Berlin announces first Panorama titles

Selection includes documentary by Golden Bear winner José Padilha

by Amber Wilkinson

The Berlin Film Festival has announced 21 of the 50 or so films which will feature in its Panorama section this year.

It was also announced that documentaries will make up approximately a third of the ultimate selection.

Among the films announced is the latest by José Padilha - winner of the Golden Bear in 2008 for The Elite Squad - Garapa, a work that radically addresses the issue of global hunger.

Documentarian Chema Rodríguez(The Railroad All-Stars) will also screen her latest factual film, Coyote, detailing how people smugglers do business in South America. He tells the story of three families who set all their hopes on those members who are willing to try to make their way through Mexico to the USA.

Meanwhile, in the Indonesia entry At Stake, five young directors explore prevailing moral conceptions in the world's most populous Islamic country - with topics ranging from female genital mutilation to the conflict that results when unmarried women want to go to the gynaecologist.

Well-known names featuring in this year's edition, include Wolfgang Murnberger, Tom DiCillo, Julie Delpy and Ulli Lommel.

There are also several newcomers, including Jean-Paul Lilienfeld's La journée de la jupe (Skirt Day), which sees Isabelle Adjani play a teacher who works in a violent milieu where suddenly the tables turn.

Jan Krüger, whose short film Freunde (The Whiz Kids) won the Silver Lion in Venice in 2001, recounts in Rückenwind (Light Gradient) a post-emancipatory love story set in Berlin's outskirts.

Actress Rie Rasmussen (Angel-A), meanwhile, makes her directorial debut with Human Zoo - about the grim post-traumatic life of a young woman in Paris after she has escaped the horrors of the Balkan crisis.

In addition, the 2009 Panorama will celebrate "30 years of programming!" with a selection of highlights from the past three decades.

Read about the films selected so far for the Panorama section, here.

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