Sundance is obviously a great festival, and sets the pace for the rest of the year, as far as domestic indie cinema goes. But for more international fare, it’s sometimes a little bit lacking, and fans of subtitled cinema tend to cast their eyes to the Berlinale in February, which, while often featuring highlights from the Park City line-up and premieres from American auteurs (last year saw the likes of “Please Give,” “Greenberg” and “Shutter Island” make the schedule), also features the highlights from European cinema that’ll do the rounds at festivals for the rest of the year — the 2010 version saw Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer,” “Submarino” and “A Somewhat Gentle Man” all make their debuts.
It was announced last week that the 2011 festival will open with The Coen Brothers‘ “True Grit,” which is playing out of competition, and news arrives today, via Screen Daily, of eight further additions. Perhaps the highest profile is “Coriolanus,” the directorial debut of Ralph Fiennes, in which the actor also takes on the title role in a “Hurt Locker“-style adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, alongside Gerard Butler, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and James Nesbitt.
Miranda July’s “The Future,” which was yesterday added to the Sundance line-up, will play in competition in Berlin, while “Pina” a 3D dance documentary that pays tribute to the life and work of dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch (who died unexpectedly shortly before production was due to begin) will also show, albeit out of competition.
Also joining the festival is “Our Grand Despair,” the second feature from Turkish helmer Seyfi Teoman, whose film “Summer Book” premiered at the 2008 Berlinale, about a love triangle and “Lipstikka,” from Israeli director Jonathan Sagall (who had a supporting role in “Schindler’s List“), about two Israeli women who reunite in London.
The final two additions are “If Not Us, Who?,” the first feature from noted German documentary filmmaker Andres Veiel, which toplines August Diehl (“Inglorious Basterds,” “The Counterfeiters“), and focuses on Gudrun Ensslin (Lena Lauzemis), a pastor’s daughter who became a key figure in the terrorist group the Red Army Faction, and “Yelling To The Sky,” another debut feature from Sundance Labs grad Victoria Mahoney, which sees Zoe Kravitz take her first lead role, alongside the likes of “Precious” star Gabourey Sidibe, Tim Blake Nelson and Jason Clarke, as a seventeen-year-old struggling to survive on her own in New York.
It’s a promising line-up, all in all, and we’re sure there’s more to come, including the announcement of the closing film. The festival runs in Berlin from February 10-20, 2011.