Berlinale ’16: Rosi’s “Fire,” Netflix’s “Cooked” join line-up

Italian director Gianfranco Rosi's forthcoming Fire at Sea (pictured) and Michael Pollan and filmmaker Alex Gibney's docuseries Cooked have been added to competition at the 66th annual Berlin International Film Festival in February.
January 15, 2016

Italian director Gianfranco Rosi’s forthcoming European migrant crisis documentary and Michael Pollan and filmmaker Alex Gibney‘s docuseries Cooked have been added to competition at the 66th annual Berlin International Film Festival in February.

Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare, pictured), which will enjoy its world premiere during the Berlinale 2016, documents the Sicilian island of Lampedusa that has become the first point of entry for the hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants attempting to make their way across Europe.

The film is the latest documentary project slated to compete for the Golden Bear and Silver Bears after the festival announced its first doc selections in December.

Elsewhere, the international premiere of Peg Gatell’s Off-Road. Mugaritz, Feeling a Way (Campo a través. Mugaritz, intuyendo un camino) will open the 10th annual Culinary Cinema program set to showcase feature-length films that intertwine food, culture and politics.

Notable selections screening in the showcase include Pollan and Gibney’s four-part docuseries Cooked, which was picked up by Netflix today (January 15) and will screen two episodes focused on the elemental impact in the kitchen; and director Mor Kaplansky and Thru You Princess producer Liran Atzmor‘s Café Nagler, which will recount the foundation of the Berlin-based eatery.

Also showing in the program are Pierre Deschamps’ Noma – My Perfect Storm, which will document the internationally celebrated Danish chef René Redzepi; Eric Khoo’s docufiction Wanton Mee, which explores the transformation of Singapore’s street food scene and the resulting loss in quality of life; and Rosie Stapel’s Portrait of a Garden (Portret van een tuin), which details the art of plant care in a Dutch kitchen garden.

Rounding out the screenings will be Gina Abatemarco’s Kivalina, chronicling the inhabitants of an Alaskan village that will be inundated within the decade; and Maurice Dekkers’ Ants on a Shrimp, which follows star chef René Redzepi as he relocates his restaurant to Tokyo for six weeks.

Organizers have also announced two-thirds of the festival’s ‘Panorama Dokumente,’ adding four documentary projects to the line-up. The entire program will be finalized in the coming days.

The festival will host the international and European premieres of Aaron Brookner’s Uncle Howard and Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato‘s Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, respectively.

Brookner‘s Uncle Howard will look to preserve the legacy of his uncle Howard Brookner 25 years after his burgeoning career was cut short by to AIDS in 1989.Through an archive of newly discovered documents, Aaron sets out to discover Howard’s never-before-seen films in order to create a cinematic elegy about his childhood idol.

The World of Wonder-produced Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures offers a comprehensive look at the controversial life and career of artist Robert Mapplethorpe, whose photographs pushed boundaries with frank depictions of nudity, sexuality and fetishism. The film features archival materials and rarely-seen, uncensored photographs and footage, as well as rediscovered audio interviews that tell Mapplethorpe’s story in his own words. Mapplethorpe will enjoy its world premiere at Sundance later this month and its television debut in April on HBO.

Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, meanwhile, returns to the ‘Panorama’ program with the world premiere of Mariupolis, chronicling everyday life in Mariupol, Ukraine, under the threat of daily bomb blasts.

Finally, Jochen Hick’s The GDR Complex (Der Ost-Komplex) will portray a former citizen of the German Democratic Republic who was arrested in 1987 for attempting to flee and today gives lectures about his experiences during his incarceration.

The Berlinale takes place from February 11 to 21.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.