After charming audiences with 2014’s Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize winner The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson is returning to the Berlin Film Festival. The filmmaker’s stop-motion animated Isle Of Dogs has been set to world premiere in competition as the opening night film of the 68th Berlinale on February 15, 2018.

Anderson has previously presented three films in the Berlinale competition: The Royal Tenenbaums (2002), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2005) and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was one of the more memorable Berlin openers of recent years. It went on to gross $175M worldwide and scored a Best Picture Oscar nomination as well as mentions for Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing and Cinematography. It won statues in the Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Score and Production Design categories.

Isle Of Dogs, Anderson’s second animated endeavor after 2009’s Fantastic Mr Fox, tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The voice cast includes Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Kunichi Nomura, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Akira Ito, Greta Gerwig, Akira Takayama, Frances McDormand, F Murray Abraham, Courtney B. Vance, Yojiro Noda, Fisher Stevens, Mari Natsuki, Nijiro Murakami, Yoko Ono, Harvey Keitel and Frank Wood.

Following their collaboration on The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson return as producers on Isle Of Dogs, which was produced by Indian Paintbrush. Christoph Fisser, Henning Molfenter and Charlie Woebcken of Studio Babelsberg serve as executive producers.

Fox Searchlight, which also teamed on Budapest Hotel, will distribute the film worldwide in partnership with Indian Paintbrush. The domestic release is set for March 23, 2018. Internationally, the film will open in cinemas from April 2018.

Says Berlin fest director Dieter Kosslick, “I’m most delighted that Wes Anderson will kick off the Berlinale Competition again. Isle of Dogs will be the first animated film to open the Festival — a film that will capture audiences’ hearts with its Wes Anderson charm.”