19 films from international directors will compete to win the festival's Golden Bear for best film. Berlinale's 68th edition will also address the #MeToo movement and industry gender parity through side events.
The full program for the 68th Berlinale, Berlin's international film festival that takes place February 15–25, has been announced.
At a press conference on Tuesday in the German capital, festival director Dieter Kosslick revealed the remaining films set to compete in the festival.
"This year's Berlinale competition reflects the world as it is," Kosslick said. "And the world is complex, many-layered and also exciting."
A total of 24 films will be screened as part of the festival's Competition, 19 of which will be eligible for the Golden Bear, the top prize awarded for Best Film, and the Silver Bears awarded for individual contributions such as best directing, acting and screenplay.
Four German films are among the contenders: "Transit" by Christian Petzold about an exiled writer during the Nazi era; the relationship drama "In the Corridors" ("In den Gängen") by Thomas Stuber; "3 Days in Quiberon" directed by Emily Atef on the life of actress Romy Schneider; and the family drama "My Brother is named Robert and is an Idiot" by Philip Grönig.
The Norwegian production "Utoya 22 July," about the 2011 terror attack on the same-named island in which 77 people were killed by shooter Anders Behring Breivik, rounds off the competition list. Its screening will be a world premiere.
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Special films and a prestigious jury
The full list of films selected for the Berlinale Special, which features both "new and extraordinary" productions as well as the work of celebrated film figures, was also released. It includes the documentary "Songwriter" by Murray Cummings, which follows British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The film will be screened at the Berlinale Special Gala.
A total of around 400 films are set to run at the 11-day festival.
The jury for the 2018 Berlinale was also announced on Tuesday. Joining chairman German director Tom Tykwer, well-known for his 1998 hit "Run Lola Run" and the recent series "Berlin Babylon," are five leading film industry figures: Belgian actress Cecile de France, producer Adele Romanski, critic Stephanie Zacharek, composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and film historian Chema Prado.
Kosslick also announced that American actor William Dafoe would receive an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement in film. Dafoe, who has starred in several Wes Anderson films including "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014), was recently nominated with his third Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his roll in "The Florida Project" (2017). The film "The Hunter," directed by Daniel Nettheim and featuring Dafoe, will be shown at the festival on February 20 as part of the award.
William Dafoe was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in the film 'The Florida Project'
#MeToo reaches the Berlinale
At Tuesday's press conference, Kosslick also referenced the debates around sexual violence and gender discrimination that have been omnipresent in the global film industry — including in Germany — since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last October.
"The topic will play a very large roll at the festival," Kosslick said in reference to the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment that arose out of the scandal. "There will be multiple discussions and platforms addressing this subject."
A press release from the Berlinale highlighted two events scheduled to take place at the festival that address the topic and "are intended to contribute to concrete change." A seminar on February 17 and a panel discussion two days later will address the topics of sexual assault, victim support and gender parity in the film and television industry.
The festival also announced that it would make anonymous, free counseling support available to all attendees who experience or witness discrimination.