Saturday July 13, 2024

Berlinale film festival reveals competition line-up

Published : 22 Jan 2024, 23:50

Updated : 22 Jan 2024, 23:54

  DF News Desk
The management duo of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek (L), Managing Director, and Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director, stand on stage before the start of the press conference announcing the 2024 Berlinale program on Monday. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa.

The 20 films competing for the top Golden Bear award at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, or Berlinale, were revealed on Monday, reported dpa.

The 74th Berlinale festival will take place in the German capital from February 15 to 25. It is generally viewed as among the world's most prestigious film festivals.

The festival is the final event for the leadership duo of artistic director Carlo Chatrian and managing director Mariette Rissenbeek, before Tricia Tuttle takes over the Berlinale in April.

Chatrian and Rissenbeek said on Monday that they hoped the film festival could also provide a forum for debate on conflicts in the Middle East and Israel's war in the Gaza Strip.

Last week, a director from a film in a sidebar programme of the Berlinale announced that he was withdrawing because of Germany's staunchly pro-Israel stance.

Another director had also asked not to be part of the programme, Chatrian said on Monday.

"We understand that the world is very polarized nowadays. Nevertheless we regret this decision, because we believe the Berlinale is a place for dialogue and inclusion."

Rissenbeek and Chatrian expressed their sympathies to all victims of the humanitarian crises in the Middle East and beyond.

Among the entries in the competition for this year's Berlinale Golden Bear are "La Cocina," directed by Alonso Ruiz Palacios and starring Rooney Mara, which tells the story of a love affair in a lively New York restaurant, as well as "Another End" by filmmaker Piero Messina, starring Mexican actor Gael García Bernal and Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve.

Also in the running is "The Devil's Bath" ("Des Teufels Bad"), a joint German-Austrian production by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala starring actress and musician Anja Plaschg.

Irish-Belgian competition entry "Small Things Like These", starring Irish actor and "Oppenheimer" star Cillian Murphy, was already announced as the opening film for this year's Berlinale.

Two German films are also in the competition at the 74th Berlinale.

The drama "Dying" ("Sterben") by director Matthias Glasner stars Lars Eidinger, Corinna Harfouch and Ronald Zehrfeld, among others.

The artistic director of the Berlinale, Carlo Chatrian, called "Dying" Glasner's most challenging film to date while introducing the competition entries on Monday in Berlin.

Andreas Dresen's "From Hilde with Love" ("In Liebe, Eure Hilde") is also in the competition. The film tells the story of resistance fighter Hilde Coppi during World War II and features actress Liv Lisa Fries.

An unusual film told from the perspective of a deceased hippo, "Pepe the Hippo," is also among the competition entries. Directed by Nelson Carlos de Los Santos Arias, the film follows a hippo captured in Africa that was brought to live in the private zoo of notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Director Bruno Dumont's "L'Empire" is also among the competition entries, and stars Lily-Rose Depp, the 24-year-old daughter of US actor Johnny Depp.

Additional films in the Berlinale programme that are not part of the competition will include the science fiction film "Spaceman," starring actor Adam Sandler and actress Carey Mulligan.

Other films including stars such as Kristen Stewart, Amanda Seyfried, Jesse Eisenberg and Hunter Schafer are also on the programme.

Earlier, a director has withdrawn his film "Atmospheric Arrivals" from one of the sections of the Berlinale film festival citing Germany's support for Israel in its war against Hamas.