'Elegy,' others in Berlin chase


Isabel Coixet's "Elegy," an adaptation of the Philip Roth best-seller "The Dying Animal," has been picked for the competition lineup at next month's Berlin International Film Festival.

Also competing at the Feb. 7-17 festival are Erick Zonca's Tilda Swinton starrer "Julia," Hong Kong helmer Johnnie To's latest crime drama "Sparrow," Mike Leigh's North London drama "Happy-Go-Lucky," Robert Guediguian's French working-class thriller "Lady Jane" and the politically themed drama "Restless" from Israeli Amos Kollek.

Another competition title with strong political undertones is "Heart of Fire," Luigi Florni's adaptation of the biography of African child soldier Senait Mehari. The film follows the crossover success of Florni's "The Story of the Weeping Camel" (2003), which he co-directed with Mongolian filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa.

"Fire" is only the second German film to make the cut in Berlin, the other being Doris Dorrie's "Kirschbluten — Hanami." Berlin favorite Yoji Yamada returns to the competition section this year with his latest, the World War II family drama "Kabei — Our Mother."

Italy's Antonello Grimaldi, who last appeared in Berlin's Panorama sidebar with "Bits and Pieces" in 1996, will bring his literary adaptation of Sandro Veronesi's best-seller "Quiet Chaos" to the 2008 Berlinale.