The Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 6-16) has officially unveiled 19 films from Europe Asia, USA and Africa which will feature in its main competition program.
In total 26 films - including the opening and closing films and special out of competition screenings - are expected to be selected.
The list includes three world premieres from Germany in the competition as well as one from Slovenia and the world premiere of Alan Parker's The Life Of David Gale. France has three films in competition - one of which, Pascal Bonitzer's Petites Coupures, is a world premiere. The US, meanwhile, has five films in competition.
Berlinale 2003 competition films:Wolfgang Becker's Good bye, Lenin!, a tragicomic farce about people and systems (Germany). Oskar Roehler's love story Der Alte Affe Angst(Angst) about the sensitive relationship of a couple who are confronted with the problems of death and deceit. (Germany). Hans-Christian Schmid's In Lichter (Distant Lights) which tells five interwoven tales about his protagonists' fears, existential problems, longings and hopes in the area along the German-Polish border. (Germany). Rezervni Deli (Spare Parts) from Damjan Kozole, which depicts how unscrupulous smugglers exploit desperate refugees. (Slovenia) I'm Not Scared (Io Non Ho Paura) by Academy Award-winner Gabriele Salvatores. From the perspective of its adolescent characters, he examines with psychological interest their relationship with the adult world. (Italy) Claude Chabrol's The Flower of Evil (La Fleur Du Mal), which portrays a seemingly well-established upper middle-class family whose long concealed guilt catches up with it. (France) Patrice Chereau, who won the Golden Bear for Intimacy in 2001, will present the world premiere of his film Son Frère in competition. When one of two brothers, who have not had contact for years, becomes incurably ill, they become close again. (France) Pascal Bonitzer Petites Coupures presents a burlesque story about a notorious lady-killer. In his never-ending search for new women, he is in danger of losing his own life. Daniel Auteuil, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ludivine Sagnier and Jean Yann play the main characters. (France) The Senegalese director Moussa Sene Absa will show Madame Brouette, a Canadian-Senegalese co-production. The film depicts the struggle of a single mother in Dakar for her rights and independence. (Senegal) Alan Parker will present the world premiere of The Life of David Gale. In the film, a declared opponent of capital punishment is sentenced to death for murder. Shortly before he is executed he recounts his version of what happened to a journalist. Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet star in the film.(US-UK) Adaptation, Spike Jonze's first film since Being John Malkovich, ironically explores the creative process and the relation of reality and fiction in film. It features Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper. Once again Charlie Kaufman wrote the screenplay (US) Stephen Daldry's The Hours presents a study of three women from three different periods who have all been influenced by the works of Virginia Woolf. Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman portray the principal characters. (US) Steven Soderbergh developed Solaris from Stanislaw Lem's famous novel, a work previously adapted for the screen by Andrei Tarkovski. The story takes place in a space station in a science-fiction-like future. Soderbergh focuses on the love between his protagonists and the question of how far people will go for a second chance. George Clooney and Natasha McElhone co-star in the film. (US) Hollywood star George Clooney can be seen a second time in competition: with the international premiere of Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, he will make his debut as a director. Again, the screenplay for the film was written by Charlie Kaufman, based on Chuck Barris' autobiography. It depicts Barris' path from a famous TV producer and moderator to a CIA agent and hired killer. Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts and George Clooney play the protagonists.(US) Spike Lee's The 25th Hour portrays a young man's last day before beginning a seven-year prison sentence. During his last night in freedom, which he spends with his friends, he reviews his life so far. Edward Norton plays the lead. (US) Yoji Yamada's The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei) tells of a samurai in the 19th century who has to come to terms with a number of misfortunes and an unusual mission to kill. Hiroyuki Sanada plays the main character. (Japan) Zhang Yimou's Hero (Ying Xiong) is historical drama about love, jealousy, loyalty and intrigues in the martial art genre. The cast includes Jet Li, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung Man Yuk. (China)
The festival will open on February 6, 2003 with Rob Marshall's film version of the musical Chicago and will close, following the award ceremony on February 15, with a gala screening of Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York . Both films are running out of competition.
The selection of films for the competition program will be completed by mid-January.