From Berlinale to Frankfurt Book Fair, Canadian stories shine

31 • 01

Canadian cultural programming will take centre stage in Germany all year long, including the exciting selection films at the Berlinale (coming up from February 20 to March 1, 2020). Canada has been named the Guest of Honour for the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair (October 14 to 18), in an exciting collaboration between the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada FBM2020 and Global Affairs! 

Discover Canada’s presence at the Berlinale and let’s celebrate the link between literary talents and the excellence of our films and television series.    

Features adapted from books  

Philippe Farladeau’s My Salinger Year (Canada-Ireland coproduction) 

Opening the festival with a Berlinale Special Gala is this Oscar-nominated Canadian director’s adaptation of Joanna Rakoff’s 2014 memoir of the same name. The story also takes place in New York’s 1990s literary scene. Starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver, a young writer gets a job at the literary agency to famed real-life author J.D. Salinger.  

Anaïs Barbeau Lavalette’s Goddess of the Fireflies  (La déesse des mouches à feu) 

This next world premiere is also a book adaptation, this time of Geneviève Pettersen’s 2014 novel. Screening in the fest’s Generation 14plus section, this tale of a teenager whose parents are in the midst of divorcing is also set in the 1990s. As for its director, this is her third film selected for the Berlinale! 


Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century  

After winning Best Canadian First Feature Film prize at TIFF, where it premiered and was selected for Canada’s Top Ten, Rankin’s debut feature won Vancouver Film Critics Circle awards and Best Film at the Los Cabos Film Festival, to name a few, and is making its European premiere at the Berlinale’s Forum section. 

Kazik Radwanski’s Anne at 13,000 ft   

Also having its European premiere in the Forum section is this drama about a troubled young woman challenged by social interactions. At TIFF, it took home an Honourable Mention for the Platform Prize, was named to Canada’s Top Ten, and snagged two Vancouver Film Critics Circle awards.   

Anna Falguères and John Shank’s Pompei (Belgium-France-Canada coproduction) 

After screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, this Eurimages-funded project about two young brothers whose isolated world is shaken up with the arrival of a girl is making its international premiere in the Berlinale’s Generation 14plus section.  


  • Omar Elhamy’s Écume 
  • Halima Ouardiri’s Mutts (Clebs)   
  • Mathieu Grimard’s Goodbye Golovin  
  • Catherine Lepage’s The Great Malaise 
  • Marianne Métivier’s She Who Wears the Rain (Celle qui porte la pluie)  
  • Blake Williams’s 2008  
  • Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson’s Stump the Guesser 

Television series 

Jean-François Rivard’s Happily Married (C’est comme ça que je t’aime)  

Taking place in 1970s Quebec, this 10-episode series marks the first time a Quebec series has been selected for the prestigious Berlinale Series program!  

Other presentations 

  • Forum Anniversary programme: Kerry Feltham’s The Great Chicago Conspiracy Circus (1970) 
  • Forum Expanded: Kika Thorne’s The Sun (installation)  
  • Forum Expanded: Thirza Cuthland’s NDN Survival Trilogy

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