Italian For Beginners, the first of a new string of Danish films made according to Dogme rules, has been selected for the main competition section at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival (February 7-18, 2001).

The film is written and directed by Lone Scherfig and produced by Ib Tardini for Denmark's progressive Zentropa production outfit. Sherfig won the Berlinale Kinderfilmfest with her children's film On Our Own in 1999, and made her debut with the humorous The Birthday Trip in 1990.

Italian For Beginners is a bittersweet and funny story about six vulnerable singles whose lives interweave when they sign up for an evening course in Italian. It opened domestically with positive reviews on December 8 alongside Charlie's Angels, and in its first week clocked up an impressive 90,000 admissions from 60 screens compared to Angels' 51,000 on 53 prints.

Zentropa's Trust Film Sales is handling sales on the film. Trust is also selling two titles screening in Berlin's Kinderfilmfest competition - Miracle and Circleen 2 - as well as Don's Plum screening in the Panorama section.