Ukraine Doc by Sean Penn, Superpower, will premiere at the Berlinale 2023

Sean Penn
Photo: Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

Sean Penn and Aaron Kaufman’s documentary about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Superpower, will premiere at the 2023 Berlin Film Festival as the special gala film of the Berlinale. This year’s show takes place February 16-26, one year after the February 24 invasion. “I suppose that part of the decision is precisely that the Berlin Film Festival will take place exactly one year after the outbreak of the war, and perhaps showing this film in Berlin has a more relevant meaning than anywhere else because we are close to Ukraine, because Ukrainians live in Berlin, and also because of the political value of this film,” Berlinale artistic director Carlo Chatrain said of choosing to go with Superpower as the centerpiece of the Gala. “But he is not the only one dealing with Ukraine. For me, Superpower — I am aware that it will attract a lot of attention — it is a great door that allows you to enter the very complex and rich description of what happened and is happening in Ukraine at this time.

The festival lineup opens with Rebecca Miller’s she came to me, which stars Peter Dinklage as a composer with writer’s block alongside Marisa Tomei, Joanna Kulig, Brian d’Arcy James and Anne Hathaway. Director John Tengrove makes his Berlinale debut with Jesse Eisenberg, and Adrien Brody, starring manodrome. Blackberry, a Matt Johnson-directed film starring Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton and Cary Elwes and focusing on the story of the Canadian smartphone company, is also on the competing lineup. They will have to face the escape from Sundance Past Lives, directed by playwright Celine Song and starring Greta Lee and Teo Yoo. Kristen Stewart is the main jury, while Steven Spielberg will receive an honorary Golden Bear for his lifetime achievement. Tschüss for now! Find the full 2023 roster below.

International competition lineup
20,000 species of bees — Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
the shadowless tower —Zhang Lu
Until the end of the night —Christoph Hochhausler
Blackberry —Matt Johnson
disco boy — Giacomo Abbruzzese
Great Bear —Philippe Garrell
Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey to the Desert —Margarethe von Trotta
Someday we’ll tell each other everything —Emily Atef
Limbo —Ivan Sen
bad life — Joao Canijo
manodrome —John Trengove
Music — Angela Schanelec
Past Lives — Celine song
A fire —Christian Petzold
in the Adamant — Nicholas Philibert
The survival of kindness —Rolf deHeer
suzume —Makoto Shinkai
Totem —Lila Ayles

Berlinale special gala
Superpower —Sean Penn, Aaron Kaufman

Encounter Movies
The Klezmer Project — Leandro Koch, Paloma Schahmann
The adults —Dustin Guy Defa
the echo — Tatiana Huezo
Here —Bas Devos
in the blind spot —Ayse Polat
The cage is looking for a bird —Malika Musaeva
My worst enemy —Mehran Tamadon
white plastic sky —Tibor Banoczki, Sarolta Szabo
in water —Hong Sangsoo
Family time — Aunt Kuovo
The Walls of Bergamo —Stefano Savona
Orlando, my political biography — Pablo B. Preciado
samsara —Lois Patino
Eastern Front —V Mansky, Yevhen Titarenko
live badly — Joao Canijo
Absence —Wu Lang

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