Ten titles likely to heat up chilly BerlinThe Counterfeiter
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Sales Agent: Beta Cinema
The director of local horror hits "Anatomy" (2000) and "Anatomy 2" (2003) bounces back from his less-than-well-received 2001 English-language debut "All The Queen's Men" with the competition entry "Counterfeiter." The film chronicles the true story of World War II concentration camp victims who were forced to forge millions in British and American currency for the Nazis in a bizarre plan to destabilize the Allies' economies.
I Really Hate My Job
Director: Oliver Parker
Sales Agent: The Works International
"Job" is a more modern turn at comedy from U.K. actor-director Parker, whose 1999 release "An Ideal Husband" and 2002 offering "The Importance of Being Earnest" were solid indie hits. "Job" follows a group of women working in a restaurant in Soho, N.Y., on a fateful night when a famous actor is coming to dinner. It stars Neve Campbell, Alexandra Maria Lara and Anna Maxwell Martin.
I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK
Director: Park Chan-Wook
Sales Agent: CJ Entertainment
The competition title "I'm a Cyborg" marks a change of pace for South Korean superstar Park, who rocketed onto the international scene with his revenge trilogy "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" (2002), "Oldboy" (2003) and "Lady Vengeance" (2005). Instead of revenge, romance plays the lead in his latest, which will have its international premiere in Berlin. A love story set in a psychological ward, "I'm a Cyborg" follows the unique relationship that develops between a woman who thinks she's a combat cyborg and a man convinced he can steal souls.
Man in the Chair
Director: Michael Schroeder
Section: Generation 14plus
Production Company: FeaturePro
Schroeder's "Man," which screens in Berlin's Generation 14plus section, has all the makings of an indie sleeper hit. Christopher Plummer is already generating strong Internet buzz for his performance as a geriatric Hollywood gaffer who gets one last chance to work on a movie set when a teenage film buff asks him for help.
Director: Janos Szasz
Sales Agent: H20 Motion Pictures
"Opium," from Hungarian director Szasz, is the kind of high-gloss intellectual drama that buyers in Berlin often go mad for. It stars Danish hunk Ulrich Thomsen as psychiatrist Dr. Josef Brenner, a Sigmund Freud contemporary who descends into morphine addiction and a complicated love affair with asylum patient Gizella (played by newcomer Kirsti Stubo).
Son of Rambow
Director: Garth Jennings
Sales Agent: Celluloid Dreams
The story of a boy brought up in a Bible-bashing home who is drawn into the world of 1980s video culture and bizarre home movies, "Rambow" has "cross-over comedy" written all over it. From the director of 2005's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the Celluloid title comes straight to Berlin from the Sundance Film Festival, where it had its world premiere.
Suburban Girl (aka The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing)
Director: Marc Klein
Sales Agent: Odd Lot Entertainment
Hoping to follow in the fashionable footsteps of the similarly themed 2006 comedy "The Devil Wears Prada," Odd Lot will be screening the first footage of Klein's "Suburban Girl," an adaptation of Melissa Bank's best-seller "The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing." Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as an ambitious New York book editor who is torn between her dull college sweetheart and Alex Baldwin's womanizing publisher Archie Knox.
Director: Antonio Banderas
Sales Agent: Sogepaq
Banderas' sophomore directing effort is hotly anticipated, following the surprise success of his 1999 helming debut "Crazy in Alabama." "Rain" is a coming-of-age tale set during summer vacation in Malaga, Spain, and stars a Spanish Brat Pack of up-and-comers, including Alberto Amarilla, Maria Ruiz, Juan Diego, Felix Gomez and Mario Casas.
Director: Srdan Golubovic
Sales Agent: Bavaria Film International
The plot line of "Trap" reads like genre pulp: To raise money for the operation that could save his son's life, a good father is forced to become a killer. Golubovic proved he could balance between the twin demands of art house and genre with his 2001 debut "Absolute Hundred." "Trap" will demonstrate whether he can pull off the trick again and deliver what one could classify as "Serbian film noir."
Director: Nikolai Lebedev
Sales Agent: Central Partnership
The latest fantasy blockbuster from Russia, following in the wake of 2004's "Nightwatch." "Wolfhound," based on the novel by Maria Semenova, is about a warrior fighting to avenge his lost tribe. The film opened in its home territory on 650 screens, the widest-ever release in Russia. Berlin will mark its international debut.
MORE BERLIN COVERAGE
- Sold out: The Berlin fest grows strong, keeps its roots
- Good Germans: Berlin kinder to Hollywood fare
- Face time: Newcomers get some well-earned exposure
- Dialogue: Fest director Dieter Kosslick
- Teutonic turnaround: Fest boosts German cinema surge
- Provocateur theory: Politically (and sexually) charged fare
- The A-list: Ten titles likely to heat up chilly Berlin