The anniversary edition of the Berlinale, the first major European cinema showcase of the year, will celebrate a tradition of crossing frontiers with more than 400 films in the line-up, festival director Dieter Kosslick said.
“We will start off with a beautiful film from China,” he told reporters, referring to Wang Quan’an’s “Apart Together” (Tuan Yuan) on February 11, a world premiere that will kick off the 10-day competition for the Golden Bear top prize.
“Now, 20 years after German reunification, we will show a story about people driven apart by the collective and how they become reunited,” Kosslick said.
“Apart Together” is a period drama about a soldier forced to flee Chairman Mao’s forces for Taiwan in 1949 who reunites with the love of his life decades later.
The main programme will feature releases from 18 countries including new pictures from Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski, currently under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting possible extradition to the United States on charges of unlawful sex with a then 13-year-old girl in a case now three decades old.
Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer” stars Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, who are expected in Berlin alongside Leonardo DiCaprio with Scorsese’s new thriller “Shutter Island” and Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan appearing in “My Name is Khan.”
Also awaited on the red carpet are Gerard Depardieu, for the world premiere of the French competition film “Mammuth” by Benoit Delepine co-starring Isabelle Adjani, James Franco for the competition entry “Howl” about beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and Ben Stiller in “Greenberg” by US indie star Noah Baumbach.
The main programme will wrap up February 20 with a screening of “About Her Brother” (Otouto) by Japanese master Yoji Yamada, 78.
That night, a jury led by German director Werner Herzog and including Renee Zellweger (“Bridget Jones’ Diary”) will hand out the Golden and Silver Bear prizes at a gala ceremony. The event wraps up the following day.