The world premiere of French director RegisWargnier's anthropological epic Man To Man will be the opening film ofthe Berlin International Film Festival(Feb 10-20).

Starring Joseph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas,Iain Glen, Hugh Bonneville and Flora Montgomery, the film is set in SouthAfrica in the 1870s and follows the search for the so-called "Missing Link" -the connection between man and ape much discussed by scientists in the 19thcentury.

After the anthropologists encounter a tribe ofpygmies, they send a couple back to Scotland for research purposes. In anofficial statement, the Berlinale described Man to Man as portraying"not just the beginnings of modern evolutionary science, but also itsunscrupulous abuse for selfish motives."

Written by Wargnier (Indochine) withbest-selling novelist William Boyd, the Euros 25m UK-French co-production willalso play in competition in the Official Selection. Wild Bunch is handlinginternational sales.