Madonna takes her bow at Berlin

Directorial debut, 'Filth,' set for Panorama sidebar

MUNICH -- Madonna's directorial debut will join indie films featuring such stars as Ben Kingsley and Moritz Bleibtreu among the 50 films in the Berlin International Film Festival's Panorama sidebar, organizers said Thursday.

Thirteen films have been confirmed for the Panorama's main program and Panorama Special, eight of them world premieres.

With three exceptions -- Japanese helmer Naoko Ogigami's "Megane," starring Ryo Kase; "Mare, Nossa historia de amor" (Mare, Our Love Story) by Brazil's Lucia Murat; and Taiwanese entry "Piao Lang Chi Ge" (Drifting Flowers) from Zero Chou, 2007 winner of the Berlinale's gay film prize the Teddy -- all the entries are European productions or co-productions.

Madonna's film, "Filth and Wisdom," is listed as a U.K. entry. It stars Richard E. Grant, Stephen Graham ("Gangs of New York") and Eugene Hutz, the Ukrainian frontman for gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello. Hutz also had a key role alongside Elijah Wood in "Everything Is Illuminated" (2005).

The other two big-name films on Panorama's list so far are Brad Anderson's "Transsiberian," a German-Spanish-U.K. co-production with Kingsley and Woody Harrelson, and the world premiere of first-time German director Ozgur Yildirim's "Chiko," starring Bleibtreu.

About a third of the Panorama's slate is made up of documentaries, covered in the Dokumente segment that will be announced in January. Panorama films also compete for the Berlinale's audience award, which will be presented at the end of the festival. The 58th annual Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 7-17.

The other films announced by the organizers Thursday were: "Boy A" by John Crowley (U.K.); "Coupable" by Laetitia Masson (France); "Eskalofrio" by Isidro Ortiz (Spain); "Jas Sum Od Titov Vesles" (I Am From Titov Veles) by Teona Strugar Mitevska (Macedonia); "Otto, or Up With Dead People" by Bruce LaBruce (Germany/Canada); "The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela" by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson (Iceland); and "Tres dias" (Before Fall) by Javier Gutierrez (Spain).
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