The 62nd Berlinale, the year's first major European film festival, will kick off on 9 February with 23 film productions being screened in the main showcase.
Notably, one day of the festival will be dedicated to the Arab Spring. On 15 February, two panels will be held, the first of which will focus on Syrian cinema and its relation to the current political situation, while the second will discuss the many film documentaries to emerge out of the wave of popular uprisings that have continued to rock the Arab world.
The first discussion will be chaired by filmmaker, producer and activist Hala Abdallah; filmmaker and journalist Mohamed Ali Atassi; and film analyst Alaa Karkouti. The second discussion will be chaired by Tunisian filmmaker Nadia Al-Fani; Egyptian filmmaker Hala Galal; and Egyptian journalist and activist Nora Younis.
The Egyptian documentary "Reporting Revolution" by Bassam Mortada will be also be screened on 16 February.
Other political films in the festival's selection this year include "Farewell My Queen" by French filmmaker Benoit Jacquot, which is vying for the Berlinale Golden Bear; three films about Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, including the documentary film "No Man’s Zone"; and "In the Land of Blood and Honey" about the Bosnian war, directed by American actress Angelina Jolie.