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Canadian movies set to make their mark at the Berlin film festival

Rice Terraces #2, Western Yunnan Province, China 2012.

Ed Burtynsky

Five Canadian films are included in the upcoming 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Feb. 6 to 16), though none are in the official competition for the Golden Bear.

They include two that had their Canadian premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival: The documentary Watermark by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky will be shown as part of the Berlin Special program, while the globe-hopping drama, Triptych, directed by Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires, adapted from Lepage's nine-hour stage drama, Lipsynch, will show in the Panorama section (which includes a mix of art-house and international independent films).

Berlin, which rates with Cannes, Toronto, Venice and Sundance among the world's top five film festivals, announced its full lineup earlier this month. The opening film is Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. Also featured is an out-of-competition screening of George Clooney's The Monuments Men, about a Second World War platoon attempting to rescue stolen art from the Nazis.

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Two Quebec directors, Jean-François Caissy and Denis Côté, have films in the Forum section selected from boundary-pushing features from around the world. Caissy's Guidelines (La marche à suivre) focuses on kids in a rural high school. Joy of Man's Desiring is Denis Côté's third film at Berlin, following Vic+Flo Saw a Bear, which won the Alfred Bauer Prize for innovation last year, and Bestiary, which showed in 2012.

In addition, Robert Morin's 3 Indian Tales, following three young native Canadians over four seasons, has its world premiere in the Generation section, which is judged by a jury of children and teenagers, The five filmmakers were selected this week by Telefilm Canada in a list of Ten Canadians to Watch at the Berlin International Film Festival. Others on the list include producer Paul Barkin (Amreeka) with his film-in-development, Afterlands; aboriginal producer-actor Adam Beach; filmmaker Ingrid Veninger and producer Félize Frappier (The Grand Seduction) with her new film-in-development Kuessipan about an Innu teenager. Also included were Phyllis Laing and Liz Jarvis (The Saddest Music in the World) who are the Canadian producers (along with France and Spain) in the competition film, Aloft, starring Cillian Murphy and Jennifer Connelly.

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About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More


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