Berlinale, Berlin's International Film Festival is on this week. This is Berlin's answer to Canne, Venice or Sundance with a
little less a lot less glamour, as is befitting a city rugged up against the February chill. That's not to say that Berliners don't take their festival going seriously. It is not unusual to hear of people dedicating a week of their holidays to 'festival going', seeing as many as 14 films in one week.
Matthias and I have settled for a more moderate film-lovers tour this year - we're seeing four films over the next 10 days. On Friday we kicked off with Offside, a film that won the Silver Bear at Berlinale in 2006. It's back on the program as a protest against the imprisonment of director Jafar Panahi by the Iranian government. Offside is a wonderful movie - a comedy about five girls trying to get entry into a football stadium to watch a game (women are banned from attending football games in Iran). I loved it despite the Farsi and German subtitles making understanding slightly challenging. I'm hoping that the other three movies are just as good - on the cards is an Argentina film about a wine critique who looses his sense of taste, a Japanese film about Sushi and Riddley Scott's new film "Life in a Day". Here are two teaser's from Life in a Day - since I've seen these this morning I'm even more excited about seeing the film on Saturday.
And a few more photos from Friday night. Not surprisingly, Offside generated a bit of a media frenzy. Check out all the big lenses! Lots of elbowing and jostling for prime photo-take positions. Below left is what all the photo-taking frenzy was about - as I said before, Berlinale isn't quite as glamourous as Venice or Sundance - but this odd collection of people wearing green neckbands are the cast and crew of Offside. The green is another symbol of resistance against the Iranian regime.