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In the heart of Paris, a prestigious high school takes a daring bet: the integration of a group of talented hip-hop dancers from working-class neighborhoods and diverse backgrounds. ROOKIES follows the new students over the academic year, alternating between the pressures of the classroom and the kinetic energy of the dance floor. In between, students speak frankly about the challenges they face: many come from broken families, have faced poverty, abuse, and personal loss. Through dance, they hope to break the cycle of deprivation.

The opening film of Berlin’s Generation 14Plus section, ROOKIES marks another collaboration from Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai, the creative minds behind “Reset,” a portrait of renowned ballet choreographer Benjamin Millepied (best known for his work in Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”), and the acclaimed Netflix series “Move,” which showcased the journeys of leading choreographers. Building on their earlier dance films, Demaiziére and Teurlai's immersive cinematography interweaves explosive movement and freestyle sessions with moments of quiet reflection. The subjects of ROOKIES may come from different worlds, but their raw talent and passion is unmistakably the same. Along the way they will face injuries and defeats, but also joy, hope, and inner transformation.

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