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This will mark the second time Anderson has opened Berlin, following the world premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel at the 2012 version of the fest, where it won the Silver Bear Grand Jury prize. The American director also premiered The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in competition in Berlin.
“I’m most delighted that Wes Anderson will kick off the Berlinale competition again,” said Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick. “Isle of Dogs will be the first animated film to open the festival — a film that will capture audiences’ hearts with its Wes Anderson charm.”
Isle of Dogs sees Anderson return to animation, which he explored in 2009’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The new feature tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
Isle of Dogs features an all-star voice cast including Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Kunichi Nomura, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Akira Ito, Greta Gerwig, Akira Takayama, Frances McDormand, F. Murray Abraham, Courtney B. Vance, Yojiro Noda, Fisher Stevens, Mari Natsuki, Nijiro Murakami, Yoko Ono, Harvey Keitel and Frank Wood.
Fox Searchlight will release Isle of Dogs in U.S. cinemas March 23. Internationally, the film will open in theaters in April.
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