Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2007


Jan 04, 2007:
First Competition Films Confirmed: Modern History and Great Stars

“We are delighted”, says Festival director Dieter Kosslick, “to be able to present a number of new works by renowned directors and interesting young filmmakers again. Many of the productions selected for this year’s Competition link modern historical processes to personal, intimate and extremely emotional stories.”

One of the first six films selected is the German entry Yella by Christian Petzold. After presenting Gespenster (Ghosts) in 2005, the director, who has won a number of awards, will be showing a film in the Berlinale Competition for the second time. Yella tells of a young woman from the former East German province of Brandenburg who begins a new job in western Germany, so as to escape a wretched marriage. But her old life keeps catching up with her. Nina Hoss, Hinnerk Schönemann and Devid Striesow star in the film. (World Premiere)

To date, the USA will be represented by Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd and Steven Soderbergh’s The Good German. In his second work as director after A Bronx Tale, De Niro tells the story of an idealistic Yale graduate during World War II who is recruited by the OSS (the precursor to the CIA). The cast features a number of Oscar-winning actors and actresses, including Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Robert De Niro. (International Premiere)

In The Good German, George Clooney plays an American journalist who becomes embroiled in a murder conspiracy in postwar Berlin. In this black-and-white film, director Steven Soderbergh has created a homage to the cinema of the 1940s, combining historical archive material with newly filmed scenes. Alongside George Clooney, Soderbergh, whose last contribution to the Berlinale Competition was the science-fiction drama Solaris (2005), has cast Tobey Maguire and Cate Blanchett, among others. (International Premiere)

Europe will also present the Belgian-German-Luxembourg-British-French co-production Irina Palm in the Berlinale Competition. Singer and actress Marianne Faithfull plays a 50-year-old widow who is so desperately in need of money that she unwittingly accepts a job in a sex club. Irina Palm is Belgian director Sam Garbarski’s second film; his debut film The Rashevski Tango received much recognition throughout Europe. (World Premiere)

Following Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997), two-time Oscar-winner Bille August will present his latest film, Goodbye Bafana, in the Berlinale Competition. The international co-production tells the true story of James Gregory (Joseph Fiennes), the white prison guard whose life is profoundly altered when he meets the prisoner Nelson Mandela, whom he ends up guarding for more than twenty years. Dennis Haysbert plays the ANC activist and later Nobel Peace Prize winner. James Gregory’s wife Gloria is played by Diane Kruger. On February 11, 2007, it will be 17 years since Nelson Mandela was released from prison. (World Premiere)

So far South Korea will be represented in the Competition by I Am A Cyborg But That’s Ok by the celebrated director Park Chan-wook. In a psychiatric hospital, a young woman patient, who thinks she is a cyborg, falls in love. The cast includes Korean superstar Rain, who is also very successful as a pop star, and Lim Soo-jung. Director Park Chan-wook first competed in the Berlinale Competition six years ago, with the political thriller Joint Security Area. (International Premiere)

The selection for the Competition of the 57th Berlin International Film Festival will be completed by mid-January.

Press Office

January 4, 2007