berlin film festival

Buzz, like swine flu is something you can pick up at a party

Buzz, like swine flu is something you can pick up at a party

Image from THE OATH, the story of Salim Hamdan

That ephemeral Sundance commodity known as buzz used to be something you picked up at parties, on shuttles, waiting in line at screenings — now it’s quantified before the festival even begins, with films ranked on the Sundance site according to page views (and, once the screenings actually get under way, star ratings). Based on the track records of the parties involved (and on totally unscientific early word of mouth), here are the four movies — one from each of the competitive sections — I have the highest hopes for…

International Filmmaker Award Finalists Announced (2)

International Filmmaker Award Finalists Announced (2)

Alejandro Fernández Almendras was born in Chillán, Chile, in 1971. He has worked as a journalist, photographer and film critic, and has lived in Chile and New York. He has directed several short films, including LO QUE TRAE LA LLUVIA (2007), which screened at the Berlin Film Festival and was awarded the Casa de Americas prize in the Version Española short film competition; and DESDE LEJOS (2006), which won best short film at the Santiago International Film Festival, and best regional work at the Valdivia Film Festival. Almendras is a 2007 Artists’ Fellowship recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

Paz Fabrega / AGUA FRIA DE MAR (Costa Rica) — On the south pacific coast of Costa Rica, a young woman encounters a strange little girl, who brings on a crisis of unsuspected proportions. She is faced with the limitations and loneliness of her privileged life complicated by the heightened atmosphere of the unpredictable, vast nature, which make human effort seems small and absurd.