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Martin Blaney 2009-01-09
US indies and strong Asian presence in Berlinale's Forum

Films from the USA, Lebanon, Germany, and Asia are among the new titles confirmed for the Forum's programme at next month's Berlinale.
They include three US independent productions which will have their world premieres in Berlin.
Andrew Bujalski's Beeswax about the vagaries of oral communication; Matthew Hysell's Marin Blue: and Bradley Rust Gray's drama The Exploding Girl.
Meanwhile, Lebanon will be represented by Simon el-Habre's feature-length documentary debut The One Man Village.
The One Man Village was presented as an Open Doors projects in Locarno in 2007 and won the Jury Special Prize in the documentary category of the Muhr Awards at Dubai December 2008.
El-Habre attended the 2006 Berlinale Talent Campus where he met his German co-producer and sales agent.
Speaking to Screen Daily, the director described his film as "a story of healing and true reconciliation in a country in which the inhabitants don't seem to have learned anything from their past, at a time when the country is vulnerable to a new civil war."
Other documentaries selected so far are The Wondrous World Of Laundry by Germany's Hans-Christian Schmid: Doctor Ma's Country Clinic by Cong Feng about the work of a local doctor in China's Gansu province; and Mental (Seishin) by Kazuhiro Soda about a self-help project in Japan's Okayama.
Strong Asian presence
In addition, the Forum will be presenting a number of prize-winners from last year's Pusan International Film Festival.
They include the two Korean films that received Pusan's NETPAC Award: So Yong Kim's Treeless Mountain; and Baek Seung-bin's debut Members Of The Funeral.
They also include winners of Pusan 's New Currents Award: Korean filmmaker Roh Gyeong-Tae's Land Of Scarecrows and Japanese director Ichii Masahide's Naked Of Defenses about the fates of two women working in a plastics factory.
Invitations have also been extended by the Forum selectors to a further two Korean films: Lee Yoon-Ki's My Dear Enemy, starring Jeon Do-Yeon: and The Day After by debutant Lee Suk-Gyung.
Meanwhile, Japan's Sion Sono will return to the Forum after the 2006 presentation of Strange Circus for the screening of his latest work, the almost four-hour long Love Exposure.

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