Netflix is showcasing four new titles at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.
The Berlinale line-up includes red carpet screenings of Better Call Saul and Bloodline, both arriving in the next two months, as well as screenings of Netflixs first original docu-series Chef’s Table (from director David Gelb) and the recent Sundance opening film, What Happened, Miss Simone? from Liz Garbus. The screenings mark the first Berlin Film Festival presence for an Internet TV network; combined with the company’s second Oscar nomination for Best Documentary (for Virunga), it marks Netflix’s continued push of its brand into the public eye – not just as a subscription streaming service, but as a content producer.
“The Berlinale selection is a great display of the variety and high quality of the original programming which distinguishes Netflix,” says Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.
“We’ll offer 320 hours of exclusive, original programming this year, three times as much as in 2014.”
“We are highly selective in picking titles to screen at the festival. Theres a clear global move towards Internet television, including Netflix programming at the Berlinale is a step towards the future,” comments Berlinale Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.
Here’s a rundown of the shows making their way down the Berlin red carpet:
Screening: Monday 9th February
Guests: Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman, Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn
Netflix UK release date: Friday 20th March
When the eldest brother and black sheep of the Rayburn family returns home, he exposes the emotional demons that lie at the core of the family, threatening to tear them apart. With a stellar cast headlined by Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, Jacinda Barrett, Jamie McShane, Enrique Murciano, Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepard, the 13-episode series is from executive producers Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler (Damages), and produced by Sony Pictures Television.
Better Call Saul
Screening: Tuesday 10th February
Guests: Bob Odenkirk
Netflix UK release date: Monday 9th March
A prequel to the award-winning series Breaking Bad, whose creator Vince Gilligan and writer/producer Peter Gould serve as co-showrunners of the premiere season. The story is set six years before Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) meets Walter White. When we meet him, the man who will become Saul is known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny and hustling to make ends meet. Working alongside and often against Jimmy is fixer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks). The new series will track Jimmy’s transformation into a man who puts the criminal in :criminal attorney”.
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Screening: Wednesday 11th February
Guests: Liz Garbus
Netflix UK release date: TBC 2015
Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist, Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius, and tortured melancholy. In this epic documentary, director Liz Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Nina’s most memorable songs, to create a portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved, artists of our time.
Screening: Thursday 12th February
Guests: David Gelb and Massimo Bottura
Netflix UK release date: TBC 2015
The docu-series Chef’s Table features six of the worlds most renowned international chefs, and offers viewers the opportunity to go inside the lives and kitchens of these culinary talents. The chefs featured include Ben Shewry (Attica Restaurant in Melbourne, Australia), Magnus Nilsson (Fäviken in Järpen Sweden), Francis Mallmann (El Restaurante Patagonia Sur in Buenos Aires, Argentina), Niki Nakayama (n/naka Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA, USA), Dan Barber (Blue Hill Restaurant at Stone Barns and in New York City, USA) and Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy).