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Berlinale Forum: New Head Appoints Selection Committee


Joint Press Release of the Berlin International Film Festival and the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art

Film critic, author and curator Cristina Nord, head of Berlinale Forum since August 1, 2019, has assembled a new programming team.

Berlinale Forum aims to expand the understanding of what film is, to test the boundaries of convention and open up fresh perspectives to help grasp cinema and how it relates to the world in new ways. The programme can include anything that serves these ends: contemporary and historical, analogue and digital film; documentary forms, essays and hybrid forms; as well as fiction films.

Creating the programme is the task of a selection committee that will begin its work in the coming days. The committee is made up of five film experts:

Joan Aguilar studied political science in Berlin and philosophy and film history in Barcelona. During this time he also worked for various film festivals, including the International Film Festival Brussels. After his studies he assisted on the set of productions by Amos Gitai, Claire Denis, Jessica Hausner and Géraldine Bajard. Since 2010, he has been a partner at the Belgian distribution company Imagine Film Distribution in Brussels. In 2014, he was a member of the international jury at the Biarritz Festival of Latin American Cinema. In 2015 and 2016 he was a member of the selection committee of the ACM Distribution fund at the CNC in Paris.

Anna Hoffmann first gained curating experience at the Hamburg municipal cinema Metropolis. From 1987 to 1990, she was a member of the selection committee of the European Low Budget Film Forum, a predecessor of Filmfest Hamburg. In addition to freelance work as an editor, critic, translator, subtitler and production assistant for fiction and documentary films, she was director of the European Documentary Film Institute in Mülheim/Ruhr from 1993 to 1996. She has been the Forum’s programme manager and a member of its selection committee since 2001.

James Lattimer is a film curator, critic, and filmmaker. He has been a member of the Berlinale Forum selection committee since 2011 and has curated film series for Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art and Volksbühne Berlin. He started working for the Viennale in 2018 and became a programming consultant there in 2019. He co-directed the experimental documentary short All Still Orbit with Dane Komljen, and co-wrote Dane Komljen’s upcoming second feature A Treatise on Limnology. His writing on cinema has appeared in Cinema Scope, Sight and Sound, The Brooklyn Rail, Film Comment and Fireflies, among others.

Cristina Nord has been head of Berlinale Forum since August 1, 2019. From 2002 to 2015, she was film editor in the cultural section of the daily taz. die tageszeitung. In addition to her award-winning publishing activities, she has also worked as a lecturer and curator at various institutes, including the Freie Universität Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and Duisburger Filmwoche. From 2015 to 2019, Cristina Nord was located in Brussels as the Goethe-Institut’s regional programming head for Southwestern Europe.

Jacqueline Nsiah studied Visual and Media Anthropology as well as African Studies, and is a consultant to film festivals and art and culture projects. In addition to work for the Cambridge African Film Festival, the Real Life Documentary Film Festival in Accra, and the Festival do Rio, she was co-director and curator of the African film festival UHURU in Rio de Janeiro, and a programmer for Film Africa in London. She is currently active as a programme director for the Africa Film Society in Ghana, and oversees an African film platform at the Goethe-Institut as project manager.

The programming committee will be assisted by a group of ten consultants, each putting their specific knowledge and networks at the service of Berlinale Forum:

Enoka Ayemba (Berlin), Alia Ayman (New York, Cairo), Bernd Buder (Berlin), Lyse Ishimwe Nsengiyumva (Brussels), Birgit Kohler (Berlin), Jan Künemund (Berlin), Luciano Monteagudo (Buenos Aires), Sven von Reden (Cologne), Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (Berlin), Vincent Stroep (Antwerp).

“The mix of merited, long-time contributors to Berlinale Forum and new faces ensures that we’ll find a good ratio of continuity and departure,” says Cristina Nord. “The contrasting perspectives make certain that we can meet our international aims. They will contribute to helping cinema keep one of its promises: that a movie theatre can be a privileged place, one where we can experience differences. Going to the cinema and being confronted with the unfamiliar are inseparable experiences. Our goal is a programme that counters the status quo with a vision of other possibilities, one that inspires and pushes both senses and thought - sometimes to the straining point - while simultaneously sparking curiosity and challenging perception.”

Berlinale Forum has taken place as part of the Berlinale since 1971 and is independently curated and organised by Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art.

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