The Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 5-15) has rounded out its Competition section, confirming new titles from Korea, Hong Kong, Argentina, Colombia and the US.
In total 26 films have been selected for Competition. 23 of these will compete for the Golden and Silver Bears, while three will be shown out of competition.
New additions to the Competition list are Kim Ki-Duk's Samaritan Girl (Samaria); Sylvia Chang's 20:30:40, Daniel Burman's Lost Embrace (El Abrazo Partido), Joshua Marston's Maria Full Of Grace (Maria, Llena De Gracia), Omar Naim's The Final Cut and Stephane Vuillet's 25 Degrees In Winter.
Antoine Fuqua's Lightening In A Bottle will screen out of competition.
Korean star director's Samaritan Girl is the story of two teenage girls who turn to prostitution to earn money for a trip to Europe - with tragic consequences. It plays as a world premiere.
Also world premiering is Sylvia Chang's Hong Kong production 20 : 30 : 40. Set to the bustling city of Taipei, it is about three women in different phases of their lives: a young woman at 20, another at 30 and a third at 40, are each pursuing their dreams.
Two productions in the competition represent the Berlinale's special focus on Latin America: Argentine director Daniel Burman presents the world premiere of Lost Embrace. His protagonist's world is the small, seedy shopping center in Buenos Aires where his mother runs a laundry - a world of despair and decay from which many young people try to escape by reclaiming the nationality of their European ancestors.
The US-Columbian co-production Maria Full Of Grace by Joshua Marston, a hit this week in Sundance, is the story of seventeen-year-old Maria who tries to escape a tough life in village outside Bogota by becoming a drug runner.
The 26-year-old American director Omar Naïm, who was born in Lebanon, presents the world premiere of his directing debut, the science-fiction thriller The Final Cut which co-stars Robin Williams, Jim Caviezal and Mira Sorvino.
Training Day director Antoine Fuqua's Lightning in a Bottle documents a concert at the New York Radio City Music Hall, where musicians of all genres and generations gathered to pay homage to the Blues. Over fifty of the greatest performers, including B. B. King, Solomon Burke, Natalie Cole and The Neville Brothers, joined in to salute the blues.
The Competition will conclude with the world premiere of Stephane Vuillet's Belgian-French-Spanish co-production 25 Degrees in Winter, an urban road movie with comic undertones. The leading roles are played by Jacques Gamblin, winner of a Silver Bear in 2002, and Spanish star Carmen Maura, as well as Ingeborga Dapkunaite and Raphaelle Molinier.
The Competition programme of the Berlinale 2004:
20 : 30 : 40, Sylvia Chang, Taiwan/Hong Kong
25 Degrees In Winter, Stephane Vuillet, Belgium/France/Spain
Ae Fond Kiss, Ken Loach, Great Britain
Beautiful Country, Hans Petter Moland, Norway/USA
Before Sunset, Richard Linklater, USA
Cold Mountain, Anthony Minghella, USA (out of competition)
Intimate Strangers, Patrice Leconte, France
Country Of My Skull, John Boorman, Great Britain
Nightsongs, Romuald Karmakar, Germany
Lost Embrace, Daniel Burman, Argentina
Red Lights, Cedric Kahn, France
In Your Hands, Annette K. Olesen, Denmark
Head-On, Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey
Your Next Life, Manuel Gutierrez Aragon, Spain
Lightening In A Bottle, Antoine Fuqua, USA (out of competition)
Maria Full Of Grace, Joshua Marston, USA/Columbia
Monster, Patty Jenkins, USA
Daybreak, Bjorn Runge, Sweden
First Love, Matteo Garrone, Italy
Samaritan Girl, Kim Ki-Duk, Korea
Something's Gotta Give, Nancy Meyers, USA (out of competition)
Witnesses, Vinko Bresan, Croatia
The Final Cut, Omar Naïm, USA
The Missing, Ron Howard, USA
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow, Theo Angelopoulos, Greece/France
Triple Agent, Eric Rohmer, France