Winslet, Law and Owen to lead line-up at Berlin film fest

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Hollywood heavyweights Kate Winslet, Steve Martin, Jude Law and Clive Owen will headline the next Berlin Film Festival with a clutch of new pictures, organizers said Friday.

Winslet is expected at February s Berlinale to promote The Reader, an erotic drama in which she plays a former Nazi concentration camp guard running from her past in postwar Germany.

The film, an adaptation of German writer Bernhard Schlink s bestseller, has already been nominated for next month s Golden Globe awards but will be screened out of competition for the Berlinale s Golden and Silver Bear prizes.

Martin will bring the second Pink Panther remake featuring the silver-haired comedian as the hapless Inspector Clouseau. Pink Panther II will also appear out of competition.

Rage, a black comedy about a New York fashion house by British director Sally Potter ( Orlando ), will vie for the Golden Bear with a powerhouse cast including Law, Judi Dench, Dianne Wiest and Steve Buscemi.

Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson, best known for his harrowing drama about forced prostitution Lilya 4-ever, will unveil Mammoth starring Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal and US actress Michelle Williams as a New York power couple facing a family crisis.

Rebecca Miller, daughter of the late US playwright Arthur Miller and wife of Daniel Day-Lewis, will premiere The Private Lives of Pippa Lee based on her debut novel. The cast features Robin Wright Penn, Keanu Reeves and Julianne Moore.

China s Chen Kaige, who won the Palme d Or in Cannes for Farewell My Concubine, will present Forever Enthralled starring Leon Lai as opera legend Mei Lanfang.

Franco-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb, maker of the groundbreaking Indigenes (Days of Glory) about North African soldiers in World War II, will screen London River, a drama set around the public transport bombings of 2005, starring Brenda Blethyn.

Greek veteran Theo Angelopoulos will screen The Dust of Time featuring Willem Dafoe and Bruno Ganz out of competition, while Germany will be represented by Maren Ade s love story Alle Anderen (All the Others).

Hollywood screenwriter Oren Moverman, behind the innovative Bob Dylan biopic I m Not There, will show his directing debut The Messenger starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton.

Many of the films we ve chosen explore the globalized world and its impact on people s private lives, festival director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement.

These works tell of meaningful encounters, resistance, as well as traumatic experiences. International crises are reflected in them, but also the hope that a better world is possible. Towards the end of the festival the Pink Panther will save the world again with humor.

The Berlinale will open February 5 with the premiere of The International, a spy thriller starring Owen and Naomi Watts, directed by German filmmaker Tom Tykwer ( Run, Lola, Run ).

The festival, running to February 15, ranks below Cannes and alongside Venice among the world s top film festivals. -AFP

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