with which some of these cracks might be repaired.”

In the documentary Maydegol, Sarvnaz Alambeigi follows the journey of a kickboxer who sought refuge from Afghanistan in Iran, presenting a compassionate portrayal of her remarkable resilience. Alambeigi’s lens captures the young woman’s unwavering pursuit of independence, offering insights into contemporary Iran. Meanwhile, Carlo Sironi‘s My Summer with Irène explores a different space, where two young women, grappling with the aftermath of serious illness, forge a unique bond. Sironi weaves a narrative deeply connected to nature and wounded bodies.

Two films in the line-up offer distinctly queer coming-of-age tales. Fin by Ryan Machado, set in the Philippines, follows a young cinephile searching for his father, stumbling upon the local queer scene and navigating unexpected desires. Anthony Schatteman‘s debut, Young Hearts, portrays 13-year-old Elias discovering his love for his new neighbour – but he must first navigate self-discovery before expressing his newfound emotions.

Set in Peru in 1992, Klaudia Reynicke‘s Reinas delves into a family’s complex dynamics during a crisis-ridden period. Focusing on two sisters, the film provides a multi-layered, autobiographically inspired portrait, capturing a pivotal familial moment amidst broader societal changes. In Franco García Becerra‘s Through Rocks and Clouds, eight-year-old alpaca herder Feliciano’s perspective is laid bare against a backdrop of mountains and rivers. The film portrays the indigenous community’s struggle against a destructive mining company while expressing their collective support for Peru’s World Cup qualification.

In Yaonan Liu‘s debut film set in Southern China, titled The Great Phuket, social reality and a teenager’s fantasy life intertwine elegantly. Li Xing, amid ruins and construction, discovers a mysterious bunker providing solace from a rapidly transforming world. Meanwhile, Kim Hye-young‘s dance drama It’s Okay! depicts an unexpected connection between a spirited orphaned student and a strict headmistress, as they both gradually overcome individual wounds.

Finally, ten additional titles round off the short-film competitions, presenting a diverse array of cinematic forms that narrate confrontations with historical forces and private moments of self-invention.

Here is the full list of the 2024 Berlinale Generation selection:

Generation 14plus

A Bird FlewLeinad Pájaro De la Hoz (Colombia/Cuba – short film)
Cura sanaLucía G Romero (Spain – short film)
Disco Afrika: A Malagasy StoryLuck Razanajaona (France/Madagascar/Germany/Mauritius/South Africa/Qatar)
ElbowAslı Özarslan (Germany/Turkey/France)
FinRyan Machado (Philippines)
The Girl Who Lived in the LooSubarna Dash (India – short film)
The Great PhuketLiu Yaonan (France/Hong Kong/China/Germany/Belgium)
Invincible SummerArnaud Dufeys (Belgium – short film)
LapseCaroline Cavalcanti (Brazil – short film)
Last SwimSasha Nathwani (UK)
MaydegolSarvnaz Alambeigi (Iran/Germany/France – documentary)
MunaWarda Mohamed (UK – short film)
My Summer with IrèneCarlo Sironi (Italy/France)
ResentmentGleb Osatinski (USA/Lithuania – short film)
Songs of Love and HateSaurav Ghimire (Nepal – short documentary film)
Who by FirePhilippe Lesage (Canada/France)

Generation Kplus

AmplifiedDina Naser (Jordan/Egypt/Palestine – short film)
AguacuarioJose Eduardo Castilla Ponce (Mexico – short film)
A Summer’s End PoemLam Can-zhao (China/Switzerland/Malaysia – short film)
ButterflyFlorence Miailhe (France – short animated film)
Fox and Hare Save the ForestMascha Halberstad (Netherlands/Belgium/Luxembourg – animation)
It’s Okay!Kim Hye-young (South Korea)
The Major TonesIngrid Pokropek (Argentina/Spain)
PorcelainAnnika Birgel (Germany – short film)
ReinasKlaudia Reynicke (Switzerland/Peru/Spain)
SheepHadi Babaeifar (Iran – short film)
Sour CandyNishi Dugar (India – short film)
Through Rocks and CloudsFranco García Becerra (Peru/Chile)
UliMariana Gil Ríos (Colombia – short film)
WinnersSoleen Yusef (Germany)
Yuck!Loïc Espuche (France – short animated film)
Young HeartsAnthony Schatteman (Belgium/Netherlands)

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