Berlinale 2020 Forum Expanded Hit List

Article by Hannah Carroll Harris // Feb. 11, 2020

Now in its 70th year, the Berlinale remains one of the largest film festivals in the world. Featuring over 400 films of all genres, lengths and formats, the festival draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. The monumental program is divided into various sections ranging from Berlinale Shorts to Berlinale Classics, all of which support the keystone of the festival, the competition.

Once again, this year the Forum Expanded section features all things experimental and avant-garde when it comes to film. Sitting at the crossroads of art and cinema, the Forum Expanded program aims to expand our understanding of what film is and provide new perspectives on how we experience cinema and the moving image. As such, it includes artworks, performances, installations and film screenings, each broaching themes including migration, climate crisis, state authority and capitalism. Here are just a few of the exciting highlights from this year’s line-up.

Ayoung Kim: still from Porosity Valley 2 Tricksters’ Plot, 2019 // Courtesy of the artist

Group Show: ‘Part of the Problem’
Opening: Feb. 19, 2020; 7pm
Exhibition: Feb. 20 – Mar. 22, 2020
Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin, click here for map

‘Part of the Problem’ is a group exhibition that comprises 12 video installations, each grappling with what it means to be making meaningful cinema and art in this new decade. Featured in the exhibition, Ayoung Kim’s speculative fiction ‘Porosity Valley 2: Tricksters’ Plot’ combines global migration and the pseudo-myths of Mongolia and associates them with the influx of Yemen refugees seeking shelter on Jeju Island. In this follow-up to her 2017 video work ‘Porosity Valley: Portable Holes,’ Kim explores the transfers and crossings taking place at a global level. Other artists on view include The Otolith Group, the Palestinian collective RIWAQ and Forensic Architecture.

*We’re giving away two tickets to the group exhibition ‘Part of the Problem’! To enter, follow the instructions at the end of this article.*

Patrícia Ferreira Pará Yxapy: ‘Letter From a Guaraní Woman in Search of the Land Without Evil’
Opening: Feb. 19, 2020; 7pm
Exhibition: Feb. 20 – Mar. 15, 2020
Plantagenstraße 31, 13347 Berlin, click here for map

This exhibition highlights the enigmatic displacement of the Guaraní and features the work of Patrícia Ferreira Pará Yxapy, one of the most engaged women in Brazilian indigenous cinema. Curated by filmmaker and artist Anna Azevedo, this solo show presents a collection of new works while reflecting on the archive behind the artist’s work.

Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed: still from ‘Purple Sea’, 2019 // Courtesy of the artist

Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed: ‘Purple Sea’
Screening: Feb. 25, 2020; 6:30PM
Kantstraße 12A, 10623 Berlin, click here for map
Screening: Feb. 26, 2020; 2pm
silent green Kulturquartier, Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin, click here for map

The experimental documentary ‘Purple Sea’ will make its world premier at this year’s Forum Expanded. This German-Syrian collaboration approaches the urgent issues of displacement and migration around the Mediterranean sea from a unique angle.

Akram Zaatari: ‘Al-Houbut (The Landing)’
Screening: Feb. 24, 2020; 10pm
Potsdamer Straße 2, 10785 Berlin click here for map
Screening: Feb. 21, 2020: 8:30pm
silent green Kulturquartier, Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin click here for map

‘Al-Houbut (The Landing)’ takes as its starting point Shaabiyat Al Ghurayfah, a public housing project built for descendants of the Al Kutby tribe in Al Madam, Sharjah in the early 1980s. In 1994, the families moved to new housing in the vicinity, leaving their old houses to be covered slowly in shifting sands. Today, Shaabiyyat Al Ghurayfah looks like ancient ruins. The film unfolds as a repertoire of simple gestures, a few of which are inspired by the photographic documentation of performances by Hassan Sharif, playfully engaging with architecture, vegetation, space, movement, threshold, surveillance and perspective.

Akram Zaatari: still from ‘The Landing’, 2019 // Courtesy of the artist

Thirza Cuthand: ‘NDN Survival Trilogy’
Opening: Feb. 20, 2020; 5.30pm
Exhibition: Feb. 20 – Mar. 01, 2020
Leipziger Pl. 17, 10117 Berlin, click here for map

The Marshall McLuhan Salon at the Canadian Embassy will show Thirza Cuthand’s exhibition ‘NDN Survival Trilogy’, which deals with the consequences of raw material extraction for Canada’s indigenous population. The three videos create space to add queer perspectives to the topic.

The complete Forum Expanded program can be found here.

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Thirza Cuthand: still from ‘NDN Survival Trilogy’, 2019 // Courtesy of the artist

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