Berlinale Special & Berlinale Series


In its ninth edition,Berlinale Seriespresents eight world and international premieres. For the first time, series from India, China, Italy and Romania are included in the selection. Silver Bear winner Zhang Dalei (Berlinale Shorts2021) returns to Berlin, and two eagerly awaited international co-productions feature German-speaking talents Leonie Benesch and Svenja Jung. Together with Jana McKinnon, Sonakshi Sinha, Ccile de France, Eili Harboe and the Good Mothers Gaia Girace, Valentina Bell, Barbara Chichiarelli and Micaela Ramazotti, they represent the narrative diversity of female series characters in the programme.

Seven productions will compete for the newly createdBerlinale SeriesAward, presented in cooperation with Deadline. The winner will be chosen by an international jury consisting of actor Andr Holland (The Eddy, Berlinale Series 2020;Bones and All;Moonlight), Danna Stern (executive producer, global content executive and founder of yes Studios, known forShtisel,Fauda,On the SpectrumandYour Honour, among others), and Mette Heeno (screenwriter and creator,Splitting up together,Berlinale Series2016,Snow Angels,Berlinale Series2021). TheBerlinale SeriesAward ceremony will take place on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

Blueprints for the future realistic and gloomy, humorous or hopeful are a guiding theme of the 2023 series selection. Scenarios of a world dramatically unbalanced by changes in the meteorological and social climate, pleas for social change embedded in genre narratives as well as reinterpretations of the recent past the current productions are politically sober, committed to the present and future oriented, comments Julia Fidel, head ofBerlinale Series.

Past Continuous

The present is constantly changing, and with it, our concepts of the future and the past. The Cold War thrillerSpy/Masterabout a double agent caught between systems connects to viewers experience of current crises, as the intricately connected protagonists are primarily motivated by economic and geopolitical interests rather than moral imperatives. InWhy Try to Change Me Now, Zhang Dalei (Berlinale Shorts2023) is confronted with a new interpretation of her past.

Is the Future Female?

Familiar genres are reinterpreted by female protagonists and established systems are given a good shake. The Indian seriesDahaad(Roar), with its young, emancipated policewoman, asks uncomfortable questions about societys treatment of women, deviant beliefs, norms and traditions. InThe Good Mothers, it is the long overlooked wives and daughters of the familiar mafiosi characters who bring down a patriarchal network of violence, silence and oppression.

And what about the future of the middle-aged white man? He deals intensively with the predicaments he regularly gets himself into. An all-star cast including Esben Smed, Ulrich Thomsen and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau leads us through the hilarious ups and downs of everyday life as anAgent.

No Future?

With sardonic humour,Arkitekten(The Architect) depicts a hypergentrified future in which there are no public places or opportunities for social advancement without giving up ones physical or psychological integrity. And humanity is attacked by an unknown intelligence in the opening seriesDer Schwarm(The Swarm) (seepress release from December 20, 2022), which will screen out of competition.

Overview of the programme