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Berlinale 2009: First Competition Films

The first titles for the Competition programme of the 59th Berlin International Film Festival have been confirmed. They include films from Algeria, China, Greece, Great Britain, Sweden, the USA, and Germany. This means that in addition to the opening film, the world premiere of Tom Tykwer’s The International (which is screening out of competition, as announced in the press release on Nov. 28, 2008), another ten films have been selected, four of which will be celebrating their world premieres at the Berlinale.

“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. 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.“

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

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

Rage Great Britain / USA
by Sally Potter (The Tango Lesson, Orlando)
with Dame Judi Dench, Jude Law, Dianne Wiest, Steve Buscemi, Simon Abkarian
World premiere

The Dust of Time Greece / Germany / Italy / Russia
by Theo Angelopoulos (Eternity and a Day, The Weeping Meadow)
with Irene Jacob, Michel Piccoli, Willem Dafoe, Bruno Ganz
Out of competition
International premiere


Mei Lanfang (Forever Enthralled) People’s Republic of China
by Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine, The Promise)
with Leon Lai, Zhang Ziyi, Sun Honglei, Chen Hong
International premiere

The Messenger USA
by Oren Moverman – directorial debut
with Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton
International premiere

London River Algeria / France / Great Britain
by Rachid Bouchareb (Little Senegal, Days of Glory)
with Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate
World premiere

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

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee USA
by Rebecca Miller (The Ballad of Jack and Rose)
with Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Keanu Reeves, Maria Bello, Julianne Moore, Winona Ryder
Out of competition
World premiere

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

Pink Panther II USA
by Harald Zwart (One Night at McCool's)
with Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Andy Garcia
Out of competition
International premiere

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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