The Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 10-20) has namedthe first films that will play in its Competition section as well as unveilingGerman director Roland Emmerich (The Day AfterTomorrow) as president of the International Jury.
Including Régis Wargnier's opening film Man to Man, eleven films have been selected for the Competitionsection - and eight of them are world premieres. There is strong European showing amongstthe films selected so far, with three films from Germany making the cut.
The selection comprises:
- Ghosts (Gespenster),dir Christian Petzold. A German-French co-production, the film recounts thestory of a Frenchwoman whose daughter was abducted as a small child in Berlin.After years of uncertainty, she thinks she has finally found her daughter whenshe spots a vagrant young woman.
- Sophie Scholl - Hope And Resistance (SophieScholl - Die letzten Tage), dir MarcRothemund. The film portrays the last six days in the life of the young womanwho co-founded 'The White Rose', a resistance group, before she wasexecuted by the Nazis in 1943.
- One Day In Europe,dir Hannes Stöhr. An episodic comedy set against the Champion LeagueFinals, which sees tourists in Moscow, Istanbul, Santiago de Compostela andBerlin fall prey to thieves. A German-Spanish co-production.
- The Walker Of The Champ de Mars (Promeneur du Champ deMars), dir Robert Guediguian. Based onGeorges-Marc Benamou's biography, this French film depicts François Mitterrand's last days in which he reveals intimatesecrets and personal memories to his confidant, a young journalist.
- Changing Times (Les Temps Qui Changent), dir AndreTechine. Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu play lovers who, after aseparation of thirty years, meet again in Tangiers. Yet they still have a longways to go to work out their feelings for each other.
- The LifeAquatic, dir Wes Anderson. A zanyunderwater comedy about an eccentric family hunting down a deadly shark. BillMurray, William Dafoe, Anjelica Huston and Owen Wilson co-star in the mainroles.
- Asylum, dir DavidMackenzie. This US/Irish film sees Natasha Richardson play the wife of apsychiatrist who begins a passionate affair with one of her husband'spatients. Sir Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings) and Hugh Bonneville (Iris) also star.
- Carmen in Khayelitsha(U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha), dirMark Dornford-May. A screen adaptation of Bizet's opera'Carmen' set in a South-African township. The film has been madeentirely in the country's official language Xhosa.
- Peacock, dir GuChangwei. One of China's most famous and successful cinematographers (Farewell,My Concubine) presents his directorialdébut at the Berlinale. In it he portrays the daily life of a family ina small town in the province of Henan. The story begins in the 1970s, after theCultural Revolution, and ends in 1984.
- Hotel Rwanda, dirTerry George. A British/ South-African/Italian co-production running as aEuropean premiere out of competition. The film tells the true story of hotelmanager Paul Rusesabagina who during the civil war sheltered more than athousand Tutsi refugees from the Hutu militia.