Berlin offers stars, global offerings for Streep-led jury

BERLIN -- New movies starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst will compete for the top honours at this year's Berlin International Film Festival with offerings from Iran, Tunisia the Philippines and elsewhere, with Meryl Streep presiding over the jury that will choose the winners.

See Full Article

Eighteen movies are in contention for the Golden Bear prize at the first of the year's major European film festivals. In its 66th edition this year, it runs Feb. 11-21. The typically diverse program was presented by organizers Tuesday.

It's hard to pin down any single overarching theme, but festival director Dieter Kosslick said many movies at this year's event address "the search for happiness" and "migration in the world in very varying forms."

The competition features two documentaries -- Gianfranco Rosi's "Fire at Sea," about the Italian island of Lampedusa, where many migrants arrive in Europe, and U.S. director Alex Gibney's "Zero Days," on Internet surveillance.

Theater director Michael Grandage's movie debut "Genius" stars Firth, Kidman and Jude Law in a look at Max Perkins' time as book editor at Scribner, overseeing work by Thomas Wolfe and Ernest Hemingway among others. Also premiering in Berlin is Jeff Nichols' science-fiction thriller "Midnight Special," featuring Dunst and Adam Driver.

The festival opens on Feb. 11 with the Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" Stars including George Clooney and Josh Brolin are expected in Berlin, where the comedy is screening out of competition.

Berlin prize-winners have been notoriously unpredictable over the years, with less prominent productions often picking up honours. This year's field includes an epic historical drama from the Philippines, Lav Diaz' "A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery," and the debut film from Tunisian director Mohamed Ben Attia, "Hedi."

Last year's Golden Bear went to Iranian dissident filmmaker Jafar Panahi's "Taxi," starring the director -- who was officially banned from filmmaking -- as a taxi driver.

This year's competition features two offerings from Iranian directors, though neither movie has such issues: Mani Haghighi's "A Dragon Arrives!" and Paris-based Rafi Pitts' "Soy Nero."

A seven-member jury led by first-time festival juror Streep will announce the winners of the festival's Golden Bear and various Silver Bear awards on Feb. 20.


Latest Entertainment News

  • No laughing matter: When exactly did clowns become scary?

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- His nose was round and bright red, his face as white as a sheet. His mouth was surrounded by an exaggerated smear of red makeup and his arched eyebrows hung ridiculously high on his forehead. Source
  • How Lights, IsKwé and other women are making change in the Canadian music industry

    Entertainment CBC News
    As the Canadian music industry gathers in Vancouver to celebrate the Juno Awards this weekend, inclusion, gender parity and the #MeToo movement will undoubtedly be topics of conversation. In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against EDM DJ Datsik and Jacob Hoggard, the frontman of pop rock group Hedley, as well as lingering concerns over the #JunosSoMale debate of recent years, Canada's music industry is — like many other industries — grappling with how to create a balanced, safe and…
  • Hedley plays final show before 'indefinite hiatus'

    Entertainment CTV News
    KELOWNA, B.C. - Fans of embattled Vancouver pop-rockers Hedley were handing out flyers in support of the band ahead of what could be their last concert in Kelowna, B.C. The group announced they'd be going on an "indefinite hiatus" earlier this month under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations against frontman Jacob Hoggard. Source
  • Taylor Swift gets political with anti-gun message

    Entertainment CTV News
    Taylor Swift, the American pop star long accused of sidestepping politics to broaden her appeal, waded into the gun control debate Friday with a clear message: guns don’t belong in schools. Swift used her Instagram account Friday to throw her support behind March For Our Lives, an anti-gun protest taken up in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. Source
  • Mister Rogers honoured with postage stamp from the US Postal Service

    Entertainment CBC News
    It's a beautiful day to honour Mister Rogers with a postage stamp. The U.S. Postal Service has released a stamp featuring Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Source
  • Remai Modern defends artist whose Indigenous heritage has been questioned

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Remai Modern's director is defending the decision to feature a retrospective of Jimmie Durham's work. The world-renowned artist self-identifies as a Cherokee, but his heritage has been questioned. Much of Durham's work depicts Native American themes and uses materials often found in Indigenous work, like wood and bone, metals, and beads. Source
  • 15th defence lawyer in Suge Knight's murder case leaves

    Entertainment CTV News
    Attorney Matthew Fletcher, left, speaks for his client, Marion "Suge" Knight, right, in a court appearance for a bail review hearing in his murder case in Los Angeles in this file photo from March 20, 2015. Authorities say the high-profile Los Angeles attorney, Fletcher, has been arrested. Source
  • T-shirts, flowers showing support banned at Cosby retrial

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA - People attending Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial won't be allowed in with T-shirts, flowers and other items that show support for one side or the other. The trial judge issued the ban Thursday. Source
  • Neil Young says 'Paradox' film has a message about a music crisis

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Beneath all the whimsy in Neil Young's trippy new dystopian Western "Paradox" lies a serious message about a "crisis" facing the music industry, says the Canadian rock great. Actress Daryl Hannah wrote and directed the surreal Netflix film, in which prospectors looking for old technology jam on guitars and ruminate on the importance of music and "the seeds of life" in the Rocky Mountains. Source
  • Fire breaks out on Edward Norton movie set in Harlem, 1 firefighter dies

    Entertainment CBC News
    A New York City firefighter died after he became separated from his unit as they battled a fierce, smoky blaze that broke out in the basement of a former Harlem jazz club being used as a film set. Source