Last year, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh set the Berlin film market alight with hot star-studded projects Suburbicon and Logan Lucky (both now in production), but Berlin in 2017 looks decidedly chilly. International distributors have become more risk-averse, and political uncertainty —thank you, President Trump — is likely to make things worse.
“It’s not a cyclical aberration, this is the new normal,” says Paul Hanson of Convert Media, whose Berlin slate includes Ophelia, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that stars Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts. “The business is less frothy, people are becoming more judicious in what they buy, and everyone is feeling the ripple effect.”
Adds Russell Levine of Route One Entertainment, producer of Sundance hit Landline, “The foreign sales market is very volatile.”
Barring last-minute additions, art house films will be attracting most of the buzz at the European Film Market (Feb. 9 to 17) — with these 20 titles likely to lead the pack.