Science Films at the 2024 Berlinale

On February 15, the 74th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) begins, screening over 200 films in 11 sections across 15 cinemas in Berlin through February 25. We have identified the 18 science or technology-related films in this year’s lineup, with descriptions quoted from the festival program below.

Nearly all of the films below will make their world premiere, including Johan Renck’s SPACEMAN, his first feature since winning an Emmy for the limited series CHERNOBYL. Based on Jaroslav Kalfa’s novel Spaceman of Bohemia, the film boasts a star-studded cast including Adam Sandler, Carrie Mulligan, Paul Dano, and Isabella Rossellini. Sandler plays an astronaut several months into a solitary space mission.

Anna Cornudella Castro’s THE HUMAN HIBERNATION, another world premiere, has a more terrestrial focus. Castro’s debut film challenges anthropocentrism in its fictional contemplation of how different life on Earth might be, were humans to hibernate each winter as many species do. Sloan Science & Film will be in attendance at the Berlinale, so check back for coverage.


ANOTHER END. Dir. Piero Messina. World Premiere. “In the near future, a new technology places the consciousness of a dead person back into a living body in an attempt to ease the grief of separation and grant the bereft a little extra time to say goodbye.”

ARCHITECTON. Dir. Victor Kossakovsky. World Premiere. “A visually powerful journey into the realm of materials from which human dwellings are made: concrete and its predecessor, stone. Victor Kossakovsky’s cinematic essay explores the fundamental question: How will we inhabit the world of tomorrow?”

GLORIA!. Dir. Margherita Vicario. World Premiere. “Venice in the year 1800. What happens when a decrepit old music school for girls receives a newly invented ‘music machine’ that everyone calls the ‘pianoforte’? Will it be the vehicle to freedom for five blossoming young musicians?”


AT AVERROES & ROSA PARKS. Dir. Nicolas Philibert. World Premiere. “A psychiatric clinic in Paris. Individual interviews and patient-carer meetings reveal a form of psychiatry that gives more space to the patients’ words. Little by little, the door to each of their worlds opens wider.”

CHIME. Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa. World Premiere. “Tashiro, a student at a culinary school, hears voices in his head. His teacher, Matsuoka, remains unconcerned. But then Tashiro claims that half of his brain has been replaced by a machine.”

SPACEMAN. Dir. Johan Renck. World Premiere. “Jacob, an astronaut, has been on a space mission for months. He realizes that his wife might not be waiting for him once he returns to Earth. In his desperation, he turns for help to a mysterious creature lurking deep in the bowels of his spaceship.”

Still from SPACEMAN. Courtesy of Berlinale.


THE MOON ALSO RISES. Dir. Yuyan Wang. World Premiere. “Artificial moons are going to be launched into space to eliminate the difference between day and night. An elderly couple retreats into the increasing darkness of their apartment, illuminated by digital devices.”

Still from THE MOON ALSO RISES. Courtesy of Berlinale.

TAKO TSUBO. Dir. Fanny Sorgo, Eva Pedroza. World Premiere. “Mr. Ham decides to have his heart removed to free himself from his complicated emotions. The doctor assures him that, in this day and age, this procedure no longer poses a problem.”


TRUE CHRONICLES OF THE BLIDA JOINVILLE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL IN THE LAST CENTURY. Dir. Abdenour Zahzah. World Premiere. “Frantz Fanon was a renowned politician and decolonialization activist. This feature focuses on his visionary social therapy methods during his time as a psychiatrist in Algeria from 1953 to 1956. A piece of sober anti-racism.”

THE HUMAN HIBERNATION. Dir. Anna Cornudella Castro. World Premiere. “A brother and sister are hibernating. Only the sister wakes up. Human hibernation blurs the boundary between people and animals. A thought experiment equal parts sci-fi and meditation, shot in searing images.”

WELL ORDERED NATURE. Dir. Eva C. Heldmann. World Premiere. “Free-floating yet rigorously structured, this essay film presents botanist and educationalist Catharina Helena Dörrien and her time in Orange-Nassau in the 18th century. Via regulations and floral formulas, nature philosophy and social policy converge.”

Still from WELL ORDERED NATURE. Courtesy of Berlinale.

THE EDITORIAL OFFICE. Dir. Roman Bondarchuk. World Premiere. “Young biologist Jura still lives with his mum and witnesses arson while looking for marmots on the Kherson steppe. As he tries to make what happened public, he ends up entangled in shady affairs. A surreal, self-critical satire on media and politics.”

THE INVISIBLE ZOO. Dir. Romuald Karmakar. World Premiere. “Across the seasons, the film gives an account of life and work and the animals and visitors at Zurich Zoo, an institution that is one of the leading zoological gardens in Europe. Animals in their cages, humans in the cinema. What lies between them?”


FOR HERE AM I SITTING IN A TIN CAN FAR ABOVE THE WORLD. Dir. Gala Hernández López. World Premiere. “A woman dreams of a future economic crisis affecting the cryptocurrency market. Thousands have been cryogenised, awaiting better times. Are they suspended, or are they falling into the void?”

GRANDMAMAUNTSISTERCAT. Dir. Zuza Banasińska. International Premiere. “Created from archival materials from communist Poland, the film tells the story of a multispecies matriarchal family through the eyes of a child grappling with the reproduction of ideological and representational systems.”

O SEEKER. Dir. Gavati Wad. World Premiere. “In a post-pandemic world, this 16mm film examines science, politics, spirituality and superstition in India as it pieces together a puzzle of unresolved questions through conversations about grief, loss and absurd events, both real and imagined.”


BARRUNTO. Dir. Emilia Beatriz. World Premiere. “BARRUNTO is a speculative fiction that takes place in a future of the past, in a present ruptured now. Its far-reaching network of affinities spans from Puerto Rico to Scotland, from the land to the bottom of the sea, and all the way to planet Uranus.”

NANACATEPEC. Dir. Elena Pardo, Azucena Losana. World Premiere. “A 16mm film performance draws inspiration from the Nanacatepec, a rock traversed by a network that extends without a defined shape. Its fruits, in the form of mushrooms, serve as creators and transformers of everything in the world.”

Still from NANACATEPEC. Courtesy of Berlinale.

More from Sloan Science and Film: