World premiere for Damon Gameau’s ‘2040’ in Berlin


Damon Gameau’s innovative documentary 2040 will have its world premiere at next month’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Produced by Good Thing Productions’ Nick Batzias with Anna Kaplan and Virginia Whitwell, the film will screen in the Kplus section of the Generation program, which this this year is tagged: ‘Giving the Oppressed a Voice.’

A three year self-described labour of love, 2040 takes the form of a visual letter from the filmmaker to his four-year-old daughter Velvet, showing her what the year 2040 could look like “if we simply embraced the best solutions that exist today.”

He said: “The point is to tell a new and positive story about our future. We are creating a hub of solutions and actions that people can implement at home or at work.”

It will be his second appearance at the Berlinale where That Sugar Film screened in Generation in 2015. The festival said: “2040 combines elements of the traditional documentary film-making with unusual visual effects while approaching a subject most often treated in a dystopian manner in an optimistic and downright cheerful fashion.”

Madman Entertainment will launch the film in May. Co-founder Paul Wiegard told IF last month: “Damon has done a terrific job in capturing the key themes and telling a story which talks to both younger and older audiences.”

Selected from a pool of nearly 2,500 submissions, a total of 62 short and feature-length films from 36 countries will be presented in the Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus programs, reflecting current socio-political themes and giving young people in particular a voice.

Frequently neglected and oppressed by the adult world surrounding them, many of the films’ protagonists feel forced to make radical decisions with no turning back, according to the festival.

Section head Maryanne Redpath said: “The stars in this years’ program are self-determined beings who are often challenged by conservative traditions and who choose to set off on new paths. Often the creativity that they discover grows out of an aimless boredom – it seems adults have nearly forgotten the great productivity that this state can engender.”

Among the other titles screening in Generation Kplus:

by Erik Schmitt
To be able to turn back time and reverse past misfortune: Cleo’s deepest desire suddenly seems to be within her grasp when she learns of a treasure map that reveals the hiding place of a magic clock. Together with chance acquaintance Paul and two quirky treasure hunters, she sets off on a topsy-turvy journey through time and across the city of Berlin.

by Andrew Ahn
In this film, produced by Trudie Styler, Celine Rattray and James Schamus, nearly nine-year-old Cody arrives along with his mother at the house of his deceased aunt. While his mum is busy cleaning out her late sister’s house, Cody has to pass the time on his own. The introverted boy can’t relate very well to the neighbour kids, but he soon forms an unusual bond with grumpy 83-year-old vet Del from next door, a friendship that touches on all of life’s aspects in its casual levity. In the end, a new journey awaits.

Kokdu: A Story of Guardian Angels
Republic of Korea
by Kim Tae Yong
A cinematic adaptation of a Korean theatre piece sees a turbulent fairy tale of a different kind unfold: in their attempt to recover the shoes of their dying grandmother, so innocently traded for a puppy, siblings Su-min and Dong-min accidentally end up in death’s realm themselves, where they are accompanied by four kokdus – mythical creatures that assist the dead on their journey to the hereafter.

Månelyst i Flåklypa (Louis & Luca – Mission to the Moon)

by Rasmus A. Sivertsen
A Norwegian mission is sent to the moon under the direction of the ingenious inventor Reodor. And what could possibly go wrong when Solan tags along as a brave astronaut? Well, quite a bit. On the tumultuous trip, stowaways are discovered, secret plans revealed and nothing seems to work as planned.

Sune vs Sune
Sweden / Denmark
by Jon Holmberg
With swords drawn and powerful laser guns at the ready, ten-year-old Sune engages in fantastic battles with his younger brother and his best friend Sophie. Alas, altered realities await him when summer vacation comes to a close: a new classmate challenges him, and his name is also Sune. Director Jon Holmberg’s feature film debut tells of the fear of failure and the all-too human approaches employed to counter it.

Where We Belong
by Jacqueline Zünd
For Alyssia and Ilaria, every farewell is also a reunion. Just a while ago they were at the Italian Mediterranean coast, now they are standing at a parking lot in front of an Esso gas station, waiting for their father’s car to appear around the corner. Affectionately, they bid their mother good-bye. The two sisters’ parents are separated. Just like Carleton, Sherazade and Thomas, the two girls have found their own way of dealing with the situation. Swiss documentary filmmaker Jacqueline Zünd takes plenty of time for her portraits of five very different protagonists, who have perhaps grasped more quickly than the adults that you don’t have to live together to be father and mother.