Berlin Completes Competition Lineup

Chi-Raq Still 3 - H 2015
Parrish Lewis

Chi-Raq Still 3 - H 2015

Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq' will screen out of competition in Berlin.

The Berlin International Film Festival on Wednesday finalized its competition lineup, adding the remaining titles that will compete for this year's Gold and Silver Bears during the Feb. 11-21 event.

24 Weeks by Anne Zohra Berrached (Two Mothers) and Yang Chao's Crosscurrent are among the new titles announced. 

Hedi, the directorial debut of Tunisian filmmaker Mohamed Ben Attia, and Soy Nero, the latest from Iranian director Rafi Pitts (whose last two features, The Hunter and It's Winter, both premiered in Berlin), complete the competition slate.

Meanwhile, Spike Lee's Chi-Raq and Lee Tamahori's The Patriarch will get out-of-competition gala screenings at the fest.

Other prominent out-of-competition titles revealed Wednesday include News From Planet Mars, the latest from French director Dominik Moll (Lemming), and Saint Amour, from helmers Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern and featuring Gerard Depardieu.  

The 2016 competition lineup also includes Jeff Nichols' sci-fi thriller Midnight Special, starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst; hacking documentary Zero Days, from Oscar-winner Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief); and The Commune, a 1970s-set drama from Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt).

Also vying for this year's Golden Bear for best film are Boris Without Beatrice from Canadian director Denis Cote; real-life literary drama Genius from helmer Michael Grandage and starring Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman; and Vincent Perez's Nazi-era Alone in Berlin, featuring Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson and Daniel Bruhl.

Completing the competition slate are Andre Techine's Being 17; Death in Sarajevo, from Oscar-winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic (No Man's Land), Portuguese drama Letter From War, from helmer Ivo M. Ferreira; Iranian feature A Dragon Arrives! from director Mani Haghighi; Polish filmmaker Tomasz Wasilewski's United States of Love; Things to Come, from French helmer Mia Hansen-Love and starring Isabelle HuppertA Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, from Philippine filmmaker Lav Diaz; and Fire at Sea, a documentary examining the plight of refugees fleeing to Europe, directed by Italy's Gianfranco Rosi.

Among the previously announced films getting special out-of-competition red-carpet screenings in Berlin are three documentaries: Michael Moore's Where to Invade NextThe Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble by Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom); and The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger, from the directing team of Colin MacCabe, Christopher Roth, Bartek Dziadosz and Tilda Swinton.

The Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar! will open the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in an out-of-competition gala screening.

Three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep will head up the jury that will pick this year's Golden and Silver Bear recipients, which will be awarded during a ceremony on Feb. 20.

Here is the full 2016 Berlin competition lineup: 

24 Weeks, directed by Anne Zohra Berrached 
A Dragon Arrives!, directed by Mani Haghighi 
Alone in Berlin, directed by Vincent Perez 
A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, directed by Lav Diaz 
Being 17, directed by Andre Techine 
Boris Without Beatrice, directed by Denis Cote 
Crosscurrent, directed by Chang Jiang Tu
Chi-Raq, directed by Spike Lee (out of competition) 
Death in Sarajevo, directed by Danis Tanovic
Fire at Sea, directed by Gianfranco Rosi 
Genius, directed by Michael Grandage
Hail, Caesar!, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (out of competition)
Hedi, directed by Mohamed Ben Attia
Letters From War, directed by Ivo M. Ferreira 
Midnight Special, directed by Jeff Nichols
News From Planet Mars, directed by Dominik Moll (out of competition)
Saint Amour, directed by Benoit Delepine (out of competition)
Soy Nero, directed by Rafi Pitts 
The Commune, directed by Thomas Vinterberg 
The Patriarch, directed by Lee Tamahori (out of competition)
Things to Come, directed by Mia Hansen-Love
United States of Love, directed by Tomasz Wasilewski
Zero Days, directed by Alex Gibney