‘You’re Ugly Too’ Nominated at Berlin


Mark Noonan’s film You’re Ugly Too starring Aidan Gillen has been nominated for the Best First Feature Award at the Berlin International Film Festival next month, where the film will have its World Premiere.

The film stars Aidan Gillen as Will, who is released from prison on compassionate leave to care of his niece Stacey, after the death of her mother. An odd couple of sorts, they leave the city behind to pursue what they both hope will be a fresh start in the sleepy surroundings of the Irish midlands. The two bicker and fight as they adjust to their new life together and make tentative steps towards becoming an improvised family.

You’re Ugly Too will screen in the Generation Kplus category, which is aimed at children from the age of fourteen. 

You’re Ugly Too was produced by John Keville and Conor Barry for Savage Productions and was filmed in counties Dublin and Offaly

The 2015 Berlin International Film Festival takes place  5 – 15 February.


‘You’re Ugly Too’ Premieres at Berlin


You’re Ugly Too will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, under the Generation section.

Written and directed by Mark Noonan, the film stars Aidan Gillen as Will, who is released from prison on compassionate leave to care of his niece Stacey, after the death of her mother. An odd couple of sorts, they leave the city behind to pursue what they both hope will be a fresh start in the sleepy surroundings of the Irish midlands. The two bicker and fight as they adjust to their new life together and make tentative steps towards becoming an improvised family.

You’re Ugly Too was produced by John Keville and Conor Barry for Savage Productions and was filmed in counties Dublin and Offaly.

The Generation category of the Berlin International Film Festival is devoted to children and young people. You’re Ugly Too will screen in the Generation Kplus category, which is aimed at children from the age of fourteen.

The 2015 Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 5th to 15th.


Still Films’ Latest Co-production Screens in Berlin


Still Films’ latest co-production Last Hijack wil premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival this Friday.

Directed by Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta, Last Hijack is a true tale of survival in Somalia told from the pirate’s perspective. Combining animation with documentary storytelling, the film takes an innovative hybrid approach to explore how one Somali pirate – Mohamed – came to live such a brutal and dangerous existence. Animated re-enactments exploring Mohamed’s memories, dreams and fears from his point of view are juxtaposed with raw footage from his everyday life in an original non-fiction narrative.

Working closely for the past four years with directors Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta and the Submarine team, Nicky Gogan and Caroline Campbell  of Still Films produced the animation for the documentary with Gavin Kelly and the animators at Piranha Bar, using a bespoke technique developed with Tommy, painter Hisko Hulsing and illustrator Aaron Sacco.

Producer Nicky Gogan said: It was such a privilege to work on this documentary with Tommy and Femke, both of whom have made films I love and admire. Also bringing to life the paintings in such an imaginative and unique way was really exciting to us. It was really great to work with Gavin and his team as we have a long history of pushing animation boundaries both technically and aesthetically through our collaboration when programming the Darklight Festival.”

Last Hijack  is a Dutch / Irish / German / Belgian co-production by Submarine in co-production with Still Films, Razor Film, Savage Film, IKON and ZDF. In association with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board. Supported by the Media Programme of the European Union, Netherlands Film Fund, CoBO, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the Dutch Media Fund and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund with the participation of PLANÈTE + and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse.


Call For: Entries to Berlinale Shorts and Generation


The 63rd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 07-17, 2013 and we are currently preparing the new festival edition. We would like to draw your special attention to the SHORT FILM COMPETITIONS and encourage you to submit your films.


Below you can find a brief summary of the application guidelines.


Berlinale Shorts


Berlinale Shorts is hosting up to 30 short films. They compete for the Golden and the Silver Bear, a nomination for the Best European Short Film (Prix EFA) and aBerlinscholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).


  • Duration no longer than 30 minutes.


  • Production completed no earlier than 2012.


  • The film may have participated in national competitions or side selection in festivals in the country of its origin, but not outside the country of origin.


  • World premieres are preferred.




Generation is hosting two competitions with short films dedicated to a young audience: Kplus screens programmes for children of various age groups; short films for an audience from 14 years on are presented in the 14plus competition. A Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film is awarded in each competition. Participants in both competitions also run for the awards of the Generation Kplus or 14plus International Juries, endowed with each € 2,500.


  • Duration no longer than 30 minutes


  • Production completed no earlier than 2012


  • World, international and European premieres are preferred/ German premieres are accepted.


Please submit films through our website www.berlinale.de by November 14, 2012.


Short films can be uploaded directly online.  Infosheet Short Film Upload


In case you submit several films and want to pay the entry fee by bank transfer for the whole package, please contact Ms. Brigitte Abel at the programme organisation to get the code required in the entry form. If you want to use a credit card you will have to pay each single submission separately during the application process. You are requested to send a list with film titles and the names of the directors to the programme organisation.


Please find further regulations as well as an overview of the prizes awarded by independent juries on our website www.berlinale.de.


If you have questions regarding your submission please get in touch with:


Berlinale Shorts: Nicole Stecker (shorts@berlinale.de, t. +49.30.25920-212)

Generation: Laura Höfer (hoefer@berlinale.de, t. +49.30.25920-423)

Programme Organisation: Brigitte Abel (abel@berlinale.de, t. +49.30.25920-446)



Shadow Dancer European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival

Element Pictures today announced that Shadow Dancer has been selected to have a gala out of competition screening at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival which takes place from 9 -19 February  2012. This festival is undoubtedly one of the most important dates for the international film industry with over 400 films screened through-out the 10 day festival.

Shadow Dancer, directed by James Marsh has a stellar cast including Clive Owen , Gillian Anderson and Andrea Riseborough  Irish actors include Aidan Gillen and Domhnall Gleeson.

Shadow Dancer tells the story of single mother, Colette McVeigh who when caught red handed in London by the MI5 is given a simple choice: either spend 25 years in jail without seeing her 6 year old son grow up or return to home to spy on her brother, leader of the Belfast IRA and the last obstacle to a viable peace process.

It is the story of one woman’s incredible fight to protect her son whilst being forced to betray those she loves. Shadow Dancer is written by Tom Bradby and is based on his novel, which he wrote 12 years ago after spending 2 years as ITN political correspondent in Belfast.

Commenting on the selection Element Pictures Producers Andrew Lowe & Ed Guiney ‘are delighted that James’ brilliant film will have its European premiere at the Berlinale where we enjoyed such a warm reception with The Guard last year’

Shadow Dancer is a Unanimous Entertainment, Element Pictures and WildBunch Production in association with LipSync Productions with the participation of the Irish Film Board. Irish audiences will have an opportunity to see 9 -19th in cinemas when it goes on theatrical release later this year.


The Secret of Kells and Cherrybomb Premiere at Berlin

Irish films The Secret of Kells and Cherrybomb had their world premieres yesterday at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The Secret of Kells, directed by Tomm Moore and produced by European Producer of the Year, Cartoon Saloon, is a beautifully animated film featuring the voice talent of Brendan Gleeson and Mick Lally and will screen as part of the Generation K plus section of the festival.

Cherrybomb, directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn and written by Daragh Carville has been officially selected as part of the Generation 14Plus programme. It stars Robert Sheehan, Rupert Grint and Kimberley Nixon.

Irish audiences will have an opportunity to see both films during the upcoming Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. The Secret of Kells will close this year’s festival on 22nd February at the Savoy. Cherrybomb screens on 20th February at Cineworld.

Irish talent is well represented at the Berlin festival with a wide number of producers travelling to raise finance for their feature films. A number of emerging Irish filmmakers have also been selected to participate in an exciting international initiative Advance Party II which will develop eight new films from some of the most exciting filmmaking talent emerging from the UK and Ireland. Eight directors were selected and include emerging Irish filmmakers Rory Bresnihan, Ciaran Foy, Oscar® nominee Steph Green and Enda Hughes, who will come together at the festival to work together on eight new scripts.

Other new Irish filmmakers have been selected for the prestigious Berlin Talent Campus at the festival. Filmmakers include Patrick Butler (director/producer), Narayan Van Maele (cinematographer/director), Lauren Mackenzie, (writer/director), Michael Kinirons, (writer/director), John Hayes (director) and Rebecca Daly (director).

An Irish reception at the Festival will take place tonight to celebrate new Irish cinema at the festival and to provide key networking opportunities for the industry delegates.


Film Critics Wanted

The Talent Press is a new project organised by the Berlinale Talent campus, Goethe-Institute, and FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics). Young film critics and journalists will be invited to Berlin to report on the films at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival (5–15 February 2009). The program is open to young film critics or journalists under 30 years old and who have published articles either in print or online. The deadline for applications is 8th October 2008.

For more information and details of the application process see www.berlinale-talentcampus.de


57th Berlin Film Festival Report

Spider Lillies
Spider Lillies

Ten days (8–18 February, 2007) of cinemania have passed over Berlin. The Berlin International Film Festival is unique in its appeal to the general audience. There is hardly a student household without the festival programme, detailing almost 400 films, lying around somewhere. People who don’t care about hardcore arthouse cinema during the rest of the year start queuing for obscure Mongolian documentaries. Hardened enemies of the controversial Potsdamer Platz, where the heart of the festival beats, take a trip there just to get a whiff of the excitement, and all local newspapers sport three extra pages daily dedicated to film. Plus, of course, a daily update on the current influx of stars and parties on the society pages. It is only public transport that hasn’t caught on yet – every year, when there are thousands of foreign visitors in Berlin, some crucial line is interrupted for repairs.

For the audience, 2007 has been a good year. 200,000 Berliners and 19,000 professionals watched a diverse range of interesting films, mostly in the slightly less overcrowded sections Panorama, Forum, Generation, and Retrospective. A favorite among the many contenders was Hal Hartley’s sequel to Henry Fool. The very fast paced triple agent comedy Fay Grim unravels new layers of Henry’s past in every sequence, while drawing Henry’s ex-wife Fay deeper and deeper into unfathomable international secret service entanglements. Filmed at odd angles throughout, the film leads into a fake universe where lies are layered upon lies. Also well received was Hounds, the German debut by Ann-Kristin Reyels, about a taciturn father and son in the remote East German region Uckermarck; the Taiwanese Spider Lilies by Zero Chou about the friendship between a tattoo shop owner and a girl hooked on cybersex (Teddy Award for Best Queer Picture of the festival); and Pascale Ferran’s three hour long adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. Lady Chatterley describes in meticulous detail the extremely slow process of mutual sexual discovery as well, as the fine power structure of 1920s society that resonates in every sentence the Lady and her gamekeeper exchange. The Panorama Audience Award 2007 was given once again to a documentary: Blindsight by Lucy Walker about a blind mountaineer leading blind kids up the Lhakpa Ri at the north side of Mount Everest.

So there wasn’t a lack of good and exciting movies. The flagship of the festival however, the competition with its 22 pictures, screened few of them. Torn between director Dieter Kosslick’s many and often mutually exclusive ambitions – to make the Berlin Festival a local and international glamour event, to present cutting edge political cinema, to welcome famous directors and to cover filmmaking worldwide – the selection seemed arbitrary. Next to friendly topical films like The Year My Parents Went on Vacation by Cao Hamburger and new works by François Ozon, Jacques Rivette and Robert de Niro stood star vehicles like The Good German by Soderbergh and such oddities as the lame depression-in-middle-age drama When a Man Falls in the Forest (starring Sharon Stone without make-up) and Bordertown, a B-picture presenting the plight of women maquilladeras at the Mexican-American border (starring Jennifer Lopez).

On the other hand, the high-profile jury headed by Paul Schrader took a clear stance for the uncompromising arthouse picture. Jury members Willem Dafoe, Gael García Bernal, Mario Adorf, Hiam Abbass (actress in Paradise Now), Nansun Shi (producer of Infernal Affairs) and Molly Malene Stensgaard (Lars von Trier’s favorite cutter) awarded the Golden Bear for Best Film to the Chinese film Tuya’s Marriage by Wang Quanan. In the bright tones of the clear Mongolian sky and the colourful Mongolian costumes Wang tells the story of a family torn between emotional and material needs. Tuya’s husband Bater is handicapped. When Tuya herself collapses and is told by her doctor to work less hard, the survival of the family is in danger. Tuya and Bater decide to divorce and Tuya tries to find a new husband who will look after Bater as well. A line of suitors appear offering wealth and education in the city but unwilling to look after the ex. A tight script, humour, warmth and low-key emotional cliffhangers make Tuya’s Marriage an engaging film, while never glossing over the extreme hardship the family endures. Interestingly, the second Chinese film of the competition, Lost in Beijing by Li Yu, although opposite in style and location, touched on similar issues. In the breathless film about a young rural couple trying to make their way in the megacity, private happiness fights a loosing battle against the demands of a rapidly changing society.

The acting awards too, were bestowed upon non-topical films with a clear atheistic concept; films that locate the political in small private stories; films dealing in the language of cinema. The Silver Bear for Best Actor went to Julio Chávez for his performance in the strictly non-commercial Argentinian film El Otro by Ariel Rotter (which also received a Silver Bear). Chávez plays a 46-year-old man who is told by his girlfriend that they are expecting a baby. The news send him on a contemplative journey through sombre bars and hotels. He toys with the idea of changing his identity, he fucks with a stranger and saves an old woman pretending to be a doctor. After maybe two days in this silent and dark other world of thought he returns home to his girlfriend and his old father. For a similarly austere performance, German actress Nina Hoss received a Silver Bear for Best Actress. In Yella by Christian Petzold (Wolfsburg) she plays an East German woman running away from a failed marriage and material hardship to an unearthly steel-and-glass world of venture capital and big business. The decision came as a big surprise since press and public alike had seen Marianne Faithful as the most likely contender, followed by Marion Cotillard as Édith Piaf. In the europudding production Irina Palm about a grandmother becoming a sexworker to save her grandson, Faithful is delightful to watch as the ‘wanking widow’. In fact her performance of a woman who is forced to overcome her shyness and discovers new horizons in a sleazy sex shop saves an otherwise rather shallow comedy that nevertheless charmed audiences.

The Silver Bear for Best Director was awarded to the Israeli drama Beaufort by Joseph Cedar. In his film Cedar portrays the last unit to be stationed at the famous seafarer fortress Beaufort in Lebanon before the complete retreat of the Israeli army. The story of a group of men defending and dying for a hill that will be given up soon anyway concentrates on the lethal absurdities that political decisions force upon the ordinary soldier. Without discussing those decisions as such. In a similar vein, Clint Eastwood’s sequel to Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, portrays the kamikaze fight of the Japanese Army against the Americans on the island of Iwo Jima, in which 20,000 Japanese soldiers died.

The Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement went to the ensemble cast of The Good Sheperd by Robert de Niro, the Bear for the Best Film Music was given to the coming-of-age drama Hallam Foe by David Mackenzie and the weird computer animated asylum extravaganza I Am a Cyborg, But That’s OK by Old Boy director Park Chan-wook received the Alfred-Bauer-Price for ‘new perspectives in the art of filmmaking’.