By Indiewire | Indiewire February 1, 2006 at 10:40AM
George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Heath Ledger are among the stars expected to grace the red carpet at next month's Berlinale, the first major European film festival of the year. Festival director Dieter Kosslick said the 56th Berlinale, running February 9 - 19, would blend silver-screen glamor with an unflinching look at issues ranging from the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay to women's rights in Iran. "The films this year are very political and realistic across the board," Kosslick told reporters on Monday. "The focus is on real people's problems and less on fantasy." Clooney, a frequent Berlinale guest, will be coming to promote "Syriana," a thriller on the global oil industry in which he stars as a CIA operative. Ledger will appear as a drug addict in "Candy," one of the films in competition for the Golden Bear top prize. Agence France Presse reports.