the world digest
MUNICH — Helmers Werner Herzog and Richard Linklater will be featured guests at this year's Munich Film Festival as part of the fest's 25th anniversary celebrations, organizers said Thursday. Both filmmakers have been associated with the festival for much of their careers. Herzog was born and educated in Munich while Link-later's debut, "Slacker," had its international premiere at the festival. Herzog will be present for the first-ever complete retrospective of his work — 52 films in all — while Linklater will preside over a 15-film retrospective of his work. The festival is set for June 22-30.
MEXICO CITY — The Morelia International Film Festival, one of Mexico's top movie showcases, on Thursday said it has opened an official competition section for Mexican features. The film fest, sponsored by Mexican exhibitor Cinepolis, has focused primarily on documentaries and shorts in past editions. The fifth edition, which runs Oct. 5–14, will include a new features category consisting of first- and second-time works by Mexican directors. The lineup will be announced at a later date.
MADRID — Spanish producer Morena Films announced Thursday that it is taking a 20% equity stake in best-selling French author Michel Houellebecq's directorial debut, "Possibility of an Island." The picture is due to start shooting at Valencia's new studio complex Ciudad de la Luz (City of Lights) at the end of May. The $8 million futuristic film, about a disillusioned man who gets involved in human cloning and meets the 25th version of himself, is based on Houellebecq's book of the same title, which won the Interallie Prize and sold 350,000 copies.