Berlin competition titles take shape

'Cheri,' 'Notorious,' 'Deutschland 09' picked for festival

BERLIN -- Stephen Frears' period epic "Cheri," rap biopic "Notorious" and the omnibus project "Deutschland 09," featuring a who's who of German directing talent, have made the cut for next month's Berlin International Film Festival.

As the Berlinale rushes to close its competition lineup, director Dieter Kosslick has secured several high-profile titles for the race for the 2009 Golden Bear.

These include Francois Ozon's "Ricky"; "Storm," from German art house favorite Hans-Christian Schmid ("Requiem"); and "Happy Tears," Michael Lichtenstein's hotly-anticipated follow up to his breakthrough debut, "Teeth."

The fresh faces will be joined by several old masters including Andrzej Wajda, who returns to Berlin with "Sweet Rush"; Bertrand Tavernier, whose Civil War drama "In the Electric Mist," starring Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman, will have its world premiere in Berlin; and Costa-Gavras, who will close the festival with his out-of-competition entry "Eden Is West."

Other competition titles include Danish director Annette K. Olsen's "Little Solider," Iranian helmer Asghar Farhadi's "About Elly" and Claudia Llosa's Spanish drama "The Milk of Sorrow."

Two debut features making the Berlinale cut are "Gigante," from South American director Andrian Biniez, and the Romanian/British/Hungarian co-production "Katalin Varga," by first-timer Peter Strickland.

The 59th Berlinale runs Feb. 5-15. A list of Berlinale titles follows:

Opening-night film
"The International," Tom Tykwer, U.S.

"Cheri," Stephen Frears, U.K.
"Darbareye Elly" (About Elly), Asghar Farhadi, Iran
"Deutschland 09," Fatih Akin, Tom Tykwer, Wolfgang Becker, Sylke Enders, Dominik Graf, Romuald Karmakar, Nicolette Krebitz, Isabelle Stever, Hans Steinbichler, Hans Weingartner, Christoph Hochhausler, Dani Levy and Angela Schanelec, Germany, out of competition
"Gigante," Adrian Biniez, Uruguay/Germany/Argentina
"Happy Tears," Mitchell Lichtenstein, U.S.
"In the Electric Mist," Bertrand Tavernier, France/U.S.
"Katalin Varga," Peter Strickland, Romania/U.K./Hungary
"La Teta Asustada" (The Milk of Sorrow) Claudia Llosa, Spain /Peru
"Lille Soldat" (Little Soldier), By Annette K. Olesen, Denmark
"Notorious," George Tillman Jr, U.S., out of competition
"Ricky," Francois Ozon France/Italy
"Storm" (Sturm), Hans-Christian Schmid, Germany/Denmark
"Tatarak" (Sweet Rush), Andrzej Wajda, Poland
"Alle Anderen," Maren Ade, Germany
"Rage," Sally Potter, U.K./U.S.
"The Dust of Time;" Theo Angelopoulos, Greece/Germany/Italy/Russia, out of competition
"Forever Enthralled" (Mei Lanfang), Chen Kaige, China
"The Messenger," Oren Moverman, U.S.
"London River," Rachid Bouchareb, Algeria/France/U.K.
"Mammoth,, Lukas Moodysson, Sweden/Germany/Denmark
"The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," Rebecca Miller, U.S., out of competition
"The Reader," Stephen Daldry, U.S./Germany, out of competition
"Pink Panther II," Harald Zwart, U.S., out of competition

Closing-night film
"Eden a l'ouest" (Eden is West), Costa-Gavras, France/Greece/Italy, out of competition