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Vet helmers dominate film slate at Berlin fest

Barreto, Kwan expected to return

BERLIN — Old favorites look set to outweigh newcomers in competition at the 50th edition of the Berlin Intl. Film Fest, which unspools Feb. 9.

Among the directors expected to make a return are vet Brazilian helmer Bruno Barreto, with competition contender “Bosa Nova,” and Hong Kong’s Stanley Kwan, with his latest pic. Barreto was at Berlin two years ago with “Four Days in September.”

From Spain, Agustin Villalonga is back with “The Sea,” which is likely to be vying for a Golden Bear alongside Zhang Yimou’s “The Road Home,” which has been confirmed by nonfestival sources.

One of the bad boys of French cinema, Francois Ozon is rumored to be at Berlin this year with “Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brulantes” after his “Sitcom” was pulled for Cannes two years ago.

Gaudino’s ‘Dawn’ bright

From Italy, Lucio Gaudino’s third feature, “The First Light of Dawn,” is a certain competition entry. Pic is a drama about two brothers whose parents are killed in a Mafia hit.

Vet German helmer Volker Schlondorff (“Rita’s Legend”) will be batting for the locals.

British entries likely to adorn the lineup include drama “Hotel Splendide,” the directorial debut from Terence Gross. Out of competition, the Sex Pistols’ docu “The Filth and the Fury,” as well as Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare pic “Love’s Labour’s Lost” look set to screen.

Strong on Oscar contenders, U.S. pics in competition will likely include Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia,” Milos Forman’s “Man on the Moon,” Norman Jewison’s “The Hurricane” and Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

David Russell’s “Three Kings,” starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube, looks likely to run out of competition. “The Beach,” directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is part of the official lineup.

Still under wraps

With less than a month to go before the festival gets under way, little of the program has been announced.

Confirmed is the world preem of Wim Wenders’ “The Million Dollar Hotel.” “Breaking the Silence” from Sun Zhou will show out of competition.

Also running is a special screening of Tony Richardson’s adaptation of Genet’s “Mademoiselle,” starring Jeanne Moreau.

(David Rooney in Rome and Adam Dawtrey in London contributed to this report.)

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