Gus van Sant movie starring Joaquin Phoenix in race for Berlin film festival's top prize

Actor Joaquin Phoenix will play John Callaham in Gus van Sant's latest feature Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (AFP) - New movies starring Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara and Isabelle Huppert will join the hunt for the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin film festival in February, organisers said.

Phoenix and Mara lead an A-list cast in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot, US director Gus van Sant's latest feature.

It is based on a memoir by John Callahan about his experience turning to art after a car accident left him paralysed.

The 68th annual Berlinale, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year, will also feature the world premiere of Eva by French filmmaker Benoit Jacquot, starring Huppert as a femme fatale who wreaks havoc in the life of a prominent writer.

German actress Sandra Hueller, who starred in global art-house hit Toni Erdmann, leads the cast of Berlin contender In den Gaengen by director Thomas Stuber.

The Feb 15-25 festival had previously announced it would open with the world premiere of US filmmaker Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs, an animated feature voiced by stars including Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson and Frances McDormand.

It will be Anderson's fourth turn in competition at the Berlinale following The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

This year, Hungary's On Body And Soul, a tender love story set in a slaughterhouse, won the Golden Bear and has now been short-listed for a best foreign language film Oscar.

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