The first to take a bow at Berlin
Works from Anderson, Morris, Lewis in competitionFour world premieres, including one from the U.S., and three international premieres will be among the films screening in competition at the 58th annual Berlin International Film Festival, organizers said Monday.
The festival runs Feb. 7-17.
Among the initial titles announced were three U.S. productions: Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood," starring Daniel Day-Lewis; Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris' examination of the Abu Ghraib scandal, "Standard Operating Procedure/S.O.P."; and the U.S./U.K. co-production "Gardens of the Night," by Damian Harris, about two abducted children left to fend for themselves on the street.
"S.O.P." is a world premiere, while the two features will be seen outside of domestic theaters for the first time.
In addition, Oscar winner Andrzej Wajda, who received an honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement at last year's festival, will present the international premiere of his latest work, "Katjn," out of competition. It examines a long-taboo subject: the massacre of thousands of Polish prisoners of war by the Soviet secret service in 1940.
German director Doris Doerrie, best known in the U.S. for her 1980s gender comedy "Men," will unspool the world premiere of her latest movie, "Cherry Blossoms — Hanami," which centers on a widower who learns more about his wife after her sudden death than he knew when she was alive.
China's Wang Xiaoshuai, whose "Beijing Bicycle" won the Silver Bear in 2001, will present the world premiere of "Zuo You" (In Love We Trust), about a mother who resorts to extreme measures to save her cancer-ridden child.
In another world premiere, Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke — a graduate of the 2003 Berlinale Talent Campus — will screen his sophomore feature, "Lake Tahoe," which tells the story of a 16-year-old boy confronting his father's death.
Also in competition is the international premiere of "Tropa de Elite" (The Elite Squad), a political thriller from Brazil that has broken all boxoffice records at home. Jose Padilha exposes the brutality and corruption of the Brazilian military police and the influence of the drug mafia on the nation's poor.
Organizers said the competition film selection will be completed by mid-January.