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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

Germany’s Berlinale Film Festival Opens Competition with “Isle of Dogs”

BERLIN – The international jury of the Berlinale film festival was presented on Thursday as faces from the movie industry and members of the public readied themselves for the 68th edition of the event to start.

The jury members spoke at a press conference before the screening of the first movie to be presented in competition: “Isle of Dogs,” an animation film by United States director Wes Anderson.

Berlinale president, German director Tom Tykwer, declared that he did not know anyone who did not welcome the arrival of the famed festival each February as a sign the winter months were coming to an end.

Tykwer, who rose to international prominence with “Run Lola Run” in 1998, is greeted at the Berlinale as if he’s a family friend, having released six movies within various sections at the festival.

Other members of the jury included Spanish actor Chema Prado, Belgian actress Cécile de France, US movie critic Stephanie Zacharek, Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and US producer Adele Romanski.

It would be the first time the festival kicked off with an animation, which was voiced by Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand.

The 68th edition would thus see a return to Berlin for Anderson, who competed with “The Royal Tenenbaums” in 2002, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” in 2005 and won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in 2014.

The list of films competing featured a mix of established directors, like Cédric Kahn and Benoit Jacquot, as well as newer talents, such as Marcelo Martinessi and Alonso Ruizpalacios.

Ruizpalacios returned to the Berlinale with “Museo,” with Gael Garcia Bernal, after a successful debut with “Güeros” that won him the Best First Feature Award in 2014.

Besides “Isle of Dogs,” other US entries included “Damsel” by David Zellner, featuring Robert Pattinson, and “Don’t Worry, He Won’t, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” by Gus Van Sant, with Joaquin Phoenix playing the lead.

Germany was throwing its hat in the ring with four titles: “Transit,” “In den Gängen” (“In the Aisles”), “3 Tage in Quiberon” (“3 Days in Quiberon”) and “Mein Bruder heißt Robert und ist ein Idiot” (“My Brother’s Name is Robert and He is an Idiot”).

Norway offered up “Utøya,” based on a killing spree carried out by far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, while Sweden competes with “Toppen av ingenting” by Mans Mansson and Italy with “Figlia mia” by Laura Bispuri.

The jury will award its prizes on Feb. 24.

 

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