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Pleasant Surprises: Stories Left to Be Found

14.02.2017 - Isabel Coixet, Peter Cowie

“It’s on sharing stories, my father, the cold and Kim Kardashian,” says Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet about her latest short film It's Not That Cold Siberia. In a session that combines the first public screening with an extensive conversation, the director (My Life Without Me, Nobody Wants the Night) invites us to embark with her on a winding trip to Siberia and back. The film is an ode to recently deceased art critic, novelist, painter and poet John Berger, who considered himself more a carrier of stories than their teller. Coixet confronts the contradictory magic of coincidences, how ideas grow and what can happen to a director on the roads to a new film.


Isabel Coixet

photo of Isabel Coixet
One of the most prolific Spanish directors working today, Isabel Coixet has directed 12 feature films since her debut in 1988. She is known for her distinctive visual style, and often directs, writes and produces her films. These include a mixture of Spanish and English language titles, seven of which have screened at the Berlinale, including ELEGY (2008) and MY LIFE WITHOUT ME (2013). In 2009, she was a member of the festival’s international jury. She received the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2015.

Peter Cowie

photo of Peter Cowie
A film historian and former international publishing director of Variety magazine, Peter Cowie has written more than 30 books on major figures and eras of world cinema, including Bergman, Welles, Coppola and Kurosawa. He published and edited the annual International Film Guide for 40 years and has contributed numerous commentaries to Criterion’s DVD collection. He has been a consultant to Berlinale Talents since the programme’s inception in 2003.