Berlin Film Festival Unveils First Competition Titles

'Dovlatov' still - H 2017
Courtesy of Berlin Film Festival

Gus Van Sant's 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot' and Alexey German Jr.'s 'Dovlatov' are among the first films selected.

The Berlin International Film Festival on Monday unveiled the first competition titles for its 2018 edition, which is set to run Feb. 15-25.

Gus Van Sant's latest movie, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, and Dovlatov, from Alexey German Jr., who a few years ago won the festival's Silver Bear for his Under Electric Clouds, are among the first films selected to compete for next year's Golden Bear.

Don't Worry stars Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan, a cartoonist left a quadriplegic following a drunk-driving accident (he was driving) who struggles to retain his humor and continue his work. Based on Callahan's memoirs, the film co-stars Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill, Jack Black and Mark Webber.

Another Silver Bear winner, Polish director Ma?gorzata Szumowska (Body), returns to competition in Berlin with her latest, Mug, while Benoit Jacquot's Eva, starring Isabelle Huppert and Gaspard Ulliel, and Daughter of Mine, from Italian director Laura Bispuri and featuring Valeria Golino and Alba Rohrwacher, were also named to competition slots. All will have their world premieres in Berlin.

Joining them will be two German features: Thomas Stuber's In the Aisles, starring Sandra Huller (Toni Erdmann) alongside rising star Franz Rogowski (Happy End) and veteran actor Peter Kurth (Babylon Berlin); and Mein Bruder heisst Robert und ist ein Idiot (My Brother's Name Is Robert and He's an Idiot) from director Philip Groning.

As previously announced, the 2018 Berlinale will open with Wes Anderson's animated feature Isle of Dogs. This will mark the second time Anderson has opened the fest, following the world premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2012.

Organizers on Monday also unveiled two special gala screenings. They are Isabel Coixet's The Bookshop, starring Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson, and Das schweigende Klassenzimmer (The Silent Revolution) by German director Lars Kraume.

German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas) will be the president of the jury for the latest edition of the festival.

Here are the first 10 Berlin competition films:

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
By Gus Van Sant
With Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Udo Kier
International premiere

Russian Federation/Poland/Serbia
By Alexey German Jr. 
With Milan Maric, Danila Kozlovsky, Helena Sujecka, Artur Beschastny, Elena Lyadova
World premiere

By Benoit Jacquot 
With Isabelle Huppert, Gaspard Ulliel, Julia Roy, Richard Berry
World premiere

Figlia mia (Daughter of Mine)
By Laura Bispuri 
With Valeria Golino, Alba Rohrwacher, Sara Casu, Udo Kier
World premiere

In den Gangen (In the Aisles)
By Thomas Stuber 
With Franz Rogowski, Sandra Huller, Peter Kurth
World premiere

Mein Bruder heisst Robert und ist ein Idiot (My Brother's Name Is Robert and He's an Idiot)
By Philip Groning 
With Josef Mattes, Julia Zange, Urs Jucker, Stefan Konarske, Zita Aretz, Karolina Porcari, Vitus Zeplichal
World premiere

Twarz (Mug)
By Ma?gorzata Szumowska 
With Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Ma?gorzata Gorol, Roman Gancarczyk, Dariusz Chojnacki, Robert Talarczyk, Anna Tomaszewska, Martyna Krzysztofik
World premiere