Denis Côté to screen in competition at 2022 Berlinale

"Ghost Town Anthology" Press Conference - 69th Berlinale International Film Festival
Côté's Un été comme ça will make its world premiere while a film from Canadian director Ashley McKenzie screens in the Encounters category.

Quebec director Denis Côté is returning to the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), this time with Un été comme ça (That Kind of Summer) in competition.

The New Brunswick-born filmmaker, who’s been at Berlinale several times, wrote and directed the majority coproduction from Metafilms (Canada) and Cinéfrance Studios (France). The film received funds from Telefilm Canada, the Harold Greenberg Fund and La Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC).

Un été comme ça will make its world premiere with a story of three young women who attend a retreat to explore their sexuality. The cast includes Larissa Corriveau, Aude Mathieu, Laure Giappiconi, Anne Ratte-Polle and Samir Guesmi.

A total of 18 films will compete for the Golden and Silver Bears at the 72nd Berlinale, which will run in-person from Feb. 10 to 16 with COVID-19 protocols including a cap on theatre audiences at 50% capacity and no parties or receptions. The festival will then feature repeat screenings of the films in Berlin cinemas up to Feb. 20.

Other films in competition include Avec amour et acharnement (Both Sides of the Blade) by French director Claire Denis, starring Juliette Binoche; Mikhaël Hers’ French film Les passagers de la nuit (The Passengers of the Night), starring Charlotte Gainsbourg; and the U.S. feature Call Jane by Phyllis Nagy, starring Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver and Kate Mara.

Côté’s 2013 film Vic and Flo Saw a Bear premiered in competition at the 63rd Berlinale and won the Alfred Bauer Prize. He’s since returned several times, including last year’s instalment, where he won best director in the experimental Encounters category for Hygiène sociale (Social Hygiene).

This year’s Encounters category has another Canadian world premiere feature: Queens of the Qing Dynasty from Ashley McKenzie, who hails from Cape Breton Island, N.S., and made a splash at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival with the debut feature film WerewolfQueens of the Qing Dynasty (McKenzie’s Hi-Vis Films, formerly known as grassfire films) stars Sarah Walker and Ziyin Zheng in a story of a small-town, suicidal teen who forms a candid rapport with the international student from Shanghai assigned to watch them in-hospital.

McKenzie, Britt Kerr and Nelson MacDonald are producers on Queens of the Qing Dynasty, which was also produced with the assistance of the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund; the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, and Heritage; the Canada Film or Video Production Tax Credit Fund (CPTC); and CBC Films. Werewolf was part of Telefilm’s Talent to Watch cohort and Queens of the Qing Dynasty was made with the Telefilm Canada Feature Film Fund as part of their now-retired Fast Track program.

Other Canadian projects bound for Berlinale include the recently announced feature documentaries Cette maison (This House) and Geographies of Solitude, and the French-language series Last Summers of the Raspberries (Le temps des framboises).

Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images