Berlin Announces Forum Lineup


BERLIN – Art house film fans will get their fill at this year's Forum, the Berlin Film Festival's alternative and often out-there sidebar, which unveiled its lineup Monday.

Among the Forum's highlights are the world premieres of two trailblazers in avant-garde cinema: James Benning, whose Twenty Cigarettes will bow in Berlin and Lithuanian filmmaker Jonas Mekas, who arrives with his latest, Sleepless Nights Stories.

Three of Germany's leading art house directors -- Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf and Christoph Hochhausler-- will premiere their joint project Dreileben. The film is an experimental triptych of three, 90-minute features each looking at the same event -- the escape of an allegedly violent criminal from police custody -- from a different perspective and using a different cinematic style.

But not everything in the Forum's 2011 lineup is experimental and avant-garde. Actor Richard Ayoade, best known for his role as a computer geek in Channel 4's hit sitcom The IT Crowd will screen his directorial debut, the coming-of-age comedy Submarine, starring Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor and Paddy Considine.

Hong Kong director Dante Lam, a favorite of action fans worldwide, is bringing his latest cop-and-gangster thriller, The Stool Pigeon to Berlin while Jeff Nichols, whose debut Shotgun Stories premiered here four years ago, returns with his sophomore effort, Take Shelter, featuring Mike & Molly star Katy Mixon and Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon.

For a full list of Forum titles, click here.

The 61st Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 10-20.

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