BERLIN • A movie about a cartoonist whose controversial work was boycotted in his own American hometown will join the race for the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin film festival in February.
Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara lead an A-list cast in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot, American director Gus van Sant's latest feature.
It is based on a memoir by John Callahan who became paralysed following a car accident at 21. He tapped drawing as a form of therapy, but his work often stirred protests for his take on taboo topics.
The 68th annual Berlinale, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year, will also feature the world premiere of Eva by French film-maker Benoit Jacquot.
It stars Isabelle Huppert as a femme fatale who wreaks havoc in the life of a prominent writer.
German actress Sandra Hueller, who starred in global arthouse hit Toni Erdmann (2016), leads the cast of Berlin contender In Den Gaengen by director Thomas Stuber.
The Feb 15 to 25 festival also announced Russian competition entry Dovlatov by Alexy German Jr, Laura Bispuri's Daughter Of Mine from Italy, Germany's Mein Bruder Heisst Robert Und Ist Ein Idiot by Philip Groening, and Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska's Mug for its line-up.
The event had previously announced that it would open with the world premiere of United States film-maker Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs. The animated feature is voiced by stars including Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig and Frances McDormand.
It will be Anderson's fourth turn in competition at the Berlinale following The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which kicked off the festival in 2014.
Hungary's On Body And Soul, a tender love story set in a slaughterhouse that won the Golden Bear this year, has been shortlisted for a best foreign-language film Oscar.