Glitz, glamour back with 63rd Berlin film fest

Berlin, Feb 7 (IANS/DAPD) The Berlin international film festival, commonly known as "Berlinale", is rolling out its red carpet for the 63rd time.

The festival kicks off Feb 7 with the martial arts drama "The Grandmaster" from Chinese director Wong Kar Wai, who also heads this year's jury.

A total of 19 films are up for various Golden and Silver Bear awards. On Feb 16, the official programme ends with the awards ceremonies, which are followed by a day for the public.

The festival will be graced by prominent stars like Matt Damon, Jeremy Irons, Julie Delpy, Jude Law, Nicolas Cage, Nina Hoss, Anne Hathaway, Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Isabella Rossellini.

Alongside jury president Wong, the jury comprises several movie notables -- Andreas Dresen, Susanne Bier, Tim Robbins, Shirin Neshat, Ellen Kuras and Athina Rachel Tsangari.

Among the contenders is Thomas Arslan's western "Gold" with Nina Hoss in the lead role, the thriller "Layla Fourie" by Pia Marais with August Diehl, a thriller from Steven Soderbergh, "Side Effects", and part three of Ulrich Seidl's "Paradise" triology, "Paradies: Hoffnung".

French director Claude Lanzmann will be awarded the Honorary Golden Bear lifetime achievement award.

His nine-and-a-half hour 1985 documentary "Shoah", about the genocide of European Jews, is to be shown as a tribute.

Actress Isabella Rossellini and filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim will be given the Berlinale Camera award, presented annually to those whom the Berlinale describes on its website as "having made a unique contribution to film and to whom the festival feels especially close".

This year, 6,812 films applied for entry to the festival, 100 more than 2012.

--IANS/DAPD

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