Berlin film festival announces competition lineup

Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:23am EST
 
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Three films starring Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer and Demi Moore were among the final 14 included in the 26-film competition line-up for February's Berlinale, festival director Dieter Kosslick said on Thursday.

Jones features in "In the Electric Mist" by French director Bertrand Tavernier about a detective hunting a serial killer in America's deep south while Pfeiffer headlines in British director's Stephen Frears' period romance "Cheri."

In independent production "Happy Tears," Moore is launching a comeback to the cinema in a small budget family drama along with Ellen Barkin and Rip Torn.

The Berlinale, which runs from February 5-15, is Europe's first major film festival of the new year.

"With their very distinctive artistic styles, the films in competition provide evidence of living conditions in our globalized world," Kosslick said in a statement. He added that 25 of the 26 films in the competition have now been confirmed.

The festival had already announced that "The International," a thriller about the funding of war and terror by German director Tom Tykwer that features Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, will open the 59th annual festival on February 5.

Britain's Tilda Swinton, who won the Academy Award for best supporting actress last year for her performance as a shifty lawyer in legal thriller "Michael Clayton," will be jury president. Swinton has appeared in 14 past Berlinale films.

Also added on Thursday were Iran's "Darbareye Elly" (About Elly), a drama about an Iranian man who returns home after living for many years in Germany, and "Tatarak," the latest film by Polish director Andrzej Wajda.

His 2008 entry "Katyn," about 15,000 Poles massacred by Soviet secret police in 1940, was also nominated for last year's best foreign film Oscar.

(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum, editing by Paul Casciato)