Spacey, Moore and 3-D in focus at Berlin Film Festival

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Spacey, Moore and 3-D in focus at Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN - A financial-crisis thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Demi Moore and a French 3-D animated feature will vie for the top prizes at next month’s Berlin International Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

The 61st edition of the festival, running from Feb. 10-20, will showcase 22 films in its main program, including 16 in the running for the festival’s coveted Golden and Silver Bear prizes, the organizers said in a statement announcing the complete list of competitors.

Among the new entries announced were “Margin Call,” a feature-film debut by J.C. Chandor starring Spacey, Moore, Jeremy Irons and Paul Bettany and set in an investment bank at the start of the turmoil in global financial markets.

U.S. director Joshua Marston, whose drug-mule drama “Maria Full of Grace” picked up two prizes at the 2004 Berlinale, as the event is known, will screen “The Forgiveness of Blood,” about an Albanian family locked in a blood feud.

France’s Michel Ocelot will unveil “Tales of the Night,” a fairytale in 3-D based on his silhouette animation television special - one of three pictures at the festival to be shown in three dimensions.

And Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who won a best director prize for his haunting drama “About Elly” at the 2009 festival, will be back with “Nader and Simin, A Separation,” about an estranged couple reunited by a surprise event.

Farhadi faced a production ban by Iranian authorities while making the film for comments in support of jailed director Jafar Panahi, whom the festival will honor this year. The ban was later lifted.

“We invited Jafar Panahi to be on the International Jury in 2011. But then in December 2010 he was sentenced to six years imprisonment and banned from filmmaking for the next 20 years,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said.

“We are going to use every opportunity to protest against this drastic verdict,” he said in a statement.

The Berlinale will screen several of his films including the award-winning “Offside,” about girls who dress up as boys to sneak into a football stadium, and stage a panel discussion with Iranian filmmakers on censorship.

Competition entries from Hungary, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, Argentina and Russia were also announced Tuesday, joining a line-up released last month. From South Korea, “Late Autumn,” directed by Kim Tae-yong and featuring Korean actor Hyun Bin and Chinese actress Tang Wei will compete with other films.

It includes Ralph Fiennes making his directorial debut with “Coriolanus,” a contemporary reimagining of the Shakespeare tragedy about a Roman general who mounts a rebellion against the empire.

The film was originally slated to appear out of competition but will now join the running for the top prizes, a festival spokeswoman said.

Zoe Kravitz, the daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, stars in U.S. competition entry “Yelling To The Sky” by Victoria Mahoney, about a 17-year-old girl fending for herself in a violent New York neighborhood.

Germany’s Wim Wenders will premiere a 3-D documentary on the late choreographer Pina Bausch out of competition, in the festival’s main showcase.

And Liam Neeson stars in “Unknown,” a German-British-French thriller about a man who emerges from a coma to discover his identity has been stolen, which will also screen out of competition.

The event, one of the world’s top film festivals, will open with a remake of the classic Western “True Grit” by the Oscar-winning brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.

Italian-American actress Isabella Rossellini will chair the prize jury.


AFP
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