Starry line-up for Berlin film festival

BERLIN • New movies starring Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman and Catherine Deneuve and features directed by Hollywood actors Jonah Hill and Casey Affleck will take the spotlight at next month's Berlin film festival.

The 11-day Berlinale, in its 69th year, figures along with Cannes and Venice among Europe's A-list festivals. It will present about 400 movies from around the world before wrapping up on Feb 17.

This year's edition will be the last led by Mr Dieter Kosslick, 70, who is handing over the reins after 18 years. "The audio-visual world is in major, major turmoil and we'll have to see where the journey takes us," he said, referring to competition from streaming giants such as Netflix. "But I think in future, film festivals will be more important than ever because you will see movies you can't see anywhere else (on a big screen). I think they (streaming and festivals) will coexist."

Seventeen films will vie for the Berlinale's Golden and Silver Bear prizes, including a record seven by female directors such as Polish veteran Agnieszka Holland and Denmark's Lone Scherfig (An Education, 2009). Scherfig will open the festival next Thursday with the drama, The Kindness Of Strangers, starring Zoe Kazan and Bill Nighy.

French star Juliette Binoche will lead a jury including Oscar winner Sebastian Lelio of Chile (A Fantastic Woman, 2017), British actress-director-producer Trudie Styler, Museum of Modern Art curator Rajendra Roy and German actress Sandra Hueller (Toni Erdmann, 2016).


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2019, with the headline 'Starry line-up for Berlin film festival'. Subscribe