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COLOGNE, Germany — Lee Tamahori’s The Devil’s Double starring Dominic Cooper and Ludivine Sagnier; Abe Sylvia’s 80s-set drama Dirty Girl featuring Milla Jovovich and William H. Macy and Michael McDonagh’s cop thriller The Guard starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle are among the highlights of this year’s Panorama sidebar at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Brazilian director Jose Padilha, whose Favella shoot-em-up Elite Squad was the surprise winner of Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2008, returns to Berlin with the film’s sequel: Elite Squad 2 — The Enemy Within.
European cinema dominates Panorama’s lineup, with new features from Russia (Alexander Zeldovich’s Target), Macedonia (Mothers by Milcho Manchevski), Germany (Sandra Huller-starrer Uber uns das All) and Austria (The Fatherless from director Marie Kreutzer) among the entries.
But it’s Korean cinema that will have pride of place at this year’s Panorama, with three titles: Seung-wan Ryoo’s TheUnjust, Ashamed by Soo-hyun Kim and Kyu-hwan Jeon’s Dance Town all making the cut.
As is often the case, non-fiction threatens to outshine the drama in the Panorama lineup with several buzz-worthy documentaries including Swedish filmmaker Hugo Olsson’s The Black Power Mixtape, a look at the Black Power movement of the 60s and 70s, which Danny Glover co-produced and Khodorkovsky, a look at the high-profile battle between Russian President Vladimir Putin and oligarch turned prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Another doc sure to grab attention in Berlin is The Advocate For Fagdom by France’s Angelique Bosio, which features interviews with Queer Cinema pioneers Gus Van Sant, John Waters, Bruce LaBruce and others. Rosa von Praunheim, Germany’s own gay cinema powerhouse, returns to Panorama with his new doc, Rent Boys.
The focus on queer themes is no accident: this year marks the 25th anniversary of Berlin’s Teddy Award, which honors gay cinema.
The 2011 Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 10-20.
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