Fifteen Canadian films, including Philippe Falardeau's C'est Pas Moi, Je Le Jure! (It's Not Me, I Swear) are to be screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, opening Thursday.
Experimental filmmaker and artist Michael Snow's film Puccini Conservato will open the Forum Expanded section of the festival, which includes art and experimental films.
Four of the Canadian films will make their world premieres.
The Berlin film festival, the first big European festival of the year, opens Thursday with Tom Tykwer's The International, the film about corruption in the financial system starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts.
C'est Pas Moi, Je Le Jure!, Falardeau's family drama about a 10-year-old boy pushing boundaries of every kind after his mother leaves the family, will screen in competition at Generation Kplus, which features films suitable for children.
Canadian filmmaker John Greyson, who frequently deals with issues surrounding AIDS in his films, has entered his Fig Trees in the Panorama program.
Two years ago he created a "video-opera," staged in seven rooms, of Fig Trees, and the film to screen in Berlin is a far-from-conventional adaptation of that work.
It combines archival footage of opera with the true stories of two AIDS activists, one in Toronto and another in South Africa, dealing with issues of access to AIDS retroviral drugs.
Also in the Panorama program is Gary Yates's High Life, a crime comedy about four hapless junkies attempting to rob a bank.
Snow's Puccini Conservato combines a soundtrack of the Italian composer's La Boheme with handheld video of flowers or wood fire, following the lyricism in Puccini's music.
Other films in the Forum section are:
- Petr Lom's Letters to the President, an Iran-Canada co-production in which ordinary Iranians express opinions about their controversial president.
- Philip Hoffman's All Fall Down, an experimental film that explores the lives of two people who have lived in an Ontario farm house, one contemporary and one from 200 years ago.
- L'encerclement — La Démocratie Dans Les Rets Du Néolibéralisme (Encirclement — Neo-Liberalism Ensnares Democracy), a portrait of neo-liberal thought around the world by Richard Brouillette.
Princess Margaret Blvd., an examination of Alzheimer's disease by Toronto filmmaker Kazik Radwanski that won an award at Slamdance earlier this year is entered in competition as a short film, along with Trevor Anderson's The Island.
Other short films at the festival:
- The Story of Apinachie and her Redheaded Warrior, Bear Witness.
- War Pony, Keesic Douglas.
- A Grim Fairy Tale, Bonnie Devine.
- Zwei Indianer aus Winnipeg, Darryl Nepinak.
Telefilm is also hosting Perspective Canada, a 14-film series at Berlin's European Film Market that will promote films such as David Bezmogiz's Victoria Day and Before Tomorrow, by Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, to international buyers.
The Berlin film festival runs Feb. 5-15.