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Jolie, Thornton to present new films at Berlin festival

Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut about the Bosnian war and a drama made by and starring her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton will feature at the Berlin film festival next month, organizers said Monday. Jolie will present her harrowing drama "In the Land of Blood and Honey" out of competition after winning praise in Bosnia for its …


Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut about the Bosnian war and a drama made by and starring her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton will feature at the Berlin film festival next month, organizers said Monday.

Jolie will present her harrowing drama "In the Land of Blood and Honey" out of competition after winning praise in Bosnia for its unflinching take on the brutal 1992-1995 conflict, filmed in local languages with a home-grown cast.

It will screen on the opening weekend of the February 9-19 event, organizers said in a statement.

Thornton, who won a screenwriting Oscar for his own first outing as a feature film director, 1996’s "Sling Blade", will premiere his latest feature "Jayne Mansfield’s Car" in the competition for the Golden Bear top prize.

The Russian-US co-production, set in the 1960s, is about two clashing families and stars Robert Duvall and Kevin Bacon as well as Thornton, whom Jolie divorced in 2003 after three scandal-tinged years of marriage.

Other entries unveiled Monday include director Alain Gomis’s French-Senegalese production "Aujourd’hui" (Today), German art-house favorite Christian Petzold’s "Barbara" and Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani with "Caesar Must Die."

German-Norwegian picture "Gnade" (Mercy) by Matthias Glasner and Franco-Swiss drama "Sister" by Ursula Meier starring Lea Seydoux from Woody Allen’s "Midnight in Paris" and Gillian Anderson will also vie for the Golden Bear.

Rounding out the list were German-Greek production "Meteora" about a monk led into temptation by a nun, Portuguese drama "Tabu," Hungarian feature "Just the Wind" and "Home for the Weekend" by German auteur Hans-Christian Schmid.

The festival, which ranks among the top three European film showcases, announced last week that it would open with a drama set around the French Revolution, "Farewell My Queen," starring German-born Hollywood actress Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette.

British director Mike Leigh will chair the jury while two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep will accept an honorary Golden Bear. 

Topics: Berlinare

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