Berlin Film Festival to Explore Human Fallout From Globalization | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 13.12.2008
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Berlin Film Festival to Explore Human Fallout From Globalization

The Berlin Film Festival has announced a batch of movies selected for its main competition with the impact of fast-paced globalization on ordinary peoples' lives emerging as a major theme of the festival set down for Feb

Clive Owen, left, Naomi Watts, center, and director Tom Tykwer

Clive Owen and Naomi Watts (left and center) star in Tom Tykwer's financial thriller

Among the movies to have their world premiere at the 10-day festival are British director Sally Potter's "Rage" starring Dame Judi Dench, Jude Law, Dianne Wiest, Steve Buscemi and Simon Abkarian, as well as French director Rachid Bouchareb's "London River," which stars Brenda Blethyn and Sotigui Kouyate.

German-born director Maren Ade's "Alle Anderen" ("All the Others"), starring Birgit Minichmayr, Lars Eidinger, Hans-Jochen Wagner and Nicole Marischka is also to premiere at next February's Berlinale, which is one of the world's top three film festivals.

"To date, many of the films we've chosen explore the globalized world and its impact on people's private lives," said festival director Dieter Kosslick, announcing the series of films.

"These works tell of meaningful encounters, resistance, as well as traumatic experiences," said Kosslick. "International crises are reflected in them, but also the hope that a better world is possible."

Financial thriller to open festival

But the Berlinale never shies away from delving into the human dimension of current issues. The festival has previously announced that an action thriller about the illegal activities of the world's biggest banks is to open the festival.

"The International" by German-born director Tom Tykwer, stars Clive Owen as an Interpol agent and Naomi Watts as a New York attorney who risk their lives in trying to investigate the bank's business which includes financing wars and terror.

The Berlinale, which brings a touch of glitz and glamour to grey and wintry Berlin, also likes promoting both prominent directors with new up-and-coming movie makers.

Oren Moverman is to make his directorial debut at the Berlinale with "The Messenger" starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton.

Awaited "The Reader" not eligible for prize

British director's Stephen Daldry's "The Reader," based on the book by German writer Bernhard Schlink, is also to be shown at the festival in out-of-competition screening.

Kate Winslet in a scene from Stephan Daldry's 'The Reader'

'The Reader' is based on a book by German author Bernard Schlink

"The Reader" stars Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross and Alexandra Maria Lara. Daldry's previous movies include "The Hours" and "Billy Elliot."

Altogether, about 20 movies are normally selected for the Berlinale's main competition.

Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth is also to have its international premiere at the festival. It stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Michelle Williams, Sophie Nyweide as well as Tom McCarthy. His previous films include "Show Me Love" as well as Lilja 4-ever.

Organizers are planning a screening of Harald Zwart's "Pink Panther II" at the close of the festival.

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