26 Films Set for 2004 Berlinale Competition
by Eugene Hernandez
Once Sundance comes to a close later this weekend, many in the film community here and in Europe will turn their eyes towards Berlin for the Berlinale, the 54th Berlin International Film Festival. Organizers of the German festival have unveiled the complete list of 26 films that will screen in competition at the festival. The movies come from 18 countries, with 19 films having a world premiere at the festival. Two are from first-time feature directors.
In remarks about the announcement, Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick reflected, "Dreams, attainable and especially unattainable ones, are what viewers have in common with the characters on the screen, they are what connects them most acutely with one another."
Joshua Marston's Sundance 2004 competition entry "Maria Full of Grace" will show in competition in Berlin, the HBO Film which is a production from the U.S. and Colombia, is the story of a young woman who becomes a drug runner to escape her life on the outskirts of Bogota. Organizers noted that the film is ona of a selection that fit the festival's focus on Latin America this year.
The films in the 2004 festival range from new work made by international masters to films from Hollywood. From Korea, Kim Di-Duk will present "Samaria" (Samaritan Girl), while the popular actress and entertainer Sylvia Chang is directing the Hong Kong production "20 : 30 : 40," a look at three women who are different phases of their lives. Ken Loach's "Ae Fond Kiss" will screen, as will Patrice Leconte's "Intimate Strangers."
Among the American entries are Richard Linklater's "Before Sunset," the follow-up to "Before Sunrise." Also on tap are "The Final Cut," from 26-year-old Omar Naim, which stars Robin Williams, Jim Caviezal, and Mira Sorvino. Antoine Fuqua's "Lighting in a Bottle" is a documentary about a Radio City Music Hall concert that celebrates the blues. It was co-produced by Martin Scorsese for his seven-part TV series about the blue.
Jurors set for the festival include Frances McDormand, president of the international jury, along with filmmakers Maji-da Abdi and Samira Makmalbaf, actress and director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, producer Peter Rommel, filmmaker Gabriele Salvatores, and distributor Dan Talbot.
Other section of the festival include a short film competition, special screenings, the large Panorama section, a retrospective, the Forum, a German film program, and children's films.
Complete list of competition films:
"20 : 30 : 40," directed by Sylvia Chang, Taiwan/Hong Kong
"5 degrés en hiver" (25 Degrees in Winter), directed by Stéphane Vuillet, Belgium/France/Spain
"Ae Fond Kiss," directed by Ken Loach, Great Britain
"Beautiful Country," directed by Hans Petter Moland, Norway/USA
"Before Sunset," directed by Richard Linklater, USA
"Cold Mountain," directed by Anthony Minghella, USA (out of competition)
"Confidences trop intimes" (Intimate Strangers), directed by Patrice Leconte, France
"Country of my Skull," directed by John Boorman, Great Britain
"Die Nacht singt ihre Lieder" (Nightsongs), directed by Romuald Karmakar, Germany
"El Abrazo Partido" (Lost Embrace), directed by Daniel Burman, Argentina
"Feux rouges" (Red Lights), directed Cédric Kahn, France
"Forbrydelser" (In Your Hands), directed Annette K. Olesen, Denmark
"Gegen die Wand" (Head-On), directed Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey
"La vida que te espera" (Your Next Life), directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Spain
"Lightening in a Bottle," directed by Antoine Fuqua, USA (out of competition)
"Maria, llena de gracia" (Maria Full of Grace), directed Joshua Marston, USA/Columbia
"Monster," directed by Patty Jenkins, USA
"Om jag vänder mig om" (Daybreak), directed by Björn Runge, Sweden
"Primo Amore" (First Love), directed by Matteo Garrone, Italy
"Samaria" (Samaritan Girl), directed by Kim Ki-Duk, Korea
"Something's Gotta Give," directed Nancy Meyers, USA (out of compeition)
"Svedoci" (Witnesses), directed by Vinko Bresan, Croatia
"The Final Cut," directed by Omar Naïm, USA
"The Missing," directed by Ron Howard, USA
"Trilogia: To livadi pou dakrisi" (Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow), directed by Theo Angelopoulos, Greece/France
"Triple Agent," directed by Eric Rohmer, France