New films by BastianGuenther, Ben von Grafenstein, and Julia von Heinz are among six titlesconfirmed so far for the Berlinale's Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar whichshowcases young and up-and-coming German filmmakers with fresh ideas,approaches and talent.

Among the films selected isBastian Guenther's feature debut Autopilotswhich is comprised of four interwoven episodes taking place during one day andone night on the highways of the Ruhr region where the paths cross of peoplewho are all trying to live up to a lost ideal.

According to the film'sproducer Joachim Ortmanns of Cologne-based Lichtblick Film- &Fernsehproduktion, "[Guenther] speaks about serious human issues such asidentity, success, failure, career vs. a private life and vice versa, and hefinds a form which isn't obtrusive, but rather profound."

In addition, section headAlfred Holighaus has invited Ben von Grafenstein's love triangle drama Blindflug, Pepe Planitzer's secondfeature Alle Alle, Julia von Heinz'sgripping teenage drama Was Am Ende Zaehltas well as two half-hour films from the film academies in Ludwigsburg and Munich: Hannah Schweier's Aufrecht Stehen and Ileana Cosmovici's Aschermittwoch to the Perspektive lineup.

Meanwhile, it is being hotlytipped that Competition slots will be filled by Steven Soderbergh's The Good German, Robert de Niro's The Good Shepherd, Richard Eyre's Notes On A Scandaland Clint Eastwood's Letters From IwoJima. The 2007 festival is expected to once more serve as a platform fornew German productions, with speculation rife over Christmas that new films byChristian Petzold (Yella), ThomasArslan (Ferien), Fatih Akin (On The Other Side OfLife), Hans Weingartner (Free Rainer)and Angela Schanelec (Nachmittag)could premiere at the forthcoming Berlinale.

According to German pressreports during the holiday week, the Berlinale's selectors had a received arecord 4,450 entries for all of the festival's sections by mid-December, upfrom 3,800 for the same time in 2005 and more than the final total for the 2006edition. Over 1,100 films had been submitted for consideration for the Competitionsection, almost 200 more than were entered for the festival last February.