The Berlin Film Festival has added movies by Agnès Varda, Agnieszka Holland, Hans Petter Moland, Isabel Coixet and Wang Quan’an to its competition programme. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind will play in the Berlinale Special strand. Scroll down for the full list of additions to the batch of films already announced for the competition.

Coixet’s (The Bookshop) black-and-white feature Elisa & Marcela, the true-story of two women who got married in Spain in 1901 after one adopted a male identity, will likely receive an extra dose of media attention given that it is a Netflix acquisition, marking the streaming giant’s first film to screen in competition in Berlin. Festival director Dieter Kosslick has previously said that competition films must have a theatrical release.

Among other highlights announced today are James Norton and Vanessa Kirby starrer Mr. Jones from Polish director Agnieszka Holland and Italian mafia pic Piranhas, an adaptation of the third novel from Gomorrah writer Roberto Saviano. Iconic French director Varda will be in Berlin with a new autobiographical documentary. As with Cannes last year, Berlin is low on Hollywood glamour titles so far.

In light of recent news in France concerning abuse in the Catholic Church, festival director Dieter Kosslick took the opportunity to comment on the previously announced and timely competition film Grâce à Dieu by François Ozon, “Grâce à Dieu – about the sexual abuse of children that went on for years in the archdiocese of Lyon – shows how relevant cinema can be. The archbishop and other members of the archdiocese have been charged with keeping their knowledge of cases of abuse a secret. Court proceedings began on January 7, 2019, accompanied by extensive media coverage. The Berlinale will show the film at the beginning of the festival.”

Lineup additions:

Competition

Di jiu tian chang (So Long, My Son)

People’s Republic of China

by Wang Xiaoshuai (In Love We Trust, Beijing Bicycle,  Chinese Portrait)

with Wang Jingchun, Yong Mei, Qi Xi, Wang Yuan, Du Jiang, Ai Liya, Xu Cheng, Li Jingjing, Zhao Yanguozhang

World premiere

Elisa y Marcela (Elisa & Marcela)

Spain

by Isabel Coixet (Elegy, The Bookshop, The Secret Life of Words)

with Natalia de Molina, Greta Fernández, Sara Casasnovas, Tamar Novas, Maria Pujalte

World premiere

Gospod postoi, imeto i’ e Petrunija (God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija)

Macedonia / Belgium / Slovenia / Croatia / France

by Teona Strugar Mitevska (When the Day Had No Name, The Women Who Brushed Off Her Tears, I Am From Titov Veles)

with Zorica Nusheva, Labina Mitevska, Simeon Moni Damevski, Suad Begovski, Violeta Shapkovska, Stefan Vujisic, Xhevdet Jahari, Andrijana Kolevska

World premiere

Marighella

Brazil

by Wagner Moura

with Seu Jorge, Adriana Esteves, Bruno Gagliasso, Jorge Paz, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Humberto Carrão, Bella Camero, Ana Paula Bouzas

World premiere – First Feature

Out of competition

Mr. Jones

Poland / United Kingdom / Ukraine

by Agnieszka Holland (Spoor, Europa Europa, Angry Harvest)

with James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard

World premiere

Öndög

Mongolia

by Wang Quan’an (White Deer Plain, Apart Together, Tuya‘ s Marriage)

with Dulamjav Enkhtaivan, Aorigeletu, Norovsambuu Batmunkh

World premiere

The Operative

Germany / Israel / France / USA

by Yuval Adler (Bethlehem)

with Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman, Cas Anvar

World premiere – Out of competition

La paranza dei bambini (Piranhas)

Italy

by Claudio Giovannesi (Fiore, Alì Blue Eyes)

with Francesco Di Napoli, Ar Tem, Viviana Aprea, Pasquale Marotta

World premiere

Systemsprenger (System Crasher)

Germany

by Nora Fingscheidt (Without this World)

with Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Lisa Hagmeister

Wold premiere – First Feature

Ut og stjæle hester (Out Stealing Horses)

Norway / Sweden / Denmark

by Hans Petter Moland (The Beautiful Country, A Somewhat Gentle Man, In Order of Disappearance)

with Stellan Skarsgård, Tobias Santelmann, Bjørn Floberg, Danica Curcic

World premiere

Varda par Agnès (Varda by Agnès) – Documentary

France

by Agnès Varda (Cléo from 5 to 7, The Gleaners and I, The Beaches of Agnès, Faces Places)

World premiere – Out of competition

 

Berlinale Special at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele

ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch  Documentary

Canada

by Jennifer Baichwal (Long Time Running, Watermark, Manufactured Landscapes), Nicholas de Pencier (Long Time Running, Black Code, Four Wings and a Prayer)Edward Burtynsky (Watermark)

European premiere

Es hätte schlimmer kommen können  Mario Adorf (It Could Have Been Worse  Mario Adorf) – Documentary

Germany

by Dominik Wessely (Reverse Angle: Rebellion of the Filmmakers, Nelly’s Adventure, The Housewife’s Flower)

with Mario Adorf, Senta Berger, Margarethe von Trotta

World premiere

El Norte (The North)

USA (1984)

by Gregory Nava (Bordertown, My Family, Selena)

with Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, David Villalpando, Ernesto Gómez Cruz, Lupe Ontiveros

El Norte was restored in 2017 by the Academy Film Archive, supported in part by the Getty Foundation.

European premiere of the restored version

In cooperation with NATIVe

 

Berlinale Special Gala at the Friedrichstadt-Palast

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

United Kingdom

by Chiwetel Ejiofor

with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Lily Banda, Noma Dumezweni, Aïssa Maïga, Joseph Marcell, Lemogang Tsipa
European premiere – First Feature

Lampenfieber (Kids in the Spotlight) – Documentary

Germany

by Alice Agneskirchner (On Hunting – Who Owns Nature?, 20xBrandenburg, Dear Mum, I Hardly Knew You…)

World premiere

Berlinale Special Gala at the Zoo Palast

Celle que vous croyez (Who You Think I Am)

France

by Safy Nebbou (Angel of Mine, Dumas, In the Forests of Siberia)

with Juliette Binoche, François Civil, Nicole Garcia

World premiere