Berlin Festival Adds Norwegian Mass Shooting Drama to Competition Lineup
'Songwriter,' a documentary on British pop superstar Ed Sheeran, will also have its world premiere in Berlin, screening out of competition.
The Berlin International Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled the full lineup for its 2018 edition, which is set to run Feb. 15–25.
Wes Anderson's latest effort, the animated Isle of Dogs, which features the voice talents of Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston and Bill Murray, will kick off the 68th Berlinale on Feb. 15. The winners of this year's Golden and Silver Bears will be announced at a gala ceremony on Feb. 24.
Berlin on Tuesday also added a final competition title to its lineup, the Norwegian drama Utoya, July 22 from director Erik Poppe (The King's Choice). The examination of the 2011 mass shooting by Anders Breivik that shocked and stunned the peaceful Nordic nation will have its world premiere in Berlin.
Another new addition, playing out of competition, is the British documentary Songwriter from Murray Cummings, better known as the cousin of pop star Ed Sheeran, who followed his singer-songwriter relative for this behind-the-scenes doc. Sheeran is expected to attend the festival for the film's world premiere.
Alongside Isle of Dogs, there are just two other U.S. films in competition this year: Gus Van Sant's latest, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a cartoonist left a quadriplegic following a drunk-driving accident; and Damsel, from the Zellner Brothers, a period drama that stars Robert Pattinson as a businessman who travels West to join his fiancee (Mia Wasikowska) in the mountains.
European arthouse titles make up the bulk of Berlin's competition this year. Two former Silver Bear winners, Russia's Alexey German Jr. (Under Electric Clouds) and Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska (Body), return with their latest features. German Jr.'s Dovlatov is a biopic of Russian writer Sergei Dovlatov, tracing six days in his life before he fled the Soviet Union for America. Szumowska's Mug focuses on a man who undergoes face transplant surgery and suffers a crisis of identity. Other European auteurs battling it out in Berlin this year will be Benoit Jacquot with Eva, starring Isabelle Huppert and Gaspard Ulliel; Italian director Laura Bispuri with Daughter of Mine, featuring Valeria Golino and Alba Rohrwacher; and Germany's Thomas Stuber, whose low-key drama In the Aisles stars Sandra Huller and Franz Rogowski.
Berlin has a deserved reputation as a platform for Asian and South American cinema, but this year's competition lineup is thin on offerings from outside the U.S. and Europe. Museum from Mexican director Alonso Ruizpalacios and Marcelo Martinessi's Paraguayan drama The Heiressess are the only two South American features in the official lineup, and the only Asian titles in the mix are the “anti-musical musical” Season of the Devil from Filipino director Lav Diaz and Pig from Iranian helmer Mani Haghighi, whose A Dragon Arrives! was a highlight of the 2016 Berlinale.
Out of competition, Berlin will be giving special screenings to a number of high-profile indie titles, including Jose Padilha's 7 Days in Entebbe, starring Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl and Eddie Marsan; Steven Soderbergh's Unsane, with Claire Foy and Juno Temple; and The Bookshop, a period drama from Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet featuring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy.
BERLIN 2018: FULL COMPETITION LINEUP
3 Days in Quiberon, dir. Emily Atef (Germany/Austria/France)
Damsel dir. David Zellner and Nathan Zellner (USA)
Daughter of Mine dir. Laura Bispuri (Italy/Germany/Switzerland)
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot dir. Gus Van Sant (USA)
Dovlatov dir. Alexey German Jr. (Russian Federation/Poland/Serbia)
Eva dir. Benoit Jacquot (France/Belgium)
In the Aisles dir. Thomas Stuber (Germany)
Isle of Dogs dir. Wes Anderson (United Kingdom/Germany)
Mug dir. Malgorzata Szumowska (Poland)
Museum dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios (Mexico)
My Brother’s Name Is Robert and He Is an Idiot dir. Philip Groning (Germany/France/Switzerland)
Pig dir. Mani Haghighi (Iran)
Season of the Devil dir. Lav Diaz (Philippines)
The Heiresses dir. Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay/Germany/Uruguay/Norway/Brazil/France)
The Prayer dir. Cedric Kahn (France)
The Real Estate dir. Mans Mansson and Axel Petersen (Sweden/United Kingdom)
Touch Me Not dir. Adina Pintilie (Romania/Germany/Czech Republic/Bulgaria/France)
Transit dir. Christian Petzold (Germany / France)
Utoya, July 22 dir. Erik Poppe (Norway)
OUT OF COMPETITION
7 Days in Entebbe dir. Jose Padilha (USA/United Kingdom)
Aga dir. Milko Lazarov (Bulgaria/Germany/France)
Black 47 dir. Lance Daly (Ireland/Luxembourg)
Eldorado dir. Markus Imhoof (Switzerland/Germany)
Unsane dir. Steven Soderbergh (USA)
A Journey to the Fumigated Towns dir. Fernando Solanas (Argentina)
AMERICA Land of the FreeKS dir. Ulli Lommel (Germany)
Becoming Astrid dir. Pernille Fischer Christensen (Sweden/Germany/Denmark)
Gurrumul dir. Paul Williams (Australia) – documentary, debut film
Monster Hunt 2 dir. Raman Hui (People’s Republic of China/Hong Kong, China)
RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: async AT THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY dir. Stephen Nomura Schible (USA/Japan)
Songwriter dir. Murray Cummings (United Kingdom)
The Bookshop dir. Isabel Coixet (Spain/United Kingdom/Germany)
The Happy Prince dir. Rupert Everett (Germany/Belgium/Italy)
The Interpreter dir. Martin Sulik (Slovak Republic/Czech Republic/Austria)
The Silent Revolution dir. Lars Kraume (Germany)
Usedom – Der freie Blick aufs Meer dir. Heinz Brinkmann (Germany)
BERLINALE SPECIAL—BERLINALE SERIES
Bad Banks Director: Christian Schwochow - Head writer: Oliver Kienle, based on a concept by Lisa Blumenberg (Germany/Luxembourg)
Home Ground Creator: Johan Fasting - Director: Arild Andresen (Norway)
Liberty Creator: Asger Leth - Director: Mikael Marcimain (Denmark)
The Looming Tower Creators: Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright - Director: Alex Gibney - Written by Dan Futterman, based on the book by Lawrence Wright (USA)
Picnic at Hanging Rock Director: Larysa Kondracki (episodes 1-3 ) - Written by Beatrix Christian, Alice Addison (Australia)
Sleeping Bears Creator and director: Keren Margalit (Israel)
The Terror Showrunners: David Kajganich and Soo Hugh - Director: Edward Berger (episodes 1-3) (USA)