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BERLINALE 2008 Competition

A taste of what’s in store

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Eight titles in the official selection of the 58th Berlin International Film Festival have been announced, including films from Poland and Germany and a UK co-production.

Katyń [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrzej Wajda
interview: Michal Kwiecinski
film profile
]
, by Oscar-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda – who has had films in official competition three times before and was awarded a Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement in 2006 – will have its international première out of competition. The film retraces the notorious massacre of thousands of Polish prisoners by the Soviet secret services in 1940.

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The selection also includes German title Cherry Blossoms - Hanami by Doris Dörrie (Men; The Fisherman and His Wife), starring Elmar Wepper as a terminally ill cancer patient who is widowed before his jovial wife (Hannelore Elsner). The film also stars Maximilian Brückner (Shooting Star 2007).

The film – produced by Munich-based Olga-Film and co-produced by Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), ARD / Degeto and Arte, and backed by the MBB, FFF Bavaria, FFA and DFFF – is part of the Bavaria Film International line-up at the Berlinale. Majestic Filmverleih will distribute it domestically after the festival.

The UK/US co-production amongst the selected films is Damian HarrisGardens of the Night, starring John Malkovich, which tells the story of two children held captive for nine years.

The other titles announced include US films There Will Be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson (who won an award at Berlin in 2000) and Errol Morris’ S.O.P. Standard Operating Procedure; In Love We Trust by Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai (lauded in 2001); Mexican film Lake Tahoe by Fernando Eimbcke (who took part in the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2003); and Brazilian title Tropa de Elite by José Padilha.

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(Translated from French)

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