Berlin unveils youth sidebar selections


COLOGNE, Germany -- Christopher Plummer starrer "Man In The Chair," Shane Meadows' skinhead drama "This is England" and "Kidz in da Hood," a musical that looks at the life of illegal immigrants in Sweden, are among the first titles picked for the official lineup of the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival.

All three will screen in Berlin's children and youth sidebar, Generation (formerly Kinderfilmfest). 2007 will mark the 30th anniversary of Berlin's children's film section.

Other films chosen for the Generation Kplus (children) and Generation 14plus (youth) sections include Thai thriller "Dorm," from Songyos Sugmakanan; "Bloede Mutze!" (Stupid Hat!), from German first-timer Johannes Schmid; Romanian director Catalin Mitulescu's "The Way I Spent the End of the World," a look at the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu's brutal regime; and "Trigger," from Norwegian director Gunnar Vikene, which centers on a renegade racehorse.

Two animated features have made the cut: Estonian comedy "Lotte from Gadgetville," from directors Heiki Ernits and Janno Poldma, and Gregoire Solotareff and Serge Elissalde's French animated fairytale "U," which bowed at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year.

Music plays a big role in several of next year's Generation titles. In addition to "Kidz in da Hood," the Berlin Festival has chosen the dance films "Love & Dance" from Israeli director Eitan Anner and the Indian-U.S. co-production "Vanaja" from Rajnesh Domalpalli.

Four young women struggle with growing up and starting a band in the Brazilian drama "Antonia," which was picked for Generation14plus while the hero of "Like A Virgin" from South Korean directors Hae-young Lee and Hae-jun Lee wants to become a star like Madonna ... after his sex change operation.

Festival organizers also announced the international jury for the 2007 Generation Kplus. They include German children's author Andreas Steinhoefel ("A Christmoose Carol"); Justin Johnson, the children's film programmer at the London Film Festival; Sitora Alieva, the director of Kinotavr children's festival in Sochi, Russia; Dutch producer Leontine Petit ("Schnitzel Paradise"); and Swedish director Reza Bagher ("Popular Music from Vittula").

The jury picks the best feature and best short film winners from titles screening in the Generation Kplus section.

The complete Generation lineup will be announced in January.