Berlin Festival Adds Films to Competition Lineup

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Damsel'

David Zellner's 'Damsel,' starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska, and Christian Petzold's 'Transit,' featuring German stars Franz Rogowski and Paula Beer, are among films in the running for the Golden Bear.

The Berlin film festival on Monday announced eight more films to its competition lineup, adding mainly European art house titles to a program already leaning in that direction.

David Zellner's Damsel, which will have its world premiere in Sundance, is one of the few U.S. titles in the running for Berlin's Golden Bear. The period drama stars Robert Pattinson as a businessman who travels West to join his fiancee (Mia Wasikowska) in the mountains. Elsewhere, American cinema is represented by Gus van Sant's Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, another Sundance title, and Wes Anderson's hotly anticipated Isle of Dogs, which will open the Berlin festival Feb. 15. Both titles were announced earlier.

Two new German films — Emily Atef's 3 Days in Quiberon, starring Marie Baumer and Birgit Minichmayr, and Christian Petzold's Transit  with Franz Rogowski and Paula Beer — also secured competition slots. The first looks at three days in the life of legendary Austrian film star Romy Schneider, who, while visiting a sanatorium in 1981, conducts one of her final press interviews. Transit, adapted from the novel by Anna Seghers, is set during World War 2 and follows a man tasked with delivering a letter to a mysterious man in Marseilles.

Cedric Kahn's The Prayer from France, Swedish drama The Real Estate from director Mans Mansson and Axel Petersen and Touch Me Not from Romanian film maker Adina Pintilie will all have their world premiere in competition in Berlin.

From outside Europe comes The Heiresses, a drama from first-time Paraguayan director Marcelo Martinessi, and Pig from Iranian filmmaker Mani Haghighi, whose previous feature, A Dragon Arrives!, was a highlight of Berlin 2016.

Running out of competition will be Lance Daly's Black 47, set during the Irish famine, which stars Hugo Weaving, Barry Keoghan, Stephen Rea and Jim Broadbent. Monster Hunt 2, the sequel to Raman Hui's 2015 blockbuster will get a special, out-of-competition screening in Berlin, its European premiere, as will Gurrumul, a music documentary from Australian director Paul Williams on the life and work of legendary indigenous Australian musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who also served as a co-producer on the project

Berlin's more political side will be repped by a pair of documentaries running out of  competition: Eldorado from Swiss filmmaker Markus Imhoof looks at the causes of the worldwide refugee crisis, while Fernando Solanas' Viaje a los Pueblos Fumigados examines the poisoning of Argentina's rural lands, and its population, by the country's massive agricultural industry.

Berlin's competition lineup is almost complete. Previously, the festival announced a series of titles, including new features from Russia's Alexey German Jr., Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska and France's Benoit Jacquot.

Berlin will announce its final competition films in the coming weeks. The 2018 Berlinale runs Feb. 15-25.

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