The first major focus to be announced for the 2013 Berlinale is indigenous cinema. A special section entitled Native will be devoted to the cinematic storytelling of indigenous peoples from around the world.
Milestones of indigenous filmmaking will be shown in a special program of feature-length and short fictional and documentary films. The programme will be curated together with a number of experts who are themselves of indigenous descent.
The central venue of the main programme will be the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, where, in addition to the film screenings, panel discussions and other events will be held. The Berlinale’s sections also plan to include recent indigenous films in their various programmes.
“The experience of gathering together in the dark with a bunch of my fellow citizens to experience intimate and epic stories in images of light is a near primal experience,” explains Maori filmmaker Tainui Stephens from New Zealand/Aotearoa. “It is related to the storytellers of yesterday who would thrill listeners at night by the flickering light of a fire.”
Native aims to give international audiences the chance to experience the diverse forms of expression and content of indigenous cinema, while the Berlinale wants to express its high regard for indigenous cinema and its artistic, economic and political relevance, which goes beyond the boundaries of nation and tribe.
“We wish to reveal the significance of indigenous film for cinematic art and, above all, for indigenous peoples,” states Festival Director Dieter Kosslick. “I’m pleased the Berlinale is taking this initiative and Native will be able to unfold its great potential at the next Festival.”