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Leigh, Coixet, Zonca and co. to compete for Berlin’s Golden Bear

Today's nine title announcement for the Berlin Festival’s main competition section (the 58th edition runs between Feb. 7-17.) is an early sign that the 2008 year in film is rich in international film from all corners of the globe and that the upcoming Cannes film festival is going to be loaded once again with heavyweight titles. 

Out of the titles I'm most looking forward to seeing are the little known Mike Leigh project called Happy-Go-Lucky and Erick Zonca’s French thriller Julia starring Tilda Swinton, and the postponed domestic release of
Isabel Coixet’s Elegy.

Here is the 9-list:

Feuerherz (Heart of Fire) Germany/Austria (adapted from the bestseller by Senait Mehari)
by Luigi Falorni (The Story of the Weeping Camel)
with Letekidan Micael
 
Julia France
by Erick Zonca (The Dreamlife of Angels)
with Tilda Swinton, Aidan Gould, Saúl Rubinek
 
Lady Jane France
By Robert Guédiguian (Le Promeneur du champ de Mars, Berlinale Competition 2005)
with Ariane Ascaride, Gérard Meylan, Frédérique Bonnal
 
Caos calmo (Quiet Chaos) Italy – International Premiere
by Antonello Grimaldi (Bits and Pieces, Berlinale Panorama 1996)
with Nanni Moretti, Isabella Ferrari, Alessandro Gassman, Valeria Golino
 
Happy-Go-Lucky UK
by Mike Leigh (Life Is Sweet, Berlinale Panorama 1991)
with Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Eddie Marsan, Samuel Roukin
 
Restless Israel/Germany/Canada/France/Belgium
by Amos Kollek (Bridget, Berlinale Competition 2002)
with Moshe Ivgy, Ran Danker, Karen Young, Phyllis Sommerville
 
Elegy USA (based on the novel “The Dying Animal” by Philip Roth)
by Isabel Coixet (My Life Without Me, Berlinale Competition 2002)
with Penélope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper
 
Sparrow Hong Kong, China
by Johnnie To (PTU, Berlinale Forum 2003)
with Simon Yam Tat Wah, Kelly Lin Hsi Lei, Gordon Lam Ka Tung, Lam Suet
 
Kabei (Kabei – Our Mother) Japan – International Premiere
by Yoji Yamada (The Hidden Blade, Berlinale Competition 2005)
with Sayuri Yoshinaga, Mitsugoro Bando, Tadanobu Asano

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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