BERLIN — Zola Maseko’s South African film “Drum” will open this year’s Munich Filmfest, June 25-July 2.
Pic, set in 1950s South Africa, stars Taye Diggs as real-life journalist Henry Nxumalo, who went from being a sportswriter to an anti-apartheid crusader.
It’s one of more than 200 films from 32 countries that will screen at Munich this year.
Alongside “Drum” in the main Intl. Program are this year’s Cannes honoree “The Child,” from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days”; Matthew Vaughn’s “Layer Cake”; Charles Dance’s “Ladies in Lavender,” starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Daniel Bruehl; and East L.A. gang drama “Havoc,” from Barbara Kopple.
Kopple will be on hand to present her other film at the fest, “Bearing Witness,” a doc on women journalists working in combat zones that’s screening in the American Independents section.
Other notable guests include the Dardenne brothers; Bertrand Tavernier, whose “Holy Lola” will screen in the Nouveau Cinema Francais sidebar; and Japanese helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Kurosawa and Keisuke Kinoshita will be the subject of a double retrospective, part of this year’s focus on Japanese cinema in cooperation with Shochiku Studios, which is celebrating its 110th birthday.
Some 33 German theatrical and TV films will screen, including Gordian Maugg’s “Zeppelin!,” about a man’s search for the truth behind the death of his father, a crew member killed in the Hindenburg disaster in 1937.
The fest will honor German helmer Marc Rothemund with its Peace Award for his film “Sophie Scholl — the Final Days,” a fact-based drama about a young German dissident who died standing up against Hitler’s regime.
(Christian Koehl in Cologne contributed to this report.)