New films added to Berlin competition

Winterbottom, Vinderberg, Baumbach titles added

BERLIN -- The Berlin International Film Festival is going indie for its 60th anniversary with new films from Michael Winterbottom, Noah Baumbach, Thomas Vinterberg and other independent filmmakers among this year's competition lineup.

Baumbach's comedy "Greenberg" starring Ben Stiller as a New Yorker house sitting for his brother in Los Angeles, will have its world premiere in Berlin as will Vinterberg's latest, "Submario," a Danish drama that sees the director of "The Celebration" returning to the treacherous landscape of familial relationships.

Winterbottom's Western thriller "The Killer Inside Me" starring Casey Affleck will head to Berlin after its world premiere in Sundance, one of several titles catching the Park City-Berlin express this year. These include "Howl," a drama from famed documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman centered on poet Allen Ginsberg's 1957 obscenity trial; Nicole Holofcener's comedy "Please Give" starring Catherine Keener and Amanda Peet and Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids Are Alright."

Both "Please Give" and "The Kids Are Alright" will screen out of competition in Berlin.

Chinese director Zhang Yimou ("Red Sorghum") will make his fourth trip to Berlin bringing the drama "A Woman, A Gun And A Noodle Shop." Also making the competition cut was "Caterpillar," the latest from Japan's Koji Wakamatsu.

Asian films will open and close this year's Berlinale: Wang Quan'an's "Apart Together" kicks Berlin off Feb.11 and "About Her Brother," from Japanese director Yoji Yamada finishes the festival Feb. 20.

Danish Dogme director Pernille Fischer Christensen, whose tragicomedy "A Soap" won the Sliver Bear in 2006, returns to Berlin competition with "A Family" while Norwegian helmer Hans Petter Moland, last here with "The Beautiful Country" (2004) is back with a crime comedy, "A Somewhat Gentle Man."

Two more German titles have joined the Berlin competition: "Jud Suss - Film ohne Gewissen" from Oskar Roehler ("The Elementary Particles") about the actor who starred in the infamous anti-semitic film "Jud Suss" and "Shahada" from first-timer Burhan Qurbani.

Benjamin Heisenberg's "The Robber," a German-Austrian co-production, will also compete this year for the Golden Bear.

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Other competition titles announced Wednesday include "How I Ended This Summer" from Russian director Alexei Popogrebsky ("Koktebel"); "Mammuth," a drama from Gustave de Kervern and Benoit Delepine starring Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu and two feature debuts: "If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle" from Romanian director Florin Serban and Natalia Smirnoff's Argentinan-French co-production "Puzzle."

The 60th Berlinale Film Festival runs Feb.11-21.

The 18 titles, added to the seven films, including Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" and Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," which were announced in December are:

"Caterpillar," Koji Wakamatsu, Japan
"En Familie" (A Family), Pernille Fischer Christensen, Denmark
"En ganske snill mann" (A Somewhat Gentle Man), Hans Petter Moland, Norway
"Eu cand vreau sa fluier, fluier" (If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle), Florin Serban, Romania/Sweden
"Greenberg," Noah Baumbach, U.S.
"Howl," Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, U.S.
"Jud Suss -- Film ohne Gewissen," Oskar Roehler, Germany/Austria
"Kak ya provel etim letom" (How I Ended This Summer), Alexei Popogrebsky, Russian Federation
"Mammuth," Benoit Delepine, Gustave de Kervern, France
"Otouto" (About Her Brother), Yoji Yamada, Japan -- Closing Film -- out of competition
"Please Give," Nicole Holofcener, U.S. -- out of competition
"Rompecabezas" (Puzzle), Natalia Smirnoff, Argentina/France
"San qiang pai an jing qi" (A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop), Zhang Yimou,China
"Shahada," Burhan Qurbani, Germany
"Submarino," Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark
"The Kids Are Alright," Lisa Cholodenko, U.S./France -- out of competition
"The Killer Inside Me," Michael Winterbottom, U.S./Great Britain
"Tuan Yuan" (Apart Together), Wang Quan'an, China -- opening film