Berlin announces first batch of competition films

Titles include UK co-productions London River and Rage.

by Amber Wilkinson

Clive Owen and Naomi Watts star in Tom Tykwer's The International

The first titles for the Competition programme of the 59th Berlin International Film Festival have been announced.

Among the films is British co-production London River, directed by Rachid Bouchareb (Days Of Glory) and starring Brenda Blethyn and UK/US co-production Rage, directed by Sally Potter and starring Dame Judi Dench and Jude Law.

Films from Algeria, China, Greece, Sweden, the USA and Germany have also made the cut - with a surprise addition of the world premiere of Steve Martin's The Pink Panther II (screening out of competition). The announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that Tom Tykwer’s The International will be the opening night premiere.

Festival Director Dieter Kosslick said: “We are very pleased to be able to present new films by renowned directors and exciting young filmmakers

“To date, many of the films we’ve chosen explore the globalised world and its impact on people’s private lives. These works tell of meaningful encounters, resistance, as well as traumatic experiences.

"International crises are reflected in them, but also the hope that a better world is possible. Besides, towards the end of the festival the Pink Panther will save the world again with humour.“

“We are very pleased to be able to present new films by renowned directors and exciting young filmmakers”, says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick. “To date, many of the films we’ve chosen explore the globalized world and its impact on people’s private lives. These works tell of meaningful encounters, resistance, as well as traumatic experiences.“

So far the following films have been selected for the Competition programme:

Alle Anderen (Germany) - World premiere
Dir: Maren Ade (The Forest For The Trees)
with Birgit Minichmayr, Lars Eidinger, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Nicole Marischka

Rage (UK/US) - World premiere
Dir: Sally Potter (The Tango Lesson, Orlando)
with Dame Judi Dench, Jude Law, Dianne Wiest, Steve Buscemi, Simon Abkarian

Mei Lanfang (Forever Enthralled) (China) - International premiere
Dir: Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine, The Promise)
with Leon Lai, Zhang Ziyi, Sun Honglei, Chen Hong

The Messenger (US) - International premiere
Dir: Oren Moverman – directorial debut
with Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton

London River (Algeria/France/UK) - World premiere
by Rachid Bouchareb (Little Senegal, Days Of Glory)
with Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate

Mammoth (Sweden/Germany/Denmark) - International premiere
Dir: Lukas Moodysson (Show Me Love, Lilja 4-ever)
with Gael Garcia Bernal, Michelle Williams, Sophie Nyweide, Tom McCarthy

The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee (US) - World premiere (Out of competition)
Dir: Rebecca Miller (The Ballad Of Jack And Rose)
with Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Keanu Reeves, Maria Bello, Julianne Moore, Winona Ryder

The Dust Of Time (Greece/Germany/Italy/Russia) - International premiere (Out of competition)
Dir: Theo Angelopoulos (Eternity And A Day, The Weeping Meadow)
with Irene Jacob, Michel Piccoli, Willem Dafoe, Bruno Ganz

The Reader (US/Germany) (Out of competition)
Dir: Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliot)
with Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Alexandra Maria Lara

Pink Panther II (US) - International premiere (Out of competition)
Dir Harald Zwart (One Night At McCool's)
with Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Andy Garcia

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