Hawke, Seydoux, Whitaker join Berlin film fest line-up

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 15 2014 10:27 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2014 06:27 AM

BERLIN - New movies starring Ethan Hawke, Lea Seydoux and Forest Whitaker will screen at the 64th Berlin film festival next month, along with a host of hard-hitting Asian fare, organizers said Wednesday.

Completing its programme for the competition at the 64th annual event, Europe's first major new cinema showcase of the year, the "Berlinale" said 20 pictures would vie for its Golden Bear top prize awarded on February 15.

Along with new features from George Clooney and Wes Anderson already announced, the festival will screen the keenly awaited "Boyhood", the latest collaboration between Hawke and US director Richard Linklater ("Before Midnight").

Also starring Patricia Arquette, the film was periodically shot over a decade and tells the story of a young son's relationship with his divorced parents.

Seydoux, who picked up the Palme d'Or top prize in Cannes last May along with her director and co-star for the lesbian love story "Blue is the Warmest Colour", takes the lead with Vincent Cassel in a Franco-German co-production retelling the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast".

The picture directed by Christophe Gans will screen out of competition.

Oscar-winner Whitaker teams up with Harvey Keitel in Rachid Bouchareb's "Two Men in Town" about an ex-convict who has converted to Islam.

The French director of Algerian extraction is best known for the 2006 drama "Days of Glory" (Indigenes) about North African men serving in the French army during World War II.

Festival organisers announced three Chinese entries including "Black Coal, Thin Ice" by Diao Yinan about a cop investigating serial murders who learns all the victims are linked to the same woman.

"Blind Massage" by Shanghai-born Lou Ye is a novel adaptation about visually-impaired massage therapists, while Ning Hao's "No Man's Land" is a thriller set on a lawless highway offering a bleak look at contemporary China.

Scandinavian production "In Order of Disappearance" starring Stellan Skarsgard and Bruno Ganz showing a drug war between the Norwegian mafia and Serbian gangsters will also premiere at the event.

German director Feo Aladang's "In-between Worlds" is billed as the first foreign feature to shoot in the Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz regions of northern Afghanistan and depicts the friendship between a German soldier and a local interpreter.

It will have its world premiere at the festival.

Organisers had previously announced that Clooney would present his Nazi-era art thriller "The Monuments Men", while Anderson will unveil his all-star romp "The Grand Budapest Hotel" on opening night, February 6.

Scandal-courting Danish director Lars von Trier will premiere the uncut version of the first part of his new erotic epic, "Nymphomaniac".

US producer James Schamus will head up the jury handing out the prizes, joined by two-time Oscar-winning Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, Hong Kong heart-throb Tony Leung and French filmmaker Michel Gondry among others.

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